News and Events
Alumnus Keith McFarland Authors Bestselling Business Book
Topping the bestseller lists recently is The Breakthrough Company: How Everyday Companies Become Extraordinary Performers, a new book by Pepperdine alumnus Keith McFarland. Based on the author's five-year study of more than 7,000 companies, The Breakthrough Company details what separates small businesses from the "one-tenth of one percent that break through to annual sales of $250 million."
McFarland sat down to discuss the book with his longtime friend and colleague, Mark Mallinger, associate dean of full-time MBA programs at the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Click here to listen to the discussion.
The Breakthrough Company was the result of encouragement McFarland received from leading business figures including Peter Drucker and Good to Great author Jim Collins to "identify the drivers that enable a company to push past the entrepreneurial phase." In completing the work, McFarland interviewed more than 1,500 growth-company executives on four continents of which only nine made the transition to major-player status.
According to McFarland, breakthrough success is attributed to, among other things, "a clearly identifiable set of strategies and skills." The results of his research provide tools and insights for achieving business breakthrough. Takeaways include advice on going up against bigger competitors and surrounding your company with networks of outside resources.
In his successful business career McFarland served as CEO at two top technology firms and as associate dean of the Graziadio School at age 26. He later established McFarland Strategy Partners, based in Sandy, Utah, where he has advised hundreds of growth companies as well as industry leaders such as Microsoft, Motorola, and Morgan Stanley.
The author, who earned his bachelor's degree from Seaver College in 1977 and his MBA from the Graziadio School in 1981, appeared at three Pepperdine alumni events this spring to meet fellow Pepperdine graduates and share insights from his book.