The first edition of Guiding Growth: How Vision Keeps Companies on Course was the culmination of Mark’s research and vision-related consulting up to 2003. Published by Harvard Business School Press, it received fine reviews. Feedback from readers indicated that it served as a key resource to C-level executives, government agency officials, urban planning experts, and boards of nonprofit organizations. Guiding Growth has been translated into a number of foreign languages, and the book’s audience became far more diverse than originally conceived.

Since it’s release, Mark has continued to learn new ways to help organizations articulate a vision. He has been gratified to see how organizations have used the model in Guiding Growth to not only engage in meaningful long-term planning, but also to manage significant organizational change and branding initiatives.   

The second edition is in the works, and the entire first edition of the book is available for download without charge. The second edition promises to have more:

  • Insight to why the process can be so grueling for senior management—and ways to lower resistance to it;
  • Tools for facilitating a vision process;
  • Organizational stories from the front lines and ways that vision is used to lead effectively;
  • Great examples of actual vision narratives and how they were implemented.


Smart, witty, and engaging

“Yippee! No academic psycho-babble, overly complex diagrams, or overly simplistic management fables in this one. Guiding Growth is smart, witty, and engaging—a must-read for business leaders concerned about sustainable competitive advantage.”

One of the best business books out there

“This book is definitely one of the best business books out there. It is well written and easy to relate to, especially for students like me who want to enter the real world and become a leader.”

Finally a practical book about vision

“Reading Guiding Growth has been a joy—finally a practical book about vision. Like Lipton, I was suspicious about the whole vision industry, but his book has helped to look at the concept in a different light.”

The best book on organizational visions!

“Lipton’s treatment of this elusive topic is solid, research-based, and written in an engaging, practical manner. I could apply his knowledge, strategy, and tactics immediately in my own organization. Bought the book for all of my senior managers to read, and at a discussion group during a lunch, we agreed this book will help us take our company to the next level if we follow the guidelines for redefining our vision and then implement it well.

Rather than a typical management book—those can be real snoozers—Lipton approaches the topic by telling his own story, as he came from a nonbeliever about vision, to a mild cynic, to seeing the virtues of it, and finally to ‘a born-again believer’ when it comes to the impact that a solid vision well implemented can have. Wish it did not take me so many years to discover this fine piece of helpful writing.”

“Why Visions Fail”

Following the release of Guiding Growth, Mark gleaned more insight from his consulting work on the often-difficult vision process. Most surprising? Ways in which the CEO can torpedo the development of the vision. Download the article here that Mark was invited to author for Ivey Business Journal.