Traversing the Avalanche

Traversing the Avalanche takes you on a journey to understand what it means to practically and effectively use the foundations of governance to move through and over the risk of business failure, while maximising the opportunities for increased profitability, improved shareholder value and fundamental and sustainable business growth. Through this book you will develop a deeper understanding of what enterprise governance entails, how to maximise its benefits and who you should take with you on the journey.

The Laws of Extreme Business Success

Do you want to achieve Extreme Business Success? The ground-breaking game rules contained in this book have inspired thousands of business owners to embark on the journey towards Extreme Business Success. Small and medium business founders often make achieving outrageous success far harder than it should be. If you know the rules of the business game, it is so much easier to achieve success in every aspect of your business.


  • Traversing the Avalanche is a simple and easy read that offers practical guidelines on how to implement a governance structure and framework for SMEs and privately-held companies. The book also covers the impact and importance of governance for sustainable growth in the SME sector of the economy.

    Shahied Daniel Chief Executive of the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA)
  • This book addresses a key building block in preparing an SME or privately-held company that wants to evolve from ‘Good to Great’. In the 17 years that I have been an entrepreneur leading a privately-held company, this is the first time I have seen this subject as comprehensively and tangibly addressed.

    Orrin Klopper Chief Executive Officer of Netsurit
  • Traversing the Avalanche is a practical guide that should be of great assistance to the shareholders and directors of SMEs and private companies to understand their respective roles.

    Professor Mervyn King SC
  • If you are not sure if and why governance applies to your business, my advice is that you read this book. If you are already convinced of the need for governance but you do not know how to implement it, then equally this book is an invaluable source. And even if your aim is to generally improve your business, you will find this book a hugely beneficial read. By providing both the rationale and know-how of corporate governance in SMEs, the author demonstrates in clear and concise language that it is nothing other than an integral part of business performance. To top it all, Traversing the Avalanche is an interesting and enjoyable read. I will be sure to obtain a copy for myself to refer to from time to time.

    Ansie Ramalho Chief Executive of the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa
  • I should have read Carl Bates’ book Traversing the Avalanche before starting out in business. It would have saved me from making so many silly missteps and badly flawed assumptions. You can’t make a success of business by reading a manual on the subject, but you can avoid major pitfalls. Carl Bates helps you skirt them. Read the book… and take a few notes while you’re at it.

    Reg Lascaris Co-founder of TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris and Author of ‘Lessons From the Boot of a Car’
  • For our country to thrive we desperately need SMEs to succeed as they are the incubator which will create work for future generations. Most private companies fail due to their inability to understand and follow the disciplines of good corporate governance. This book is the gold standard. It is essential reading for anyone who is serious about creating a sustainable and credible company. Carl – well done on producing a superb piece of work.

    Arthur Gillis Director of Platinum Hospitality Holdings and Non-Executive Chairman, Africa Development of Marriott International
  • The author [Traversing the Avalanche] has balanced rigorous theory and thinking with practical application. The result is a book, meticulous in detail and filled with guidelines for SME directors who seek greater understanding of their roles and responsibilities. It is required reading for those who wish to gain further understanding of the complex forces driving business growth and development.

    Professor Andy Andrews Former Dean and Director of WITS Business School (South Africa) and Henley Management College South Africa
  • Carl’s book fills a vacuum that has existed in the development of SMEs. We’ve heard lots and read even more about why we have to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and why the growth of SMEs is essential to the narrowing of the rich-poor gap. But we’ve had very little about entrepreneurial governance. Some may see the serious guidelines as reasons not to get into business. I see the advice as absolutely necessary to lead the way to business success – your success!

    Ashraf Garda Founder of the Champion South Africa Movement, SAfm Radio Host and Media Personality
  • Surviving and reaching the top of the game as a business founder or shareholder-manager belongs to only a small percentage of mercurial individuals. Traversing the Avalanche by Carl Bates provides that powerful slight edge. It also delivers an all-important insight into key fundamentals. A must repeated read for every business founder or manager.

    Mike Anderson Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Small Business Chamber (NSBC)
  • I believe Carl is a true prodigy. He plays the game of entrepreneurship better than many seasoned entrepreneurs who have been in business for decades. What's more, he effectively teaches others how he does it. This is a true blessing for anyone who gets to experience his insights.

    Brian Walsh Founder and Managing Director of Real Success Network, Johannesburg, South Africa

Each time you embark on a more advanced level of climbing, the requirements become larger. The skill and preparation necessary to succeed increase, as do the risks. If this book was about climbing Mount Everest, it wouldn’t claim that everybody has to climb this mountain; it would provide advice for people who have chosen to tackle the mountain and wish to reach the summit. Similarly, while business and entrepreneurship may not be for everyone, there are those who have chosen to follow this path. My hope is that you will use the Laws of Extreme Business Success as a map for your own business journey, from being a craft to building an enterprise.

The Laws of Extreme Business Success by Carl Bates, Chapter 14

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