Saturday, March 19, 2011

Good to Great - Review

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

By: James C Collins

Publication: October 16th 2001 by HarperBusiness

320 pages

Genre: Non-fiction, Business, Leadership, Self-Help

Source: Personal Library

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Goodreads description--To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. The findings will surprise many readers and, quite frankly, upset others.

The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.

The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.

A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.

The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

Just finished reading Jim Collin's Good to Great. This was an excellent business book. As the title reflects the book is about what it takes for a company/organization to go from good to great. Even though this book is about businesses, I believe the principles can be applied to different aspects of every day life. I'm definitely glad that I read it.

While I think this was an excellent book, it's not fiction...which is my true love genre. That being said, I just can't give this book a 5 star rating. Hey, I gave fair warning that only a select few would make said rating. Therefore, I'd give this book 4 3/4 stars.

I was actually assigned this book for the text of one of my classes, along with How the Might Fall: And Why Some Organizations Never Give In by Jim Collins. While it was assigned reading, I'm glad that I read it, and Good to Great was recommended to me by my brother at one time too. Definitely a good read, especially if you're even remotely interested in the inner workings of businesses/organiztions and what makes them great.

Updated: July 7, 2018

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