Sunday, June 8, 2014

Book Review: Good to Great

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don'tGood to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't by Jim Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I understand why this one is a classic!  It begins from a simple research question: what do companies that sustain excellence over a long period have in common?  To answer the question one must first define "excellence," then define "sustained." Next, send your graduate students and research associates out to conduct interviews with hundreds of business leaders in companies who meet those two definitions to see what they have in common.  Finally, compare the great ones to companies in their field who did not sustain excellence.  The results are fascinating, relevant, and easily accessible to a non-MBA reader.  I list it as a must-read for those who are interested in improving their organizations.

For the record, the secrets are:
  1. Leaders must take care to bring others along to carry on when they are gone.
  2. Get the right people on the team - first. Everything else is secondary.
  3. Eyes wide open - look at hard reality and plan to overcome any adverse facts.
  4. If there is something you can do better than anyone else, do that. 
  5. Blend a culture of discipline (first things first) with a spirit of entrepreneurship.
  6. Embrace the power of innovation and new technology.
  7. Stick with it... great changes don't happen overnight.
To learn more from my two-page summary, download it here.

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