Good is the enemy of great; level 5 leadership; first who - then what; confront the brutal facts (yet never lose faith); hedgehog concept; a culture of discipline; technology accelerators; the flywheel and the doom loop; from good to great to built to last.
The best-selling Built to Last answered the question of what it takes to build an enduring, great company from the ground up. Good to Great answers an even more compelling question- can a good company become a great one and, if so, how?
Jim Collins is author or co-author of six books that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide, including the bestsellers Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. He now operates a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research, teaches, and consults with executives from the corporate and social sectors. More about Jim and his works can be found at his e-teaching site, where he has assembled articles, audio clips, a recommended reading list, discussion guide, tools, and other information. The site is designed to be a place for students to study and learn: www.jimcollins.com
In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team (at his management research firm) 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. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins's crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies' stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company's economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins's strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins's perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn't benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figure out how to change their B grade to an A on their own. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"...the biggest selling and most influential management book of the
new millennium." * Financial Times *
"...seminal..." * The Times *
"...a must-read..." * Management Today *
"Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not-so-great, Collins lays a well-reasoned roadmap to excellence that any organisation would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come." * Amazon.co.uk Review *
"in this category (management books) there is nothing to touch Jim Collins... It is essential reading." * Sunday Times Business Books of the Year *