Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't
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.
Reviews of: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't
The president of my organization made this required reading for senior staff. I had already read it and was happy for the opportunity to engage with the concepts in a group setting. Unfortunately, I think most staff members only skimmed the book as they all focused on just a few concepts, skipping all of the tough work Collins recommends. Instead of articulating what makes us unique and refusing to pursue funding that required us to compromise our core or identifying what our measures of greatness are, Good to Great became a scapegoat. We want a different postage machine, "take it from good to great". We have been wanting to fire someone for poor performance "get them off the bus". I urge people to read this book and take on the intellectual exercises before starting to implement it.
Considered a prequel to Collins' "Built to Last" this is a book about how to make the leap from being a good company to a great company. As in any other field this is the hardest leap.
It brings a simple yet great concept that Good is the enemy of Great. Collins emphasizes on discipline - disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action for a company to make the transition from good to great.
Collins touches important aspects of management. What is the crux at the core of the people in the company that should drive it and how to handle hiring, training, evaluating and motivating employees. He also point out that on the importance of building a passionate and strong leadership team and how they should manage hard times with better communication and constantly build a rapport with the rest of the company.
In all a great book. A must read following this is "Built To Last".
I've run across Collins' guiding principals in many realms, including organizing a political campaign and managing a nonprofit marketing and communications operation. His advice can be boiled down to a few key points: the Hedgehog Principal, which means being single-minded. You can't do everything well, so pick something that you can do and be the best at it in the world. Another concept is that no one does anything great without setting goals. There are near-term goals and there are BHAGs -- Big Hairy Audacious Goals. These are things that may take 30 years to accomplish and may make people gasp when they hear them, but if you don't articulate them, you'll never get there. One of his examples is Sony, which during the immediate postwar years, when Japanese products were synonymous with low cost and terrible quality, decided that the company was going to build a reputation for quality and innovation. No way that could happen, but it did, and it wouldn't have happened without someone making it a goal. Collins is also unusual among management gurus in that he doesn't think nonprofits should try to emulate for-profits. His books are essential reading for anyone heading an organization, of any size, who wants to do great things.