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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't: 1 Hardcover – Unabridged, 16 October 2001
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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 verybeginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
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?
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 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?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- 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.
“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”
Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?
About the Author
Jim Collins is author or coauthor of six books that have sold in total more than ten 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.
- ASIN : 0066620996
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 300 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780066620992
- ISBN-13 : 978-0066620992
- Best Sellers Rank: 4,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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Top reviews from other countries
This book is very concise and full of interesting case studies. It was one of the few occasions when I wished the book could have been a bit longer.
Well researched, well written, well done!
Here are some of the learnings I will be taking away from this book:
• All Good to great (“GTG”) companies had a Level 5 leader
• Level 5 leaders consistently exhibit humility, modesty and an ability to reign in their ego.
• Many companies are drawn towards outgoing egocentric leaders and this is often the wrong choice.
• Level 5 leaders are more interested in something larger and more lasting than their own career
• GTG leaders concentrate on hiring the right people before deciding on strategy
• Don’t compromise when hiring. If you’re not confident then keep looking
• When someone needs to leave the company act quickly
• Give your best people the best opportunities and not your biggest problems
• GTG management teams have rigorous debates and aren’t afraid to share their views. But when a decision is made they act as one
• GTG companies ensure information flows give management the right facts to manage the business effectively
• GTG companies foster a culture where employee’s views are heard and acted upon
• GTG companies review failures without negative consequences for the people involved
• Figuring out how to motivate people is a waste of time. If you hire the right people they will motivate themselves.
• Good to great companies did one thing exceptionally well and stuck to it (the hedgehog process)
• GTG companies developed their strategy from a deep understanding of what they could be world class at. This was not a goal or intention but an understanding of reality
• GTG companies typically focussed on one KPI e.g. profit per customer
• GTG companies were incredibly disciplined and did not waste time and money on unrelated activities and acquisitions
• GTG companies used technology as an accelerator of, not creator of, momentum
• Careful consideration should be given to whether a given technology fits with your hedgehog concept
• GTG companies often looked like an overnight success from the outside but in reality they were long in the making and a result of persistent action over a long period of time.
• Preserve core values and purpose while strategies and practices endlessly adapt with the changing world
The final selection consists of 11 good to great companies (Selected from 1435 Fortune 500 companies) and 17 comparison companies that could not qualify. The primary selection process consisted of baselining the 'good to great' companies at three times the market for fifteen years including 15 years of good performance (1.25 time the general stock market) preceding the transition while the company had to be an established, on going company, not a startup.
Pretty strict criteria that has led to some eye opening findings. Most of the findings can be browsed by reading the reviews on the Amazon .co.uk and .com sites.
A MUST READ BOOK for all aspiring and current leaders.
A stunningly enlightening study of winners and losers
As Exec Chairman of a pan-European SME, the easy read of this book has refuelled my determination to (try and) get it right. Unfortunately, bad companies managed by Rambo like individuals remain the norm on this side of the pond... Still very refreshing read about what works and what doesn't...