Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Good to Great (Jim Collins)

Good to Great is a mega-bestselling business book by Jim Collins. His thesis is that there are several identifiable characteristics common to "great" companies - by which he means companies that greatly exceed market average returns over a period of 15 years. Collins identified the following lessons from these "great" companies -
  1. Level 5 Leaders - appoint leaders who blend personal humility with strong professional will
  2. First Who...Then What - focus on getting the right people on the bus, then figured out where to drive
  3. Confront the Brutal Facts (yet never lose faith) - Be excruciatingly honest about your current position, but keep believing you will prevail
  4. The Hedgehog Concept - focus on doing one thing very well
  5. A Culture of Discipline - be disciplined in everything
  6. Technology Accelerators - use technology to accelerate change, rather than igniting it
Collins attempts to show these lessons have been empiracally derived from the data. I don't think he quite makes his case, and I certainly don't believe this is the magic formula to success that Collins claims. But the concepts are generally sound, imo, and are illustrated by interesting case studies. It's a useful book that will prompt many to re-examine their leadership style and strategy.


Steve G said...

I think this is a great book, and if you pull back a bit into some big picture thinking, has a lot of validity for organizations and even personal life.

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