People work for your company don t try to put your hand in every pot don t stop doing things that work well and do stop doing things that aren t working etcI had two major concerns with this book First was simply the manner in which it was written The author spent hundreds of pages explaining what could have been explained much succinctly It s similar to my thesis My completed thesis was 60 pages but the article I wrote to be published in a ournal which consists of the same material or less was only about 15 pages I would be interested in this book if it was written in ournal form allowing me to cut out the redundancy To the author s credit however I appreciated that he did give examples as often I was very confused by his explanation of the concept and wouldn t have understood without his providing an example they found in one of the companiesMy second major concern was the methodology The author utilizes no scientific method for gathering data but instead utilizes a panning for gold approach throw everything into the pot and see what comes out That combined with overwhelming hindsight bias makes me extremely suspicious of any and every conclusion drawn in the book While reading this book I was reminded of one of my undergraduate teachers explaining the advantage that Freud had as an early psychologist because of his theories he could not be proven wrong How do you prove that someone isn t in denial How do you prove that someone isn t obsessed with his mother Likewise how do you prove that these theories proposed by Jim Collins actually work Indeed Collins later predicts at the end of his book that any company that STOPS abiding by the principles he outlines will fail With his interesting methodology I doubt that his principles would have a causal link to either success or failure I expect that many companies fail and that many companies are very successful without regard to his theories In addition a problem with his methodology is that he measured greatness by a company s sustained stock market value being a certain percentage 150% above the general market what about private companies How can a private company measure greatness if that is the standardSo overall I enjoyed this book at the beginning and became bored with it by the end I think there are some good principles that can be pulled out of it but I fear that some companies will take this book too much to heart and let other important factors slipRob please don t fire me This book by Jim Collins is one of the most successful books to be found in the Business section of your local megabookstore and given how it purports to tell you how to take a merely good company and make it great it s not difficult to see why that might be so Collins and his crack team of researchers say they swam through stacks of business literature in search of info on how to pull this feat off and came up with a list of great companies that illustrate some concepts central to the puzzle They also present for each great company what they call a comparison company which is kind of that company with a goatee and a much less impressive earnings record The b Why Indie Authors Should Read Business BooksI am finally pursuing my lifelong passion of becoming an author and writing is a business so I needed to invest in myself I figured the bible of the business world would have some interesting things to say After all a business of one is still a business and who wouldn t enjoy the leap from mediocrity to longevity The book made it clear that building a great business isn t ust about a great leader who exits the company only to have it fall apart What makes a great business and leader of the business is someone who is able to build something that will last long after their lifetime That should resonate with authors I don t know any authors that want their books to disappear without their presence We have the benefit of creating products that at the very least will never go out of style Innovations may change the way we read but they will never eliminate books altogether What we write will last and it s our responsibility to build something from it so people actually give a damn about our work long after we are gone The lessons in this book teach a person how to develop a strategy how to build a team the importance of being disciplined and the importance of managing expectationsThe Hedgehog Concept is something creatives should be able to maneuver to their advantage It s all about finding what you can be best at passionate about and uantifying how to measure your success For an author maybe that s finding a niche and having the discipline to stick with it rather than chasing the latest genre fad For building a team again think about how many genre fad For building a team again think about how many it takes to make a book You don t ust write a draft and publish it on KDP If you do and are successful than I am ealous but most of us can t write perfection the first go around You need beta readers to give you general feedback on what s working and what s not you need an editor or two to make sure it s readable you need a top notch book cover some authors can make their own some need to add a graphic designer to their team and finally you need to build your audience because they re the most important part of the team Though there are a lot of lessons in this book the final thing I m gonna touch on is the Stockdale Paradox It s all about managing expectations You can truly believe you are going to find success while also managing that expectation Stockdale was a POW in Vietnam who knew he would return home
But Kept His Sanity kept his sanity he knew it would be a while while other soldiers in the camp were overly optimistic thought they would get home by Christmas only to be heartbroken when their expectations failed Pursuing a creative endeavor is still a business and today it s never been easier for someone to enter that business It s my educated guess that it s in order for creatives to educate themselves on traditional business practices if they hope to sustain long term growth and success in their field I ve been reading uite a few books about leadership lately I can t really say that I ve been terribly impressed with them They read too much like that terribly American genre of books the self help book Invariably they seem to have appeared fully formed out of the research of the people behind the book itself This is particularly amusing here since people have been concerned with the nature of leadership pretty much forever The other thing that I find a little odd about these books is that leadership is rarely defined in them I guess we are supposed to take the attitude that it might well be hard to say what leadership is but we all know it when we see it so leadership is a bit like pornography in that sense Given that this form of research sees itself as so revolutionary in ust about all senses it ought to say things you would expect that would be than ust a series of platitudes I didn t really come aw First and foremost Good to Great has no breakthrough concepts to offer Collins is good at inventive metaphors and catch phrases to push concepts through but ultimately there is really nothing counter intuitive or revolutionary about the results of this studyThat said the concepts in the book might still be valuable for managers CEOs and other professionals Here is a brief summary of the book and a short tour on how to take your company from Good to GreatThink of this as a time line to be followedFirst step is To have A Level 5 Leader A self effacing leader A humble leader with a strong drive and indefatigable will for perfection Someone. Are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to greatThe StandardsUsing 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 ComparisonsThe 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 gre. ,
review Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don'tWho puts the company over personal success and never clamors for the limelightSecond Step is To First decide the Who uestion and then the What uestion So have a Level 5 Leader Who then picks a great management team Collins uses the metaphor of finding the right people for the bus and the right seats for them before deciding where the bus is going to be heading towardsThird Step is To understand all the basic facts about the situation and the company So we have the ideal top management in place Who in turn now brainstorms to figure out a goaldirection for the company after taking into account all the data available whether good or badFourth Step is To implement the Hedgehog Concept So they confront all the realities and decide on a direction Which is based on the ability of the company the passion of the people in it and money making ability of the goal This is called using The Hedgehog Concept and the Three Circles Concept You have to choose the very intersection of these three circles as your driving direction You might have a lot of interestspassions your company might have a lot of money making options and you might have a lot of competencies BUT the point of intersection of all three should be your ONLY core focusIt is called Hedgehog Concept by contrasting hedgehogs to foxes foxes are wily and know a lot of things hedgehogs are wise and one thing well It is the euivalent to the old proverb of ack of all trades and master of none THE HEDGEHOG CONCEPTimage error Here are Jim Collins seven characteristics of companies that went from good to great1 Level 5 Leadership Leaders who are humble but driven to do what s best for the company2 First Who Then What Get the right people on the bus then figure out where to go Finding the right people and trying them out in different positions3 Confront the Brutal Facts The Stockdale paradox Confront the brutal truth of the situation yet at the same time never give up hope4 Hedgehog Concept Three overlapping circles What makes you money What could you be best in the world at and What lights your fire5 Culture of Discipline Rinsing the cottage cheese6 Technology Accelerators Using technology to accelerate growth within the three circles of the hedgehog concept7 The Flywheel The additive effect of many small initiatives they act on each other like compound interestI really enjoyed this book and think any business owner or entrepreneur would find the book interesting and benefit from focusing on the seven characteristics above but I should also point out what I consider to be a few of the flaws with the book1 Collins spends a lot of time explaining some pretty common sense stuff Don t let your ego get in the way of good decisions don t have the wrong people in the wrong positions in your company be realistic etc2 Collins implies a causal relationship when there isn t enough data to determine such a thing saying that they found x followed by y in all the great companies And maybe x led to y but maybe it didn t We don t know Without comparing other companies that either had x but didn t produce y or produced y but didn t have x we simply don t know if Collins examples demonstrate lessons that can be repeated for the same success by anybody It seems to me that there is a strong hindsight bias and a lot of uncertainty as to whether or not all good companies would become great by simply following Collins advice3 As psychologists have pointed out in books such as The Invisible Gorilla and Thinking Fast Thinking Slow even aiming at Good to Great specifically many business books tend to mistake a personal success story or numerous personal stories as a causal relationship that can be reproduced by anybody when in reality the likely explanation was that they benefited from a lot of luck and there isn t a simple process of do x and you will receive y 4 11 years after the book was published the success rates of the great companies isn t so great Were those companies not so great after all What happened What changed At least half of the 11 great companies he identified are no longer doing so great Circuit City is bankrupt Fannie Mae went bankruptnationalized Wells Fargo needed a bailout Nucor s stock and revenue crashed Pitney Bowes went down significantly and Gillette is no longer independent It seems strange that
greatness was so easily lost 5 Also a difficulty with his methodology is that hewas so easily lost 5 Also a difficulty with his methodology is that he a company s greatness by its sustained stock market value being a certain percentage 150% above the general market So how does a private company measure greatness with this sort of standard People often ask what motivates you to undertake these huge research projectsIt s a good uestion The answer is curiosityThere is nothing I find exciting than picking a uestion that I don t know the answer to and embarking on a uest for answers It s deeply satisfying to climb into the boat like Lewis and Clark and head west saying We don t know what we will find when we get there but we ll be sure to let you know when we get backThis undaunted curiosity is the stimulus of this work proclaims the author in the beginning ustifying why he got down to such a grueling task Though this book is exclusively for the management students and for the corporate guys I still feel this book is very well researched and can be read by them also who have the least interests in companies and businesses This book is a result of the hard toil of a large research team of Jim Collins after Built to Last If you read it you will find the reason why millions of copies have been sold of this Wall Street Journal s CEO council declared it the best management book they have readThis book is all about why some companies leap from good to great and others don tThe first thing it tries to preach is that Good is the enemy of greatFew people attain greatness in large part because it is ust so easy to settle for a good life Next the Book Talks About A talks about a of Level 5 leadership leaders of a paradoxical mix of personal humility and professional willthey are fanatically driven infected with an incurable need to produce sustainable results they display workmanlike diligence plow horse than show horse they look out of a window to attribute success to factors other than themselvesIn the subseuent chapters comes the idea of choosing the right guys It s important first getting the right people on the bus and wrong people off the bus and then figure out where to drive itThen there is a Stockdale Paradox in this book which is eually applicable in any field of life Retain faith that you will prevail in the end regardless of the difficultiesAnd at the same time Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality whatever they might beThere are many other concepts outlined in this book they look technical so much business involved in them but they are uite handy even to the simpler minds uite comprehensible even to those ordinary mortals like me The research done for this book may have taken a huge amount of resources time and energy b I was hoping this book would give me some guidelines to remember when I start my own business There were a few good points but nothing compelling Reading this book wasn t a very GOOD USE OF MY TIMETIPS FROM THE BOOKFIRST WHO use of my timeTips from the bookFirst Who WhatFirst get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off it then figure out where to drive Having the right people in the company is important than deciding what the company will do because the right people will help make that decision anyway Whether a person is right or not depends on their character than their knowledge and skills Don t waste time dealing with people At performers while the other set remained only good The FindingsThe 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 includeLevel 5 Leaders The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership reuired to achieve greatnessThe Hedgehog Concept Simplicity within the Three Circles To go from good to great reuires transcending the curse of competenceA 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 technologyThe Flywheel and the Doom Loop Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the lea. .
Good to Great Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don t James C CollinsGood to Great Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don t is a management book by Jim C Collins that describes how companies transition from being good companies to great companies and how most companies fail to make the transition The book was published on October 16 2001 Greatness is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period 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 Collins finds the main reason certain companies become great is they narrowly focus the company s resources on their field of key competence 2006 1383 301 9648148031 1384 1386 1387 1388 9789648148039 1386 1389 1392 21 1395 336 9786007133750 1395 350 9786006959781 1395 270 9786006958927 1394 202 05121399 Okay let s get this out of the way first this book is DATED It studies eleven companies that beat the stock market over a period of fifteen years irrespective of industry other comparison companies in the same industries did not produce the same results Unfortunately these eleven companies include Fannie Mae Circuit City Wells Fargo and Philip Morris The findings are ultimately interesting and I think the writers would argue that the recent performance of the companies don t affect the findings validity but boy is it a trip to read about Wells Fargo as a paragon of excellence in the year 2019James Collins wrote this with a large group of researchers and the methodology and results are explained in detail in the extensive appendices at the end of the book They distill their findings into seven key themes around what helps a company go from mediocre to truly great which they define as beating the stock market by a certain margin over a long period of time I realize that I am reading a business book and by default there needs to be a core metric by which we recognize businesses as good or great but I had some trouble with the complete disregard for social impact that powers this book Collins says that looking at employee or social welfare would have introduced biases into the study but I would also say that there is an inherent bias in defining a business s greatness solely by its stock returns and shareholder value which is why you end up with Philip Morris in your group of great companies Your definition for success is not the same as mine It s also interesting that the research group tends to handwave around employee motivation morale and fulfillment for all of the great companies as a natural outcome of business success but does not offer any metrics or background on this in the text of the bookAll that aside I found some of the takeaways truly interesting Charisma is detrimental to leadership The good to great companies all had Level 5 leaders which the research group defines as a leader who is incredibly driven but extremely humble The Level 5 leaders aren t charismatic or larger than life figures they center their companies on one purpose and build strong systems that move the entire company in one direction The true tell of this type of leader is if the company survives and flourishes after they leave are you worried about your CEO or about the reality of your situation Charismatic outside leaders produced consistently worse results and the companies stagnated after their departure It s also worth noting that executive compensation had absolutely no measurable effect on a company s success Managing morale and motivation is largely a waste of time If employees instinctively understand the vision of the company and how they contribute to its success there is no reason to motivate or spend time managing change I don t think this is ever 100% true and it is precluded by the necessity to have the right people in
the right roles but I found this perspective interesting and the examples rang true to me Stay focusedright roles but I found this perspective interesting and the examples rang true to me Stay focused your central concept The book refers to this as the Hedgehog Concept a term that I refuse to use It combines the Venn diagram of these three things 1 what are you truly passionate about 2 what drives your economic engine and 3 what can you be best in the world at If you aren t driving towards an intersection of all three you will not be able to achieve sustained results This reuires a culture of discipline throughout all levels of the company Understand the brutal reality The successful companies understood the brutal facts of reality when making business decisions and candidly discussed and planned for that reality That sometimes reuires an entire business shift to align yourself with your central concept When you see user or customer research that upends your assumptions do not ignore it This also reinforces the need for long term investment The writers point was that you cannot be an optimist this will all work out but you must confront reality and simultaneously strongly believe that you will succeed despite the odds You also must Create An Environment Where The an environment where the is heard which reuires the leaders to ask uestions hold themselves to high standards and build red flag mechanisms to get advance notice of issuesAnyway I found the book both interesting and frustrating to read The research team commits the cardinal sin of all business books which is comparing every single concept to a famous thinker Einstein did not model simplistic thinking has this man ever read a proof of E mc2 get back to me after you have done it and Abraham Lincoln is not comparable to a CEO I wish that these types of comparisons could be completely excised from our discourse I rolled my eyes through much of this nonsense and it really detracted from my engagement with the bookI also found it frustrating that diversity of thought and teams never comes up in this book Every single CEO mentioned is a man and most of the named executives at these companies are men You can read into the concept of getting the right people on the bus as assembling the correct team but then the book goes on to say that employee incentives and compensation matter much less than you think they do That depends on who you are hiring and what their personal priorities are and that will always differ for individuals I did like that part of the leadership discussion hinges on whether internal or external leadership is better for a company most of the Level 5 leaders in the book are internal choices which intuitively makes sense because they are able to fully grasp the core concept and values of the companyFinally it is hilarious to read sentences like com the reigning champion of e commerce and today we primarily use portables from companies like Dell and Sony 2001 was a wild time 2019 is a wild time In the last 18 years these good to great companies have imploded in on themselves Hopefully the lessons from this book endure longer than Fannie Mae s reputation I hope from this book endure longer than Fannie Mae s reputation I hope don t get fired for not thinking this was the greatest book ever Honestly business books are not exactly my cup of tea This book started off really interesting The author talks about habits that great companies use to keep their companies run smoothly Many of the suggestions the author gives seem very logical don t have negative. To find the keys to greatness Collins's 21 person research team read and coded 6000 articles generated than 2000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five year project The findings will surprise many readers and uite frankly upset othersThe ChallengeBuilt 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 very beginning But what about the company that is not born with great DNA How can good companies mediocre companies even bad companies achieve enduring greatness The StudyFor years this uestion 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. .