Built to Last, the defining management study of the '90s, 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 companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don't. The findings include:
©2001 Jim Collins (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers
"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.com review)
"If you believe that a visionary leader with a strong ego is an essential component of sustained business success, then Jim Collins has a few thousand words for you. His carefully researched audiobook explains that the success of companies that outperform the market for 15 years in a row comes from selfless leadership, rigorous focus, and a culture of discipline....[T]here's another reason this book has burst through as a bestseller, which you can feel in Collins's narration: He is honestly excited about his research and unconventional findings. (AudioFile)
The companies for the most part failed in time....
The reading was fine.... I got sucked in for a while
All of the companies that failed in the 15-20 year period
Developing the person who I can make the greatest impact on - Me.
Jim Collins really is enjoyable to listen to, the way he reads is the way he intended this book to be read, the passion and enthusiasm he puts forward during the read makes this audio engaging and exciting. I continue to listen to this over and over.
The fact based findings and how simple it is to see how companies make the leap from Good to Great.
This is my first listen but I will be enjoying many more since having picked this up.
The flywheel and the doom loop highlight some particular areas where I can improve as an individual
There was some good concepts in this book and I enjoyed learing about other businesses; however, each topic was overbaked. I kept thinking to myself, "ok, I've got it! Get the right people on the bus... ok... move on already!" It was hard to stay focused during parts of this book.
This book is over simplified dividing the world into two random groups "hedgehogs vs foxes" which is totally arbitrary. It's amusing in a way to listen to it now hearing him extol the virtues of such dynamite companies like Circuit City and Fannie Mae...the fact that he holds such companies so highly and draws his lessons from study of these companies seems to completely undermine all his conclusions. Avoid this crappy, boring, book.
Addicted to audible. One the best things that happened to me
I'm in operations all my life and have been involved in many sectors and my turnarounds. The rationale in this book is truly level 5 in every angle and corner. This book is more than explaining How to go from Good To Great. It is a message to each of us that you need to do everything with precision, dedication and thoughtfulness, even the parts that don't show up!
Lust for Life
It was pretty bland, though the book was so bad, I don't see a way of making it better.
I was frustrated by the ridiculous conclusions the author came up with based on highly flawed research, which itself was based on shaky premises. The idea that you can measure a company's "greatness" by its stock price set the stage for a highly disappointing book. I think the author actually set out to prove the hypothesis that a "level 5 leader" could turn a good company into a great company. Therefore, the so called research was designed to demonstrate this.
The research methods used were incredibly flawed and some of the conclusions the author drew were truly baffling. There were many inconsistencies, such as when he lauded one company for breaking away from its core business ("selling the mills"), then later criticizing another for doing essentially the same thing. He also annoyed me every time he referred to the "hedgehog concept." It was pretty obvious that the author wanted to coin a phrase, based on a story he told, because he repeated the phrase over and over, even though he applied it inconsistently. Anyway, the proof is in the pudding since some of the companies he held up as great (Circuit City, Wells Fargo, Fannie May), actually became epic fails or would have if the government didn't bail them out. The author tried to cover himself by saying that his conclusions were based on the condition of the companies' stock prices during particular periods of time. What a cop out! During the time periods, he surveyed these companies, the seeds for their failure were already being sown. Anyway, I could go on and on. Do yourself a favor and don't bother with this book.
I had heard this book had great info in it, but dry to read. Listening was a great way to get the info. The author's passion for this topic draws you in, given he reads it, and it engages you in the story. Recommend it!
The principals described in this book just make sense, therefore required reading. There may be other things that also help companies go from good to great, but its hard to argue against the logic of these principals. Thank you Jim for synthesizing them so nicely.
As for the criticism regarding the eventual downturn of companies in the study sample, Jim answers this clearly at the end of the book. In short this book is not about companies - its about principals. Some companies eventually stop adhering to the principals to their detriment.
Jim did wonderful in drawing me into the book and it made me part of the story in that I looked at myself as an employee in a company and can I be part of the Good to Great process at least in what I do.
I constantly thought about how I could use this to help our customers in becoming great in the realm of what I do for them.
The culture part was very important and I believe is what everyone looks for in what they do.
During the reading I kept thinking of how workers feel when they are on the right bus and in the right seat.
The bus parable keeps running throughout the book.
The companies analyzed are companies I grew up knowing. It was good to learn about the Good to great companies but also nice was the comparable companies and where and if they are still doing business and how they lost the vision.
Though it's not a rah rah book to motivate to make more money it is a motivator to understand how employees, management, and owners can create a culture where core values are intertwined in the daily workings.
As in my title of the summary
I will re read this again
This was an extraordinary research project. Good data, great interpretation and applications. Brilliant concept; good is the enemy of great.
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