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)
Technology enthusiast, constantly looking for new ways to battle sensory/information overload. lover of life, family, coastal towns, wings
There is no doubt a lot of truth in the message of this book. Clearly when it was written there was a great need for ego depletion and there were far to many over sized personalities running the business world. The idea that you don't have enough time or money to change the way people think, so just pick the right people and throw those that are not on board off the bus sounds like an idea that might work in a world of contracted projects. However the book also suggests that you should only promote the quiet steady employee that puts only the greater good of the company at the center of his life to the driving seat. What the book doesn't tell you is where these characters which they say have appeared guiding companies to 300% improvement can be found and why they would be that way.
I read this book because it was given a high rating by a lot of my work associates but I did not really feel that it took my base line of knowledge a lot further forward. It lacks the human factor that I want to see combined with good analysis.
It was one of those books that inspired me to read a lot of other books to quickly regain perspective and balance as it really did leave me with a sinking feeling.
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 feel with all the readily available 'inspiration' online, there wasn't a ton of value here.
Disappointment in not choosing a better read.
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!
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.
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.
This is a "disciplined" bright insightful book about excellent management based on massive well structured and driven research.
The conclusions are thoughtful intriguing and appropriately motivated.
Having it read by the author, with all his enthusiasm and partecipation, is a non neglectable plus.
There were very few gems in this book. I think that this might be useful to floundering companies that don't know why they're floundering, but I don't see much added value outside of that.
As for the audio, the reader over-punctuates and repeats himself too much. OVer.PUNCtuates.and.rePEATS.himself. It drove me nuts.
using this book over the years I have built two companies that are great to
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