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 years have proven this as just sort of a correlation vs causality confusion. Many of the companies are now defunct or bankrupt. But this is more like a horoscope in that it is generally true for everyone.
Not likely unless if found that he changed his philosophy.
very insightful read, very well-researched and evaluated. Jim Collins does a great job explaining some of the unexplainable aspects of success and failure within Fortune 500 companies. A great read for any level, good for anyone who is willing to improve their Career Success.
I love business books, particularly those about businesses that succeed, so "Good to Great" was right in my wheelhouse. It had even been recommended to me by several friends. Those friends must not have listened to the audio book. Jim Collins, you may be a great author, but sometimes it is better to hire a professional to do the reading. Jim's nasally voice and overly-expressive delivery get old very, very quickly. I pushed on, but only got about halfway through the book before I couldn't take it any more. I tried again six months later and still couldn't do it, making it about halfway again. If the material were more compelling, perhaps I could do it. But the combination of Jim's delivery and the material just didn't work for me.
Very engaging performance. At times, you feel like you're having a conversation with the author. In addition, a great book outlining simple things you can do to ensure you can create greatness in any aspect of your personal or professional career.
As of this review, this book is now 15 years old -- ancient history in the "business book industrial complex". Yet this one still worth your time. The book is thoroughly researched, and the business anecdotes illustrate the concepts well.
Other reviews comment on how much of this book is common sense. It is. And I am not sure if the book has not influenced what is now -- 15 years later -- business common sense? Another great seller from the 1980s, In Search of Excellence, introduced the concept of MBWA (Management by Wandering Around). And for a while, that became "common sense". Over the past years, I have heard the term BHAG (pronounced "bee - hag") used. It stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I was introduced to this in Good to Great.
With all great business books, I find that they help me to understand and articulate what is already known and to be able to pursue that myself. For instance, "Confronting the Brutal Facts" as a business concept is not revolutionary, but it is essential. The "shut down the mills" decision of Kimberly Clark, told in this book, informed some difficult decisions I have made in my career.
You will find this book a great synthesizer of business concepts that are essential for any well-run organization. And in the end, the findings and concepts in this book are not surprising. What is surprising is that more firms do not adhere to these principles.
Put this on the list with Peter Drucker and other must-read/listens. You will not regret it.
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