Built 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 verybeginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
For years, this question 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 are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
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.
The 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 great performers while the other set remained only good?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.
The 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 include:
Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A 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 technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”
Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?
Jim Collins does a great job of laying out the data on how companies become more than they imagined. Great book for anyone with a small business that wants to plan for the next phase of growth55
After reading this book, I completely scrapped my startup company’s business model for sales and re-wrote it with the Hedgehog Theory in mind. In just under a year, we are on pace to TRIPLE our annual revenue from last year. I’ve become a much better leader and our direction is more clear. I can easily say this is one of the most influential books I’ve ever read. I just hope my competitors don’t pick it up.55
Truly an amazing read!55
Not only is this a GOOD book, this is a GREAT book. Very helpful to one who wants to take an organization be it business, nonprofit, or church.55
This book went from Good to Great!55
An awesome book that every business professional should read. These concepts can be seen at every company and you will know which ones your company misses right now....you already know it but this book helps you see it. Find a company with these leaders or get stay on a bus going in the wrong direction.55
We're currently reading this in my Principles of Management college course, my initial belief was its irrelevant and not essential. Biggest mistake ever! Theoretically brilliant and comprehensive.55
This book gets you excited to make changes.55
Circuit City just shut down there store fronts but they are still on the internet they didn't want to pay the overhead on buildings so they have a few warehouses and ship out from there.55
Read the follow up book: How the Mighty Fall55