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Hardcover Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't Book

ISBN: 0066620996

ISBN13: 9780066620992

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't

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Format: Hardcover

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Book Overview

The Challenge 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 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 Study For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Overly Generic and Full of Fluff

Good to Great is the type of book that you would see on every bookstore's business section. Catchy title, big bold lettering, a giant "#1 BESTSELLER" at the very top to try and sell the book to you. The author presents his findings as "scientific" and makes no reservations on bragging how hard he and his team worked to reach their conclusions. One can see several flaws in his research even before finishing the first chapter. First off, his definition of "great" is subjective and arbitrary. Out of the supposed list of 1,435 companies they screened, only 11 made the cut into Collins' definition of "great." Changing any of Collins' criteria would affect his findings greatly. None of these findings are backed by solid data. This leaves one to question if Collins' findings are affected by survivorship or confirmation bias. What about the companies that may have followed Collins' methods that did not make the cut to "great?" This leaves room for survivorship bias in Collins' research. All citations come from magazines, articles, and the like. Almost every claim in the book has an article referenced but nothing backed with objective data. No control variables, nothing. How can you objectively tell what makes a CEO successful vs unsuccessful? How can you replicate your findings? Every single "graph" in this book oversimplified anecdotes. Flashly pictures with no substance at best. One major thing that annoyed me in this book is how much Collins bragged about how hard he and his team worked on the conclusions of this book. Every single chapter and subchapter are sprinkled with Collins' supposed "research." Most of the chapters are useless fluff. Nothing of which is backed by data and almost all advice anecdotes. For someone with a Stanford MBA, I expected more. The methodology in the research is horrendous at best. Collins focused largely on companies that were successful at the time of research. This leaves a lot of room for hindsight and survivorship bias. Most of the companies cited in Collins' study wouldn't even fit his definition of great anymore. Almost all of the "great" companies Collins cited are either mediocre now or even bankrupt (ahem, Circuit City) now and vice versa. The advice/findings in this book are largely anecdotal and common sense (hire the right people, focus on what makes you money...I would have never guessed!). The advice given are too general to be taken seriously by any seasoned researcher. This explains why most of Collins' concepts and terms (Hedgehog concept, Stockdale Paradox, etc.) are not that widely cited outside of this book. If anything, Collins shows that giving advice, no matter how general or unscientific, makes more money by selling books than being applied in real research and application. If anything, this book deserves some credit because it discredits the theory of the "superstar CEO" which swoops in and saves any company from complete disaster. But I doubt anyone would need a Stanford MBA, a crack team of researchers, and 5 years of study to tell you that. This alone has saved the book from a 0/5 rating. I highly recommend reading the reviews of this book by the other users of Goodreads. If anything, they have already sorted out all of the useless fluff and have compressed all of the findings into a few bullets points. Save yourself the 200+ extra pages.

Great Read! Helpful in Searching for right CEO

Good to Great + consistent Optimal Thinking = Best

This book is a fascinating read! A study taken over five years began with twenty-eight corporations and revealed eleven that had made the leap from Good to Great. From this study, I gained an instant understanding of the role of humility in leadership. The primary ambition of great leaders is focused on the success of their company, not on themselves. Collins advocates the Hedgehog Concept - a combination of discovering what you can be best in the world at (Optimal Thinking), what you are passionate about, and what drives your economic engine. Collins states that sustained disciplined action is primarily achieved by "fanatical adherence to the Hedgehog Concept and the willingness to shun opportunities that fall outside the three circles." So my question is: How do you identify the best? I recommend Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self by Dr. Rosalene Glickman as an adjunct to this powerful book to provide the mental resource to identify the best, optimize emotional and financial intelligence and create a corporate culture of optimization. From Good to Greatest to Best!"

Good to Great and Optimization

This book is a refreshing change from the leadership books which expound various flashy leadership skills as the determinant for corporate greatness. Clearly disciplined execution and focusing on the key profitability ratio produce a shift from mediocrity to greatness. This book is a definite read for the business leader. To move beyond greatness and achieve optimization, read Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self, then infuse Optimal Thinking into every facet of your corporation.

Good to great is a fantastic book!

If you own a business or are planning on owning one, read this excellent book by Jim Collins and find out what makes great companies great.Hint: It's not hype, a fancy widget or a charismatic guru.What is it? Read the book and find out. It's worth the read and you'll thank me later.

A book for the ages! Excellent for managers and start-ups

Jim Collins, co-author of Built To Last, has done it again! This time he spent 5 years trying to find out what differentiates good companies from great companies. This study can be applied to entrepreneurial ventures and to current corporate America. After reading this book you may see your company from a much different perspective than in the past and it may have you thinking about the effectiveness of senior managers within your company. I believe it is a book that business executives will read and keep handy for reference.This book is a study of companies that exceed their industry, the overall stock market and produce PHENOMENAL returns over a 15-year period (15 of them are very "normal" years and the next 15 years are full of explosive growth). Some key points you will take away from this book include:1) Growth in most companies came after years and years of trying to adapt / mold a concept into something the company truly believed in. Once this happened the growth engine got going.2) Great managers worry more about getting the right people on board and the wrong people off board BEFORE they establish a corporate stategy.3) Most great CEOs came from within their own ranks and weren't recruited from the outside.4) Executive compensation didn't appear to be a key driver of corporate performance5) The respective great companies exceeded the overall stock market in creating shareholder value by at least 3x during their 15 year run measured (some for many more years). While some may say this is not much think about the steel industry and how many are filing for bankruptcy. Nucor Steel still managed to beat the S & P by more than 3x.6) The great companies in this book blew away their comparable peer group. Wells Fargo vs. Bank of America, Kroger vs. other grocery chains, Walgreens vs. Eckerd, etc.7) Collins describes a Level 5 leader. After reading this section I was amazed at how many CEOs I recognized as not being Level 5 leaders. This may, in the near future, shake up executive compensation plans, CEO searches and potentially affect corporate governance.8) Technology accelerated a transformation but was regarded as a tool. It didn't define the company.9) M & A activity played virtually no role in going from good to great.That is all I will write about the book. I could write on and on about how good this book is. Read it. It will change the way you think about business. Other very good books on the principles of business and entrepreneurship are Leading at the Speed of Growth by Catlin and Mathews and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Jack Trout and Al Ries.
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