Book Summary: Good To Great
Explore what goes into a company's transformation from
mediocre to excellent. Based on hard evidence and volumes of
data, the book author (Jim Collins) and his team uncover
timeless principles on how the good-to-great companies like
Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark,
Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, and
Wells Fargo produced sustained great results and achieved
enduring greatness, evolving into companies that were indeed
'Built to Last'.
The Collins team selected 2 sets of comparison companies:
a. Direct comparisons - Companies in the same industry with the same resources and opportunities as the good-to-great group but showed no leap in performance, which were: Upjohn, Silo, Great Western, Warner-Lambert, Scott Paper, A&P, Bethlehem Steel, RJ Reynolds, Addressograph, Eckerd, and Bank of America.
b. Unsustained comparisons - Companies that made a short-term shift from good to great but failed to maintain the trajectory, namely: Burroughs, Chrysler, Harris, Hasbro, Rubbermaid, and Teledyne
Wisdom In A Nutshell:
a. Ten out of eleven good-to-great company leaders or CEOs came from the inside. They were not outsiders hired in to 'save' the company. They were either people who worked many years at the company or were members of the family that owned the company.
b. Strategy per se did not separate the good to great companies from the comparison groups.
c. Good-to-great companies focus on what Not to do and what they should stop doing.
d. Technology has nothing to do with the transformation from good to great. It may help accelerate it but is not the cause of it.
e. Mergers and acquisitions do not cause a transformation from good to great.
f. Good-to-great companies paid little attention to managing change or motivating people. Under the right conditions, these problems naturally go away.
g. Good-to-great transformations did not need any new name, tagline, or launch program. The leap was in the performance results, not a revolutionary process.
h. Greatness is not a function of circumstance; it is clearly a matter of conscious choice.
i. Every good-to-great company had "Level 5" leadership during pivotal transition years, where Level 1 is a Highly Capable Individual, Level 2 is a Contributing Team Member, Level 3 is the Competent Manager, Level 4 is an Effective Leader, and Level 5 is the Executive who builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will.
j. Level 5 leaders display a compelling modesty, are self-effacing and understated. In contrast, two thirds of the comparison companies had leaders with gargantuan personal egos that contributed to the demise or continued mediocrity of the company.
k. Level 5 leaders are fanatically driven, infected with an incurable need to produce sustained results. They are resolved to do whatever it takes to make the company great, no matter how big or hard the decisions.
l. One of the most damaging trends in recent history is the tendency (especially of boards of directors) to select dazzling, celebrity leaders and to de-select potential Level 5 leaders.
m. Potential Level 5 leaders exist all around us, we just have to know what to look for.
n. The research team was not looking for Level 5 leadership, but the data was overwhelming and convincing. The Level 5 discovery is an empirical, not ideological, finding.
o. Before answering the "what" questions of vision and strategy, ask first "who" are the right people for the team.
p. Comparison companies used layoffs much more than the good-to-great companies. Although rigorous, the good-to-great companies were never ruthless and did not rely on layoffs or restructuring to improve performance.
q. Good-to-great management teams consist of people who debate vigorously in search of the best answers, yet who unify behind decisions, regardless of parochial interests.
r. There is no link between executive compensation and the shift from good to great. The purpose of compensation is not to 'motivate' the right behaviors from the wrong people, but to get and keep the right people in the first place.
s. The old adage "People are your most important asset" is wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
t. Whether someone is the right person has more to do with character and innate capabilities than specific knowledge, skills or experience.
u. The Hedgehog Concept is a concept that flows from the deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:
1.What you can be best in the world at, realistically, and what you cannot be best in the world at
2.What drives your economic engine
3.What you are deeply passionate about
v. Discover your core values and purpose beyond simply making money and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core values - stimulate progress, as shown for example by Disney. They have evolved from making short animated films, to feature length films, to theme parks, to cruises, but their core values of providing happiness to young and old, and not succumbing to cynicism remains strong.
w. Enduring great companies don't exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. In a truly great company, profits and cash flow are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.
"IF YOU'RE DOING SOMETHING YOU CARE DEEPLY ABOUT AND IF YOU BELIEVE IN IT, IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO IMAGINE NOT TRYING TO MAKE IT GREAT."
By: Regine P. Azurin and Yvette Pantilla
"A Lot Of Great Books....Too Little Time To Read"
Free Book Summaries Of Latest Bestsellers and More!
BusinessSummaries is a BusinessSummaries.com service.
(c) Copyright 2001-2005, BusinessSummaries.com">BusinessSummaries.com
Regine Azurin is the President of a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
Polish author Olga Tokarczuk won the £50,000 (about $67,170) Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, for her novel of linked fragments, Flights, translated by Jennifer Croft. The cash award is divided equally between author and translator, who also both receive £1,000 for being shortlisted.
Philip Roth, whose novel American Pastoral won a Pulitzer in 1998 but who was best-known for the controversial and explicit 1969 Portnoy's Complaint, has died at age 85.
Writing in The Washington Post, author and professor Sandra Beasley asks, "Do we continue to teach the work of people we now suspect of behaving unethically or abusively? ... As a reader, I'm devastated. As a teacher, I've got decisions to make..."
The romance-focused magazine Romantic Times, along with the RT Book Reviews, RT VIP Salon and RT Booklovers Convention brands, is shutting down after 37 years. The closure is effective immediately, and though the RT website will remain up for another year or so, there will be no new content in the future.
Philip Pullman has been named author of the year at the British Book Awards for his "outstanding" success.
The children's author was recognized after returning to the world of his Dark Materials with La Belle Sauvage last year. Awards organizers described Pullman as a "true one-off".
Gail Honeyman won book of the year for her best-selling debut Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Judges said it was "brilliantly written" and "the complete package".
Tom Wolfe, author of notable works such as The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, has died aged 88. In addition to his books, he was a pioneer of New Journalism, which developed in the 1960s and 1970s and involved writing from a subjective perspective as opposed to more traditional objective journalism. He was also known for coining phrases such as "radical chic" and "the me decade".
Last week, Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the US, saw its stock price plunge nearly 8% just days after the New York Times published an editorial calling for the chain to be saved. "It's depressing to imagine that more than 600 Barnes & Noble stores might simply disappear," wrote columnist David Leonhardt. "But the death of Barnes & Noble is now plausible."
Author Jojo Moyes has pledged to save the British adult literacy program Quick Reads from closure by funding it for the next three years. She says she was "completely dumbfounded" on learning of the scheme's closure and is believed to have donated around £360,000 (well over US$500,000) to help it continue.
"Having written a Quick Reads myself [Paris for One, in 2015] and spoken to readers who had benefited from the scheme, I knew how important it was," she told The Bookseller. "It is relatively low cost and loved by authors, publishers and readers. At a time when libraries are ever more endangered, it seemed a completely regressive move to lose Quick Reads."
The Pulitzer Prize board has opened an independent review of sexual misconduct allegations against the award-winning novelist Junot Díaz, who is stepping down as chairman, the board said on Thursday.
"Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," the Pulitzer board said in a statement.
Mr. Díaz, who joined the board in 2010, was elevated to chairman last month, according to the organization. It said that Mr. Díaz asked to relinquish his role and that he would remain a part of the body.
Viet Thanh Nguyen argues that books by immigrants, foreigners and minorities don't diminish the 'classic' curriculum. They enhance it....
...We must read Shakespeare and authors who are women, Arab, Muslim, queer. Most of the world is neither white nor European, and the United States may be a majority-minority country by mid-century. White people will gain more by embracing this reality rather than fighting it. As for literature, the mind-set that turns the canon into a bunker in order to defend one dialect of English is the same mind-set that closes borders, enacts tariffs and declares trade wars to protect its precious commodities and its besieged whiteness. But literature, like the economy, withers when it closes itself off from the world. The world is coming anyway. It demands that we know ourselves and the Other...