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.
Brian Aldiss, one of the most celebrated science authors from the 'Golden Age' of science fiction, died today in his Oxfordshire home. He was the author of more than 80 books and 40 anthologies,
Netflix has acquired Millarworld, the comic book publisher founded by Mark Millar, creator of such characters and stories as Kick-Ass, Kingsman and Old Man Logan. This marks the first acquisition by Netflix, which described the deal as "a natural progression in the company's effort to work directly with prolific and skilled creators and to acquire intellectual property and ownership of stories featuring compelling characters and timeless, interwoven fictional worlds."
Twenty-five years ago, when Walker U.K. opened a U.S. branch, rather than continue to sell rights to U.S. publishers, it was forced to take a different name on this side of the pond. The name "Walker" was already in use, and Candlewick Press was born. Now Candlewick is poised to begin publishing in the U.S. for the first time under the Walker name.
In fall 2018, Candlewick will introduce its inaugural Walker Books U.S. list. The announcement follows Candlewick's recent purchase of the Walker trademark from Bloomsbury...
Jack Rabinovitch, 87, founder of Canada's Giller Prize, died on Sunday. Rabinovitch, who worked in commercial real estate, founded the prize in 1994 to honor his second wife, literary journalist Doris Giller.
J.K. Rowling has returned to the top of Forbes magazine's Highest-Paid Authors list for the first time in nearly a decade, displacing James Patterson. The top 11 writers sold nearly 30 million volumes in the U.S. over the past 12 months, logging $312.5 million in pretax income."
Young Adult author Laura Moser plans to challenge Republican incumbent Congressman John Culberson for District 7 (Houston, TX) in the 2018 election.
A journalist and a writer, Moser is the co-author (with Lauren Mechling) of the 10th Grade Social Climber novels. She is also the founder of the activist network Daily Action.
Although sales and earnings for the first half of 2017 were up over the comparable period in 2016, Pearson laid out its plans to cut another 3,000 jobs from its educational publishing workforce. In May the publisher, which has already eliminated about 3,000 positions, said it was developing a plan to save 300 million pounds over the next three years. As revealed today, the heart of that plan is cutting 3,000 jobs.
In late 2015, the adult coloring book trend was the hottest thing in publishing. In 2014, 1 million coloring books were sold; in 2015, 12 million were sold. But in 2016 sales began to sag. This March, Barnes & Noble reported that its store sales had fallen 8.3 percent over the holiday quarter and blamed the decline, in part, on decreasing coloring book sales.
Judith Jones, the legendary editor who rescued Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl" from a publisher's reject pile and later introduced readers to the likes of Julia Child and a host of other influential cookbook authors, died Aug. 2 at her summer home in Walden, Vt. She was 93.
Sam Shepard, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Oscar-nominated actor and celebrated author whose plays chronicled the explosive fault lines of family and masculinity in the American West, has died. He was 73.