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"
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Regine Azurin is the President of a company that provides business book summaries of the latest bestsellers for busy executives and entrepreneurs.
One of Italy's most popular authors and creator of the Inspector Montalbano series, Andrea Camilleri has died at the age of 93.
Camilleri, who was born in Sicily in 1925, was taken to hospital in Rome in June after going into cardiac arrest.
The author had written a handful of historical novels when, in 1994 at the age of almost 70, he wrote The Shape of Water, the first book starring his now famous Sicilian detective. Set in the fictional town of Vigata, Camilleri was originally going to call his central detective The Commissioner, but decided to pay tribute to the Spanish writer Manuel Vázquez Montalbán, the Spanish author of novels about the investigator Pepe Carvalho.
Saying that the event "has grown exponentially since its launch," the American Booksellers Association is taking over management of Independent Bookstore Day, which began as California Bookstore Day in 2014 and became a national event the following year, Bookselling This Week reported. IBD program director Samantha Schoech will remain in her position and work closely with ABA on planning and promoting the event.
Cressida Cowell, author and illustrator of the How to Train Your Dragon and The Wizards of Once series, as well as author of the Emily Brown picture books, has been named the new Waterstones children's laureate. The Waterstones Children's Laureate is managed by BookTrust, as the UK's largest children's reading charity, and sponsored by Waterstones.
She unveiled her new charter, stating that every child has the right to:
1. Read for the joy of it
2. Access NEW books in schools, libraries and bookshops
3. Have advice from a trained librarian or bookseller
4. Own their OWN book
5. See themselves reflected in a book
6. Be read aloud to
7. Have some choice in what they read
8. Be creative for at least 15 minutes a week
9. See an author event at least ONCE
10. Have a planet to read on
New library borrowing figures from the US show how far England is lagging behind other countries because of its facilities' falling book stocks, according to new analysis from library campaigner Tim Coates.
Using statistics from the Institute of Museums and Library Services, ex-Waterstones boss Tim Coates produced a chart showing English book loans have plummeted year-on-year since 2009/10 while American numbers remain relatively stable...
Lesley Nneka Arimah has won the 20th edition of the Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story 'Skinned'. The prize was launched in 2000, and is awarded annually to an African writer of a short story published in English. The winner receives UK£10,000 prize money, and each shortlisted writer also receives £500.
Arimah is also the author of the 2017 story collection What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky
Publishers are holding their breath to see if President Trump's decision to postpone the imposition of 25% tariffs on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China will become permanent.
The new tariffs, which included books, were proposed this spring. But after meeting with China President Xi at the G20 conference this weekend, Trump agreed to delay any new tariffs as part of an effort to restart trade talks. In his speech, Trump said new tariffs have been delayed "for the time being."
After Angie Thomas requested that she not be tagged into negative reviews of her books on social media, she has received a torrent of abuse.
History has yet to find the book that is universally adored – or the author who enjoys reading bad reviews. While Angie Thomas has topped the charts and scooped up armloads of awards for her two young adult novels, The Hate U Give and On the Come Up, her recent request that book bloggers stop sending her their negative reviews saw her on the receiving end of a wave of vitriol....
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This developing movement, supported by nonprofit groups, entrepreneurs, libraries and community fund-raising, is redefining the borders of traditional neighborhood public libraries by creating literary spaces in places where children find themselves with time on their hands.
It is bringing the book to the child, instead of the child to the book...
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But Amazon takes a hands-off approach to what goes on in its bookstore, never checking the authenticity, much less the quality, of what it sells. It does not oversee the sellers who have flocked to its site in any organized way.
That has resulted in a kind of lawlessness. Publishers, writers and groups such as the Authors Guild said counterfeiting of books on Amazon had surged. The company has been reactive rather than proactive in dealing with the issue, they said, often taking action only when a buyer complains. Many times, they added, there is nowhere to appeal and their only recourse is to integrate even more closely with Amazon...