It’s time for the ‘Best Book of the Month‘ series. For March 2013 we picked Jim Collins‘ amazing book entitled “Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t“.
‘Good To Great’ is a powerful business book aiming to answer the following 2 questions:
1. Can a good company become a great company?
2. How can a company achieve greatness? What does it take to achieve this status?
“Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.” – Jim Collins
Interestingly enough, only 11 companies from the Fortune 500 made the list of GREATNESS after a thorough research of 5 years conducted by a large team of researchers.
What were the 7 key drivers for businesses who went from ‘Good to Great…
1. Level 5 Leadership: Leaders like Lincoln and Socrates, self-effacing, quiet, reserved, humble but driven first and foremost to make the company great.
2. First Who, Than What: Get the right people on the bus and in the rights seats, the wrong people off the bus and then figure out where to drive.
3. Confront the Brutal Facts: Have the end in mind, maintain unwavering faith and confront the brutal facts of the current reality (the Stockdale Paradox – story of a former prisoner of war).
4. Hedgehog Concept: Develop a simple concept that reflects a deep understanding of the following 3 overlapping circles:
* What are you totally passionate about?
* What can you be the best in the world at?
* What drives your economic engine? (What generates money?)
5. Culture of Discipline: When you have a culture of discipline you don’t need hierarchy, bureaucracy and excessive controls.
6. Technology Accelerators: Technology is used to accelerate growth. It has to fit directly with the three circles within your Hedgehog Concept.
7. The Flywheel: Success doesn’t happen overnight. The process of small initiatives executed on a daily basis leads to breakthrough.
The 11 Fortune 500 Companies that made the GREATNESS list:
1. Abbott Laboratories
2. Circuit City Stores
3. Fannie Mae
4. Gillette Company
8. Philip Morris
9. Pitney Bowes
11. Wells Fargo
Why should you bother buying and reading this book?
Here are the main reasons why we recommend ‘Good To Great’ – our best book of the month March 2013:
- Understand the difference between GOOD and GREAT as this concept applies not only in business but also in other aspects of our lives.
- Learn to prioritize and create a so called ‘STOP’ list where you include all those things that have not given you the best results.
- Copy from great companies that have tested out several strategies and decided to focus on the ones with the highest ROI. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel…
- Learn the necessary insights and design your own Hedgehog Concept by including your core values.
- Understand why you need to get rid of the ‘wrong’ people in your team.
Looking forward to your honest opinion on Jim Collins’ Good To Great. What title do you suggest we review in our best book of the month series?