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

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

Format:  Hardcover,

300 pages

Publisher: Harpercollins

Publish Date: Oct 2001

ISBN-13: 9780066620992

ISBN-10: 0066620996

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Book Information

The following content was provided by the publisher.

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 verybeginning.

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. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

"Some of the key concepts discerned in the study," comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people."

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Specifications

Publisher: Harpercollins
Publish Date: Oct 2001
ISBN-13: 9780066620992
ISBN-10: 0066620996
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 300
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 1.1
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.5 x 9.5 x 1.0

About the author

Biography of Collins, Jim

Jim Collins holds B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Stanford University. A visiting professor of business administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business, he is a management consultant. He has written several articles for the Harvard Business Review, Inc., Fortune magazine, California Management Review and Stanford Magazine. He is the co-author of Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies; Managing the Small to Mid-Sized Firm: Readings, Cases and Instructor's Manual; Beyond Entrepreneurship; and Great by Choice. He has also worked with Hewlett Packard and McKinsey & Co.

Chapter outline

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Prefacep. xiii
Good Is the Enemy of Greatp. 1
Level 5 Leadershipp. 17
First Who ... Then Whatp. 41
Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)p. 65
The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles)p. 90
A Culture of Disciplinep. 120
Technology Acceleratorsp. 144
The Flywheel and the Doom Loopp. 164
From Good to Great to Built to Lastp. 188
Epilogue: Frequently Asked Questionsp. 211
Research Appendicesp. 219
Notesp. 261
Indexp. 287

Reviews

Review by Library Journal (2006-04-01)

Collins follows his successful Built To Last (coauthor, with Jerry Porras), which showed how companies triumph over time, with this extensive analysis of how good, mediocre, and even bad companies can achieve enduring greatness. Collins led a research team of 21 members who analyzed data on 1,435 companies, looking for the few that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. The 11 featured businesses, which earned the "good-to-great" label, outperformed the market by a multiple of at least three over a 15-year period and were able to sustain their success for at least 15 years.

They include Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Kimberly Clark, Phillip Morris, and Wells Fargo. The author reveals common traits that distinguish these companies from comparison firms that failed to reach a similar level of success. Collins's deeply earnest narration is heightened by his obvious zeal for the material, further enhancing this solid content that will likely have more staying power than Tom Peters's In Search of Excellence. Highly recommended for larger public libraries and university libraries supporting a business curriculum.

-Dale Farris, Groves, TX

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book description

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 verybeginning.

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. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards

Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons

The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings

The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Customer Product Reviews

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Rated 5 out of 5★ by I am enjoying the ease in which the book reads, yet it still offers great insights 02/09/2011
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