Review: Good to Great by Jim Collins


Good to Great by Jim CollinsThe book this week was “Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t” by Jim Collins. This book has been sitting on the shelves for quite some time and finally I managed to pick it up. I picked it up on an online recommendation, I had never read Jim Collins before, so didn’t know what to expect from this book.

The book deals with the reasons why some companies achieve greatness and others don’t. And Boy! was it good?

This book is an excellent read and I haven’t read a good business book like this for sometime.  The author apparently wrote a book called Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials) and explains that this book is a prequel to the first book.

The author deals with the reasons how some good companies achieve greatness and continue to do so for a long period of time. And this long period is picked up as 15 years.  On the other hand some equally good companies fail to become great companies.

The author and his team did extensive research of close to 1000 Fortune 500 companies and selected 11 such companies. According to them all these companies exhibit some similar features, which are essential to achieve greatness and they are:

  1. Level 5 Leadership
  2. First Who….. then What
  3. Confront Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)
  4. Hedgehog Concept
  5. A Culture of Discipline
  6. Technology Accelerators
  7. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop

Now each of these points are a story in themselves and author does an excellent job in citing stories of real companies who followed these points and achieved greatness.

What I liked most is that even though the extensive research took almost 5 years for author and his team yet the book is to the target and very straightforward, without any fluff. It’s an entirely new perspective and will challenge the conventional thinking for sure. Some people might not be comfortable or even agree with what is written but then what Jim Collins has written is what he found through his research and he is not disseminating some “Gyaan” of his own.

The points he talks about not only applies to Business but in many other areas of life as he explains with a couple of examples in the end of the book.

I highly recommend Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t for everyone whatever your position is CEO or Entrepreneur or a Secondary School Teacher or just a student.

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