The journey from good to great
This book seemed very interesting after I had read the synopsis of the book. I have always been interested to know how businesses and corporations have risen to great success. The Jim Collins’ Good to Great discusses the phases that a company has required to transform from a good one to a great one.
You could even say, that the book Good to Great is a research paper. In brief, Jim Collins goes through the results that he and his team discovered during their research on good companies that became great companies. They aimed to research companies that had for 15 years either outperformed or failed on the stock market. They included eleven companies in their research, including companies like Wells Fargo and Gillette. The goal of their research was not only to find out what the “great” companies had alike, but to also find out the differences that the good and great companies had.
One of the key findings that Jim Collins mentioned was the importance of the management of the company. He claimed, that one of the most influencing factor in whether a company rose from a good company to a great company had something to do with the leadership of the company. He describes the leaders that had boosted a company from good to great as “Level 5 Leaders”. These leaders demonstrate a complex mix of personal humility and professional will. Basically, they will do anything for the company. Rather than seeking for personal achievements and accomplishments, they will seek for what is best for the company.
Another equally important thing on the journey from good-to-great that Jim Collins claims in the book is the importance of getting the right people on the team. This is something that the good-to-great leaders managed to do, they were able to get the right people “on the bus”. Even though it is really important to find the right people, according to Collins it is even more important to find the right people before there is a “what” -question. In other words, what this means is that before a company has agreed on a vision, strategy, organizational structure, tactics, etc. they should first decide who are the right people that will pursue these what questions.
In my mind, these factors that Collins discusses in the book can be more useful for an existing “medium sized” company. Whereas for a start-up, I think some of the things he mentions are not as relevant (for our cooperative) as for example the things Eric Ries mentioned in the Lean Startup. Of course, you have to remember that these books have totally different perspectives on businesses and even different objectives. But I have to say, the facts that Collins had discovered in his research seem valid. The importance and intention of leadership was very interesting and is something that I think every leader should take into consideration. All in all, this book had many examples on companies and leaders that had managed to elevate a company from good to great. I really enjoyed this book.