Good to Great (Jim Collins)

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Other Don’t:  Jim Collins

  1. Good is the enemy of great
    1. Complacency creeps in
  2. Good to great transitions do not happen via the following:
    1. Larger than life, celebrity CEO arriving to save the day
    2. Technology change
    3. Mergers and acquisitions
  3. Level V Leadership Required
    1. Level I: Highly Capable Individual
      1. Makes productive contributions through talent, knowledge, skills and good work habits
    2. Level II: Contributing Team Member
      1. Contributes individual capabilities to the achievements of group objectives
    3. Level III: Competent Manager
      1. Organize people and resources toward the effective pursuit of pre-determined objectives
    4. Level IV: Effective Leader
      1. Catalyzes commitment to and vigorous pursuit of a clear and compelling vision, stimulating higher performance standards
    5. Level V: Level V Executive
      1. Builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will
        1. Ambitious first and foremost for the institution not themselves
        2. Set up their successors for success
        3. Compelling modesty
        4. Unwavering resolve to do what must be done
        5. Blame themselves for failure; congratulate the team or good luck on success
  4. First Who… Then What
    1. First get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus – build a superior executive team
    2. Need to be rigorous in people decisions
    3. Make decisions based on ability and corporate fit / culture
    4. People are not your Number One Asset; the right people are your Number One Asset
    5. Put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems
      1. Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)
  5. Have the truth be heard
    1. Lead with questions, not answers
    2. Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion
    3. Conduct autopsies without blame
    4. Build “red flag” mechanism that turn information into information that cannot be ignored
  6. Unwavering faith amid the brutal facts
    1. Stockdale Paradox
      1. Optimists lose: “We’re going out to be out by Christmas.”
      2. The realists: “I know that we will get out, I just do not know when.”
    2. Be a hedgehog (focused) rather than a fox (scattered, diffused and inconsistent)
      1. What can you be the best in the world at?
      2. What drives your economic engine?
      3. What are you deeply passionate about?
      4. At the intersection of these three circles is where you should focus your efforts
  7. A culture of discipline: disciplined people, disciplined thought, disciplined action
    1. Build a culture around the idea of freedom and responsibility within a framework
    2. Fill that culture with self-disciplined people who are willing to go to extreme lengths to fulfill their responsibilities
    3. Don’t confuse a culture of discipline with a tyranny
  8. Stay focused on what you are doing; create a “stop doing” list and unplug extraneous activities
    1. Success comes not from what you add to the situation, rather by what you take away
  9. Budgeting is a discipline to decide which arenas should be fully funded and which should not funded at all
  10. Technology is an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it
    1. Technology does not solve the problem or create greatness in itself, but the proper use of technology is key
    2. Invest in technology to become excellent not for fear of being left behind
  11. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop
    1. Transitions look different from the outside than from the inside
      1. From the outside, they are dramatic, almost revolutionary breakthroughs
      2. From the inside, they feel like an organic development process
    2. With the flywheel, you build momentum and many problems fade away: commitment and alignment, motivation, etc.
      1. Follow a pattern of build-up leading to breakthrough
      2. Let results do most of the talking
      3. Maintain consistency over time
        1. Each generation builds on the work of the previous generation
        2. The flywheel continues to build momentum
  12. Good to Great to Built to Last
    1. Established company or start-up + Good to Great Concepts = Sustained Great Results + Built to Last Concepts = Enduring Great Company.
  13. Final Thoughts
    1. Do not add these thoughts and ideas to what we are already doing rather use them to organize your work around what is essential and ignore or stop doing everything else
    2. If so, your lives are simpler and your results are vastly improved

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About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Business Acumen, Improve / Turnaround. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Good to Great (Jim Collins)

  1. Pingback: ‘Tis a Gift to Be Simple | Helping Leaders Win

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