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 very beginning. But what about companies that are not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness? Are there those that convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? If so, what are the distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?Over five years, Jim Collins and his research team have analyzed the histories of 28 companies, discovering why some companies make the leap and others don't. The findings include:Level 5 Leadership: A surprising style, required for greatness.The Hedgehog Concept: Finding your three circles, to transcend the curse of competence.A Culture of Discipline: The alchemy of great results.Technology Accelerators: How good-to-great companies think differently about technology.The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Why those who do frequent restructuring fail to make the leap.
While I initially took issue with the premise of what qualifies as a "great" company in the book I quickly found the incites applicable to nearly every business model that I liked. Nearly everything else about the book and the material are spot on in as much as there is a clear and decisive difference in those managers and executives that don't stick to "by the book" measurements and see the fluidity of the business they are in. Very glad I listened to it and even happier to have been driving co-workers crazy with all my outbursts of how great the book is.
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