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Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't Hardcover – Oct 4 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Business; 1 edition (Oct. 4 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066620996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066620992
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (314 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Good is the enemy of great. Read the first page
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Hupalo on May 16 2002
Format: Hardcover
At 210 pages, "Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap and Others Don't" reads very quickly (The last section of "Good To Great" consists of many notes and appendices). The core of the book emphasizes what Collins refers to as a 'hedgehog' strategy that is necessary to achieve greatness. I'm not sure why a 'hedgehog' is necessary to explain such a simple strategy. But, I guess we can live with the rodent analogy.
Collins says great companies are like hedgehogs in that they stick to what they know and can do well. Collins says when a fox attacks a hedgehog the hedgehog curls into a prickly ball and the attacking fox must leave it alone. Then, the fox runs around and tries another point of attack and never learns. The hedgehogs only needs to do one thing that works well and consistently.
In short, after much research and writing, Collins finds the key to business success is functioning within the intersection of three circles.
The first circle represents an endeavor at which your company has the potential to be the best in the world. The second circle represents what your company can feel passionate about. The third circle represents a measure of profitability that can drive your economic success. You must choose to do something that's profitable and know how to focus upon that profitability.
To find the circles, Collins makes the excellent point that you must begin with the right people. Collins emphasizes that the people must come before you decide exactly how your company will achieve success.
We learn that in great companies there is often heated debate about what's best for the company. The culture of great companies is open in the sense that the truth will be heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By @kiltedbroker on Nov. 23 2011
Format: Hardcover
Saved from over a year ago - reread my blog post - here were my initial thoughts on Good to Great - its a Game Changer for sure -

So I finished the book Good to Great on the weekend and I have been working through some of the ideas all week' pretty solid material in there. I would strongly recommend anyone in business to check it out.

Here are my highlights from the book, (kinda like a grade 5 book report) these are the main points that stuck out to me as it pertains to my business.

~ Business is like a bus, you have to bring the right people on the bus, that also means getting the wrong people off the bus. Once you have the right on and the wrong off, at that point you can figure out where people will sit. Hire the best possible people regardless of their skill sets, skills can be taught but quality character is tough to find.

~ You need to be doing something you are passionate about

~ You need to be doing something that you can be the best in the world at

~ You need to build a culture of discipline. This means having a to do list and a to dont list.

~ Once you have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish, pursue it relentlessly, make decisions according to what will get you there' and keep going. Great opportunities will present themselves, but if they don't line up with where you are going, they will kill the momentum of your forward direction.

~ What you don't do is just as important as what you do

So that is what I think anyway' pretty simple, but what a great book' it is sitting in my head like it weighs 400 lbs.
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41 of 52 people found the following review helpful By ethan100 on March 14 2004
Format: Hardcover
Imagine 1,024 people participating in a coin-flipping exercise.
Those who flip heads "win," those who flip tails are eliminated.
Now let's assume that the coin-flipping adheres to the norm--that is, a flip yields heads half the time, and tails half the time. And let's do the flip-and-elimination exercise 10 times.
At the end, out of 1024 competitors, you should have one winner who's flipped 10 consecutive heads.
Is the winner great at flipping heads? No. Is the winner lucky? No. Is the winner inevitable? YES.
And that's the problem with Jim Collins' dunderheaded exercise--he's wowed by the winning coin flipper's success. He can't wait to interview the flipping champion, pore over the data to recreate the sheer drama/moments of truth surrounding each individual flip, find the subtle nuances beneath the flipper's consistent performance, and draw universally applicable lessons from the coin flipper's astounding success. I mean, how can anyone argue with TEN CONSECUTIVE flips of heads, right?
Um, actually everyone should argue with it, Jimmy.
Just like Tom Peters did fifteen years before with In Search of Excellence, Collins sanctifies his business winners, completely overlooking the fact that 1) plenty of business losers followed IDENTICAL strategies and still lost and 2) if you have any criteria for excellence that generates more than zero companies pulled from a universe of more than zero companies, then one or more companies MUST, by definition, make the cut, which leads us to 3) so what?--without a statistically rigorous analysis, there's a fairly serious possibility that a number of companies are making the cut RANDOMLY.
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