#KEYIDEAS from „Good To Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t“ by Jim Collins

The key lessons learned and a summary of the book „Good to Great“ by Jim Collins. If you don’t strive for greatness and communicate a vision, you will not be able to achieve it as a company.

  • Jim Collins and his team studied companies, which were able to make a transition from good to great (based on their performance in the stock market
  • Good to great companies have their own „hedgehog“ strategy to survive by asking these questions:
    1. At which discipline can we be the best in the world?
    2. What are we passionate about?
    3. What is the key economic indicator to concentrate on?
      • Every major decision was aligned to the answers of those three questions
      • Sum up: focus on your niche and strengths in order to outperform your competition
  • The hedgehog strategy was more about incremental improvements than announced management projects
    • Quick wins was enough to keep going
  • Great companies use technology as an accelerator to reach a goal, the implementation of a technology never is the goal
  • Level 5 leaders are a major pillar for the transformation of companies from good to great
    • Characteristics: excellent individuals, leaders, team members, but intrinsically have a motivation to improve the company, humble, modest ego, share the credit, take responsibility
  • Have the right people in the company
    • Right character trades over merely professional skills (you can train the right motivated employees)
    • Don’t delay to work with the wrong people (e.g. go separate ways, find a more suitable position), otherwise the organization gets frustrated
  • Confront the key problems and the underlying facts
    • Head for the biggest problems first (e.g. by using the 80/20 formula)
  • Leaders need to create an environment of open communication
    • There has to be trust in order to get information about the true key problems of each department
    • Blaming bad figures might only result in falsified statistics
  • A culture of strict discipline is necessary to keep up greatness
    • Employees need a similar mindset and work mentality – in order to go the extra mile

Sum up: Good companies also have great leaders and great employees. In order to achieve greatness in a company those individuals need to be allowed to tackle the true underlying problems based on facts. Additionally the key „hedgehog“ questions need to be clear to everyone in order to triple down on the company’s strengths and positioning.
My thoughts: In my opinion the leaders of each organizations set the bar for the performance in their department or team. The leaders need to act as a role model and provide a vision and goals. If a future target state is not defined the employees are not able to tell which measures will actually lead the company from good to great.


Link to the whole book on Amazon

For #KEYIDEAS from other books visit my blog overview.

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