Save Big On Open-Box & Preowned: Buy "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap......” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 62% off the $29.99 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Preowned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't Hardcover – Unabridged, October 16, 2001
|New from||Used from|
Top 20 lists in Books
View the top 20 best sellers of all time, the most reviewed books of all time and some of our editors' favorite picks. Learn more
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
More About the Author
Having invested a quarter century of research into the topic, he has authored or co-authored six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide. They include: GOOD TO GREAT, the #1 bestseller, which examines why some companies and leaders make the leap to superior results, along with its companion work GOOD TO GREAT AND THE SOCIAL SECTORS; the enduring classic BUILT TO LAST, which explores how some leaders build companies that remain visionary for generations; HOW THE MIGHTY FALL, which delves into how once-great companies can self-destruct; and most recently, GREAT BY CHOICE, which is about thriving in chaos - why some do, and others don't - and the leadership behaviors needed in a world beset by turbulence, disruption, uncertainty, and dramatic change.
Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research and engages in Socratic dialogue with CEOs and senior leadership teams. In addition to his work in the business sector, Jim has passion for learning and teaching in the social sectors, including education, healthcare, government, faith-based organizations, social ventures, and cause-driven non-profits. In 2012 and 2013, he had the honor to serve a two-year appointment as the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Jim holds a bachelor's degree in mathematical sciences and an MBA from Stanford University, and honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado and the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management at Claremont Graduate University.
He is an avid rock climber, with one-day ascents of the north face of Half Dome and the 3,000 foot south face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley.
Top Customer Reviews
Jim Collins and his team have done an enormous amount of interesting work to determine whether a good company can be come a great company, and how. The answer to the former question is "yes," assuming that the 11 of 1435 Fortune 500 companies did not make it there by accident. The answer to the latter is less clear. The study group identified a number of characteristics that their 11 companies had in common, which were much less frequently present in comparison companies. However, the study inexplicably fails to look at these same characteristics to see how often they succeed in the general population of companies. If these characteristics work 100 percent of the time, you really have something. If they work 5 percent of the time, then not too much is proven.
How were the 11 study companies selected? The criteria take pages to explain in an appendix. Let me simplify by saying that their stock price growth had to be in a range from somewhat lower than to not much higher than the market averages for 15 years. Then, in the next 15 years the stocks had to soar versus the market averages and comparison companies while remaining independent. That's hard to do. The selected companies are Abbott Laboratories, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreen, and Wells Fargo.
As to the "how," attention was focused on what happened before and during the transition from average performance to high performance.Read more ›
Which is one metric. It may be instructive to note that Gillette, one of the Great firms, is trading at the same stock price as it was in 1995, and went through a pretty lame patch of 4-5 years just recently until it was saved by a doyen CEO. Wells Fargo, despite its Norwest acquisition still remains no.5 in its category.
We are offered the following insights about most effective leaders:
- Best leaders are not high profile folk but subdued, humble yet focused people who get results. Sure, but same could also be said of the oppposite personality. Examples of vivacious/outspoken yet successful CEOs abound: Lee Iacocca, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, Jack Welch etc.
- Great leaders are supposed to believe in teamwork (Nokia's boss, Jorma Ollila, and his preachings of putting teamwork before individual effort are cited). Excuse me if this hackneyed mantra fails to tickle my fancies.
Apart from the above insightful analysis, we are taken through a whole text of redundant spin on how companies need to focus on their "key profitability ratio" and hone it down to succeed. Advice of this nature that asks companies to focus sounds quite ordinary and unimaginative, so a parable from Aesop's Fables is thrown in -- the "HedgeHog versus Fox" -- a hedgehog knows ONE thing well and excels at it, while a fox runs around seeking many targets but never learns.Read more ›
Collins advocates the Hedgehog Concept - a combination of discovering what you can be best in the world at (Optimal Thinking), what you are passionate about, and what drives your economic engine. Collins states that sustained disciplined action is primarily achieved by "fanatical adherence to the Hedgehog Concept and the willingness to shun opportunities that fall outside the three circles." So my question is: How do you identify the best? I recommend Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self by Dr. Rosalene Glickman as an adjunct to this powerful book to provide the mental resource to identify the best, optimize emotional and financial intelligence and create a corporate culture of optimization. From Good to Greatest to Best!"
I've got several problems with this book, the biggest of which stem from fundamentally viewpoints on how to do research. Collin's brand of research is not my kind. It's not systematic, it's not replicable, it's not generalizable, it's not systematic, it's not free of bias, it's not model driven, and it's not collaborative. It's not, in short, scientific in any way. That's not to say that other methods of inquiry are without merit --the Harvard Business Review makes pretty darn good use of case studies, for example-- but way too often Collins's great truths seemed like square pegs crammed into round holes, because a round hole is what he wants. For example, there's no reported search for information that disconfirms his hypotheses. Are there other companies that don't make use of a Culture of Discipline (Chapter 6, natch) but yet are still great according to Collins's definition?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is largely fantasy. A nice story but without merit. The book studies companies only in stable industries, with less fierce competition than more relevant companies in... Read morePublished 2 days ago by TrailMix
My favorite part of this book was all the real world examples of how and why certain businesses succeed where others don't.Published 3 days ago by Greg
One if not the best management and leadership books on the face of the planet. Follow it and combine it with…
- Collins (Great by Choice, From good to great)
- Gallup... Read more
This is a phenomenal book with practical advice you can implement right away without a lot of training or bureaucracy. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Jeff Flogel