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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Hardcover – Unabridged, October 16, 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 3,091 ratings
Book 1 of 6 in the Good to Great Series

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Frequently bought together

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't
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  • Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Good to Great)
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  • The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Five years ago, Jim Collins asked the question, "Can a good company become a great company and if so, how?" In Good to Great Collins, the author of Built to Last, concludes that it is possible, but finds there are no silver bullets. Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider. Like Built to Last, Good to Great is one of those books that managers and CEOs will be reading and rereading for years to come. --Harry C. Edwards

From Publishers Weekly

In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins's crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies' stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company's economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins's strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins's perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn't benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figure out how to change their B grade to an A on their own.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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4.0 out of 5 stars Solid work: veers off into slightly obscure metaphors
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M. Ahmed
5.0 out of 5 stars Charismatic CEO's led the good to great companies - Totally wrong perception!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blew my mind!
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Jonathan D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Prequel to the equally excellent 'Built to Last'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good to brilliant
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Paul Sloane
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic work for Leaders
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Andy Robins
5.0 out of 5 stars Why some readers make the leap and others don't
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1.0 out of 5 stars Good to Great to Bad
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4.0 out of 5 stars American thinking
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to me for work
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