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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Hardcover – Unabridged, October 16, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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The companies this book glorifies...have virtually all FAILED spectacularly following their business models since publication.
Fannie Mae is praised constantly for gambling in the capital markets with Wallstreet...how did that work out in 2008?!
Walgreens gained market share as a "hedgehog"...then became a bloated celebrity-obsessed Leftist corporation and enabled THERANOS!
Wells Fargo abandoned the safe banking model after deregulation... "hedgehog"...then started robbing their customers, and engaging in massive fraud...then the executive class threw local managers under the bus and escaped with their parachutes..
Circuit city focused on quality delivery experience..."hedgehog"...then they sat there and rotted away and were obliterated by the internet.
The list goes on. Don't buy this book.
Bezos, of Amazon, was a hedge fund manager in the late 1980's. How did he become some a relevant whole seller with a revolutionary way of delivery in the late 90's. This is the clear message that I got from Good To Great. You must be willing to boldly assault the future and at the same time question if this is the right way to go. That way your organizations will not become complacent and our managerial core will be a group of activists and futurists. That's how you keep going from Great To Even Greater. Good To Great is fine. But now you must take the next step.
Top international reviews
This book is very concise and full of interesting case studies. It was one of the few occasions when I wished the book could have been a bit longer.
Well researched, well written, well done!
Here are some of the learnings I will be taking away from this book:
• All Good to great (“GTG”) companies had a Level 5 leader
• Level 5 leaders consistently exhibit humility, modesty and an ability to reign in their ego.
• Many companies are drawn towards outgoing egocentric leaders and this is often the wrong choice.
• Level 5 leaders are more interested in something larger and more lasting than their own career
• GTG leaders concentrate on hiring the right people before deciding on strategy
• Don’t compromise when hiring. If you’re not confident then keep looking
• When someone needs to leave the company act quickly
• Give your best people the best opportunities and not your biggest problems
• GTG management teams have rigorous debates and aren’t afraid to share their views. But when a decision is made they act as one
• GTG companies ensure information flows give management the right facts to manage the business effectively
• GTG companies foster a culture where employee’s views are heard and acted upon
• GTG companies review failures without negative consequences for the people involved
• Figuring out how to motivate people is a waste of time. If you hire the right people they will motivate themselves.
• Good to great companies did one thing exceptionally well and stuck to it (the hedgehog process)
• GTG companies developed their strategy from a deep understanding of what they could be world class at. This was not a goal or intention but an understanding of reality
• GTG companies typically focussed on one KPI e.g. profit per customer
• GTG companies were incredibly disciplined and did not waste time and money on unrelated activities and acquisitions
• GTG companies used technology as an accelerator of, not creator of, momentum
• Careful consideration should be given to whether a given technology fits with your hedgehog concept
• GTG companies often looked like an overnight success from the outside but in reality they were long in the making and a result of persistent action over a long period of time.
• Preserve core values and purpose while strategies and practices endlessly adapt with the changing world
A stunningly enlightening study of winners and losers
As Exec Chairman of a pan-European SME, the easy read of this book has refuelled my determination to (try and) get it right. Unfortunately, bad companies managed by Rambo like individuals remain the norm on this side of the pond... Still very refreshing read about what works and what doesn't...
It was also an easy listen (I had it on CD, listened to much of it 3 hours straight on a long car journey and wished I had a few more miles to go)
However I gave it four stars rather than five because it tended to veer off into excessive use of analogies/metaphors (three circles, hedgehog concepts and the rest) which for me made it harder to get at the detail, and more difficult to judge the strength of the evidence, than an unvarnished description of what they found.
Definitely, definitely read it if you are involved with management; and if you don't have time to read it all, read the first three chapters
The final selection consists of 11 good to great companies (Selected from 1435 Fortune 500 companies) and 17 comparison companies that could not qualify. The primary selection process consisted of baselining the 'good to great' companies at three times the market for fifteen years including 15 years of good performance (1.25 time the general stock market) preceding the transition while the company had to be an established, on going company, not a startup.
Pretty strict criteria that has led to some eye opening findings. Most of the findings can be browsed by reading the reviews on the Amazon .co.uk and .com sites.
A MUST READ BOOK for all aspiring and current leaders.
Inspired me to push that bit harder and use more guile in my business instead of just plain hard work. Then the guile helped turn the hard work into results.
Glad I read it.
Really explains the different characteristics of great companies VS normal 'good' companies and reveals ideas that can be applied not only in business but in ones personal life as well.