Sunday, December 21, 2008

Remarks on Good to Great

I read the classic Good to Great by Jim Collins (2001). Collins and his team looked for the common thread among 11 companies that generated average returns for 15 years or more, then took off and produced great results for 15 years. Good to great companies find the sweet spot along three dimensions:
  • They know what they can be best at
  • They are passionate about what they do
  • They understand where their profits come from and they measure the right thing
Finding the sweet spot is an iterative process. So, rather than sitting down in an offsite one week and hammering out a strategy, their process is one of ongoing discussion. In fact, getting the right people precedes getting the right strategy - once you get the right people the rest will fall into place. None of the companies that went from good to great had a "star quality" CEO. Instead, the leaders of these companies were driven but humble, and they tended to take little credit for themselves when things went well.

Great book. I'll read this again in a few years for more inspiration.

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