Good to Great by James C. Collins is a business-oriented text that seeks to provide explanations as to why some companies go from good to great. The book is a success as millions of printed copies have been sold. It was published in 2001 mid-October.
A Flick Through of the Plot
James appealed to more than the business world with Good to Great. The concepts he has in his books apply to organizations as well as individual lives. The term ‘great’ in his book has been used to refer to the financial performance of companies.
Collins lists 11 companies that started level in the market and grew to achieve greatness over 15 years. In Chapter One, he explains his criteria for selecting the companies. He mentions, Wells Fargo, Gillette, Circuit City, Walgreens, Fannie Mae. However, some of the factors such as the mergers and technology, are not considered to be significant in aiding the growth from Good to Great. The major factors that determine the growth include Disciplined thought, disciplined action, and disciplined people.
In chapter two, he discusses leadership using a hierarchy that has five levels, with level 5 being the highest. He believes that level 5 leaders are determined, humble, and invested in their companies personally. They put great importance to the company’s future over any gains personally. Chapter 3 focuses on the recruitment sector, whereby hiring the right people for the job greatly determines the success of a company.
Chapter four involves the flexibility of companies and their ability to detect changes in the market and adapt accordingly. He presents four steps. First is focusing on the questions, not the answers. The second involves the use of dialogue over intimidation. The third one is examining and understanding company situations. The fourth one is flagging any areas that should not be ignored.
In the following chapter, he reiterates that importance of simplicity whereby doing a single thing well is better than combining several things that might not all be successful. Chapter six discussed discipline and how it does not mean an oppressive system of authority.
Collin gives warning in the seventh chapter about the use of technology to solve all problems faced by a company. He explains that adopting technology should involve proper analysis of how it will contribute to progress. In the last chapter, he explains that there are values that companies need to uphold to ensure long term success. All members have to be dedicated to upholding such values.