Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't by Jim CollinsGood To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't by Jim Collinssticker-burst

Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't

byJim Collins

Hardcover | October 16, 2001

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The Challenge
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.

But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?

The Study
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?

The Standards
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.

The Comparisons
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?

Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.

The Findings
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:

  • Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
  • The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
  • A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
  • The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”

Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?

Heather's Review

This is an amazing look at how even businesses that started out "so-so" can make the jump to being a truly excellent operation. No manager can afford to ignore the sometimes-shocking findings of this remarkable book.

see all heather's picks
Jim Collins is author or coauthor of six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide, including the bestsellersGood to Great,Built to Last, andHow the Mighty Fall. Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Awar...
Title:Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don'tFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 1.05 inPublished:October 16, 2001Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0066620996

ISBN - 13:9780066620992

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great only if your company and the people ACTUALLY follows it I read this as my husband got a copy from his boss at work. Great book with the right concepts. The biggest laugh is in no way did his boss or any of the leaders at his company have and of the skills, values or attributes described in the book but yet they preached the "good to great" concept as if that made their business ( and themselves ) great.
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from average It's similar to other business management books, was hoping to get more as the high rating out there for the book
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Expect more I expected more. It was an easy read, however didn't take too much from it that I applied. Many people talked up this read in the office, for myself, I expected much more.
Date published: 2018-04-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! Got this book as a present from my boss. A great read and also very thought provoking.
Date published: 2018-02-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Hum It was not what I expected.
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Classic Classic primer on management
Date published: 2017-12-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful I found this book to be extremely insightful. Collins provides detailed anecdotes, examples from studies, and excerpts from interviews he has conducted to show what sets successful business apart.
Date published: 2017-11-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great read Enjoyed the commentary on successful businesses.
Date published: 2017-10-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok A great novel with clever, easy to follow writing with funny and witty characters. Definitely a must read!
Date published: 2017-09-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great Such a simple yet inspirational little book...
Date published: 2017-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Inspiring Good read, interesting topic.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this book! This book was super insightful and full of wise knowledge.
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book! Good read, I got through this book via audio, and it turned my drives into educational times.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! This book was recommended to us by our manager for our Business Book Club. It was such an inspiring read and was really insightful and motivating!
Date published: 2017-07-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this! It was such a great book to read, really inspiring!
Date published: 2017-06-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Insightful Bought this book for my kid when he was interesting in starting his business. I ended up reading it before he did. But I'm glad we both did. A very interesting read and very insightful.
Date published: 2017-03-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good good to read to learn lots of thinks
Date published: 2017-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great! read This book has some very good principals to work towards for any business operator.
Date published: 2017-02-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Get rich quick! mo money mo money mo money!
Date published: 2017-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read If you're considering this read, just stop and read it. Well worthwhile.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Worth owning and well researched I can see why this is considered a classic in business literature. I found myself taking notes and earmarking points throughout. Full of MBA language and jargon, which is the only knock against.
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read Loved this book and learnt a lot
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Clarity leads to success Well led companies that act with integrity, with the right people on the right seat is what you must have to end up with great results. I liked that book and learned a lot, a must read.
Date published: 2015-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very clever easy to read book Enjoyed every chapter of this book. Some learnings are obvious while another made me think - and this is key objective of such books!
Date published: 2014-07-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Lessons for airline management! Very interesting read about what makes a company great. Why is it that so many airlines fail to be even good let alone great?
Date published: 2013-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous book! I learnt a lot and it changed the way I view running organizations. It was very enjoyable and an eye-opener. Highly recommended for all who are into business and management.
Date published: 2013-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing principles I found Jim's book to be a shot of reality of what it takes to succeed as a company in a world caught up in the quick fix. As an entrepreneur, I have seen first hand that the principles Jim outlines as being as being critical to an organization's success. It was great to read a book that focused on building strong fundamentals and sticking to the basics rather than always looking for solutions through tactics. Read this book, you’ll be a better business book for it.
Date published: 2012-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must read for business I think this is one of the best foundational books on business available. It lays a clear and simple foundation for building a solid strategy and a framework for looking at successful differentiation and business strategy in general. I liked this book much more than "Built to Last" because the advice and learning seem to be immediately applicable to my current situation.
Date published: 2010-04-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every business leaders should read this I first read Collin's research on company leadership back in the late 90s and appreciated the rigourous details. This book is built on the research and theory but is written in accessible language. The lessons seem simple but are actually very hard to do in a business. Big Hairy Audacious Goals sounds simple but in fact are frightening to set because it might be embarrassing not to achieve them. This book helps you take those steps in the right direction.
Date published: 2009-10-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful & powerful lessons This is a must read for anyone interested in those small but very significant leadership differences that allow companies to excel…for a very long time. Some truisms that resonated with me… ”leadership is equally about creating a climate where truth is heard and the brutal facts confronted”, “when in doubt, don’t hire”, “put your best people on your biggest opportunities, not your biggest problems” and my last point …”debate vigorously in search of the best answers, but unify behind decisions regardless of parochial interests”. Jim Collins does an excellent job in distilling and explaining. Read this book and then keep it nearby.
Date published: 2009-05-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A must read This is a must read for all CEO and Senior Managers. The monograph is also a must.
Date published: 2009-05-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good to Great Well originally when I first started ready it... I didn't think I was able to finish it because although I loved the message, the style of writing was really annoying... very repetetive and long. BUT if you can stand it up to page 50ish, it changes and gets into it and very interesting.... the points are so crucial to remember that you'll want paperclips to mark out pages. Big bonus is that each chapter has an end summary. Awesome book for anyone struggling figuring out if they're doing the right thing.
Date published: 2009-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from fun to read with great ideas Jim Collins, coauthor of Built to Last, and his research team have compiled one of the best written books on management. This book seeks to identify the factors that allow a company to transform itself from mediocre to greatness. Collins and his research team let facts, instead opinions, to determine the required elements to transform an organization. The book is organized into three parts, under one theme. The parts are 1) disciplined people, 2) disciplined thought, and 3) disciplined action. These three parts are wrapped around by the concept of the Flywheel. Read Jim Collin’s Good to Great and you will understand “Why some companies make the leap ... and others don’t.” a word on the rating: while the big ideas in this book are tremendously inspiring, I find much overlap with Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want. I believe that the emphasis on creating customer value and the compounding of knowledge will invariably force a company in the direction of going from good to great. However, many ideas in this book are complementary to Innovation: level 5 leaders, Stockdale paradox, hedgehog concept, and most importantly, the flywheel.
Date published: 2008-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Remarkable Book About How Businesses Can Transform This is an amazing look at how even businesses that started out "so-so" can make the jump to being a truly excellent operation. No manager can afford to ignore the sometimes-shocking findings of this remarkable book.
Date published: 2007-09-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Book! In the company that i work for, this book is "required reading" by all new employees! You gotta have a BHAG!
Date published: 2006-11-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The Hedgehog and other interesting concepts This book is very interesting, the information inside is based on years of research and debate among a team of researchers, giving the theories inside a lot more authenticity. The book delves into the hows and whys of the 11 good to great companies that were selected. Some of the terms however you wouldn't want to use in a meeting or boardroom unless every person there had read this book, otherwise they might think you're off your rocker! The best example is the "Hedgehog Concept", I won't explain, you read it and find out, it's actually pretty cool.
Date published: 2006-06-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good to Great is GREAT! Good to Great is one excellent book. Jim Collins methodically walks you through data which clearly shows that sustained success (be it big business or small or even the success of a high school cross-country running team)comes from having the right people, the right leader (who puts the company's interests above his/hers), and other factors sadly lacking in most Fortune 500 companies. Never mind the rah-rah self-congratulatory hype so pervasive in today's big business, says Jim Collins. Focus instead on running the business from the ground up, with the desire and will to be the best and taking small incremental steps to become the best What is bureaucracy a symptom of? Why did only 11 of the Fortune 500 make the cut as being Great companies? What makes GREAT companies great? Read on....this is one excellent book!
Date published: 2004-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Back to basics! The author and his team brought to our doorsteps the results of a tedious exam of companies that use the very basic's of successful business management. Put away that MBA, hide that new mantra you've been saving for the team! Get focussed, get passionate, deliver what you do best! Great book, inspiring for the small business person!
Date published: 2002-12-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good to Great is a Great Book Every once and a while a business book comes along that revolutionizes our thinking and becomes a classic. Good to Great is just such a book. The book starts with the provocative statement "Good is the enemy of great". Collins then develops objective criteria that differentiated the good from the great companies, and noted that there is a point at which the great companies started behaving remarkably differently from their good counterparts. The great companies attained extraordinary results, averaging cumulative stock returns 6.9 times the general market in the fifteen years following their transition from good to great. Collins then compares these extraordinary companies with other companies, which remained good but did not reach the transition from good to great. Amongst the factors that differentiated the great companies were level 5 leadership, hiring the right people and letting go of the wrong, confronting all of the facts -- especially the brutal ones, developing an
Date published: 2002-11-27

From Our Editors

One of the top ten business books of 2001.

Editorial Reviews

One of the top ten business books of 2001