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Customer Review

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting research and a 'How to' guide, 5 Jan. 2003
This review is from: Good To Great (Hardcover)
I know I'm enjoying a business book when it provokes a reaction in me along the lines of "I've always sort of known that - and now I've got the evidence to prove it." This book did that for me all the way through.
The evidence is Collins' research, conducted over five years and focusing on eleven companies that met his team's criteria for 'Good to Great' ie: they went from average performance to outperforming the market and sustaining it for 15 years.
The research, and the book, shows a model that these eleven companies adhered to (although they were unaware of it at the time) that should, in theory, be possible to replicate in any other organisation to achieve greatness.
That is the appeal: the possibility that following this model, validated by the research, WILL lead to great performance. It's an extremely attractive prospect and one that my organisation has already taken steps to achieve.
Very rarely does a business book spark such an immediate and enthusiastic reaction throughout the team I am part of, but this book did. So far, much of Collins' language has become part of our vocabulary:
"First Who...Then What": the need to 'get the right people on the bus' before deciding strategy.
"Confront the Brutal Facts": get really clear on the current state of the organisation, being authentic with each other and 'telling it like it is'.
"The Flywheel": recognising that constant, small actions will build momentum for the transformation from Good to Great.
It all sounds achievable, the challenge is maintaining another of Collins' key requirements: Disciplined Action. Can we keep it up? For example, Collins' research showed that it took these eleven organisations an average of four years to *really* discover the uniqueness in their product/service offering and capitalise on it.
That said, they didn't know at the time they were transforming themselves from Good to Great, and didn't have Collins' roadmap to help them on their way - so we're hoping we can discover our uniqueness a little quicker.
This is a fascinating piece of research and a practical tool for improving organisational performance.
If you're concerned about reading this book and discovering what you need to do in your organisation, but then feel unable to implement it, I would recommend 'The Knowing-Doing Gap' by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. It's got some great ideas for overcoming this problem.
'Good to Great' acted as inspiration for us in discovering how we can achieve breakthrough levels of performance. I hope it does for you too.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Nov 2014 13:35:03 GMT
It's worth noting that confirmation bias is exactly when something appears to back up your beliefs, so the statement "I've always sort of known that - and now I've got the evidence to prove it." rings huge alarm bells for me.

The research might have modeled what was going on in the book, but this is a correlational relationship. There may have been other factors which influenced success, or even other oganizations with the same model which failed and were ignored in the text.

If your goal is to really improve your business, then it's important to be aware of these biases and problems in research, so that you are following accurate models, and not simply the model which is closest to what you believe.
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