Good to great summarises the findings from extensive research into what makes certain high performing companies outperform their peers. The findings are both interesting and capable of being replicated by any company that wishes to improve performance.
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
I have worked in the private sector for a major multinational organisation for a number of years and am a great fan of "Good to Great". I was seconded into the development sector for a while and repeatedly heard how different the private and social sectors were and yet how anxious they were to become more business minded. My perspective was that the social sector is not as different as people think it is and that not every process in business is appropriate to be transfered. When I came across the Monograph it brought simple clarity to my unexpressed thoughts. So if you are in the Social sector and striving to set Missions, Visions and Goals, have a read of the Monograph. You might just decide you want to read the original Good to Great too!
I learned a lot from my secondment and now work across both sectors.