Jim Collins sets out to answer the question, "Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how?"
This book is the result of a five year study by Collins and his team. It is a very interesting read, without difficult language, certainly not like many of the academic texts that I have read in the past.
Collins discovers that it is possible to take a company from Good to Great with hard work and following certain rules or guidelines. There are no short-cuts or easy options. Their quest involves an initial set of 1,435 companies, finally settling on 11 that all make the grade over a 15 year period - so shows longevity as well.
The book details common traits that often go against many of the conventional notions of corporate success. For example - going from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO (this is often detrimental), the latest technology (it's how you use it), innovative change management or even a fine-tuned business strategy. Much of this surprised me, as a business owner who is quite an introvert, I felt that I was perhaps disadvantaging my company. However, this book has shown me that it is quite the opposite.
At the heart of those rare and truly great companies is a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Collins illustrates his findings with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not-so-great. His explanations of theories like the Stockdale Paradox and Hedgehog Concept are straightforward to understand, and I felt gave context to the business I am currently working on.
It is a well-reasoned roadmap to excellence that I will certainly try my best to follow for my business
So, this is one that I would definitely recommend, but not necessarily as a first book on business.
If you want to read more before buying the book check out this article on Jim Collins website.