Book Review_Good to Great

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In chapter One, collins and his team first identified companies (from a list of Fortune 500 companies for the 1965-1995) that made the leap from good to great results and sustained those results for at least 15 years. The team evaluated these 11 companies in relation to a carefully selected control group of 17 comparison companies that either failed to make leap or, if they did, failed to sustain it. After conducting in-depth analysis of each of the 28 companies, the team uncovered several key findings. They include: Ten of eleven good-to-great CEOs came from inside the company, whereas the comparison companies tried outside CEOs six times as often. The idea that the structure of executive compensation is a key driver in corporation performance was not supported by the data. Strategy per se did not separate the good to great companies from the comparison companies; both had well-defined sets of strategies. Good to great companies focused eqaully on what NOT to do and what to STOP doing. Technology can ACCELERATE a transformation, but technology can not CAUSE a transformation. Mergers and acquisitions play virtually no role in igniting a transformation from good to great. Good to great companies paid scant attention to managing change, motivating people or creating alignment.

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In chapter One, Collins also gives a short overview of the transformation processes that comprise each of the three stages. Disciplined People Level 5 leadership: leaders characterized as a paradoxical blend of humility and professional will; they were cited as being as being more like Lincoln and Socrates than Patton or Caesar. First Who….Then What: support the theory that before good-to-great leaders set a new vision and strategy, that FIRST get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and right people in the right seats. THEN they figures out where to drive it. People are NOT your most important asset; the RIGHT people are.

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