How does a company find success? How do the most well-known brands differentiate themselves and achieve what few others are seemingly capable of? In “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap … And Others Don’t,” author Jim Collins answers these questions and more.
Collins builds on the idea that practically any company can become a lasting enterprise. Poorly run companies can be transformed. Middle-of-the-road businesses can iron out the kinks. Good companies can overcome whatever hurdle is getting in the way of greatness.
To understand how companies achieve greatness, Collins and a team of researchers analyzed several businesses. They asked questions like, “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 team pulled together a list of elite companies that made the leap, achieved greatness, and kept that greatness going for 15 years or more. They used several factors to define what “making the leap” looked like, including stock performance and best practices of some of the world’s most prominent brands, like Coca-Cola and Intel.
They then looked at companies that did not make the leap and never achieved greatness. In a sample of 28 companies, they found that leadership, work ethic, company culture, and more were instrumental in leaping from good to great.
There is one very important thing to keep in mind when reading this book: It was published in 2011, and the global business landscape was very different then. In fact, the book profiles some great companies that are no longer in business or have since seen their reputations tarnished.
However, this doesn’t diminish the research done for “Good to Great.” It’s a mix of data and wisdom that practically any entrepreneur can take back to their leadership team. Want to get a taste? Here’s a free article excerpt from Collins’ website.