The book “From Good to Great” written by an author called Collins Jim carries a big notion dubbed “Good is the enemy of great.” The author was inspired by the challenges experienced by Meehan Bill; these challenges were the ones he Bill went through in his organizational activities. Bill had made an observation that many organizations never really achieved their sole dream or never rose to greatness. This observation made by Bill, was the driving force to Jim Collins who took the initiative, him and his team to make a five years study of how good organizations rose to greatness. The team culled its initial list of one thousand four hundred and thirty-five organizations down to two groups of eleven, one representing an organization that made the advancement to greatness, and the other, a control group that was unsuccessful to do so.
The good-to-great organizations were defined by the history of a company having accumulative reserve income equivalent to or lower than the broad stock market, this was followed by assessing the breakthrough, then assessing the routine of the cumulative income at least three times in the broad market over 15 years which preceded the breakthrough point.
The findings of this rigorous research were used to justify why good organizations or companies become great. The findings also illustrated how the companies which rose to greatness did it to the top.
Hence the book “From good to great” offers universally sound principles of how organizations and companies can achieve greatness.
The intended audience of the book
The book “Good to great|” is a book for everyone who really wants to become great in life and specifically it is a pot of information that is aimed to enable companies and organizations which use it to reap a benefit from it by rising to greatness. It outlines various principles of how organizations and companies can achieve greatness (Jim, pg5).
The book tries to unveil the true scenarios in underperforming organizations which organizations managements can read to correct their limitations and their wrongs or bad practices. Collins in his book denotes that the type of leadership we have truly makes a difference. Leaders of companies that rose to greatness were not leaders who were celebrities or high profile persons but they were just leaders who practiced humility and took the challenge of doing anything at their disposal to see to it that everything worked best for their organizations and not only for their self-gain (Jim, pg 12).
With some surprise, Collins’ and his team found that the type of leadership did make a difference. Leaders of the good-to-great companies were not high profile and celebrity-focused. These leaders were seen to have a humility personality and natural professionalism and confronted challenges as they come up to do what was the right thing to realize the company’s growth, and not the prosperity of the leader him or herself. Jim mentions 3 characteristics which the topmost leaders of companies that rise to greatness should have these characteristics include; having a distinct character, competence, and the chemistry to make things done. Character is all about the values required to deliver good management. Competence on the other hand is the ability of an individual to be the appropriate person for the post of leadership. Chemistry is gathering respect from people which allows the leaders to remain focused on maintaining the cohesion which is necessary for the well-being of a growing company to greatness. A manager or an executive leader of a great company loves whatever he or she does since they work with other team members to achieve what other companies take a long time to realize.
Jim tells the beneficiary of his book that all the companies which rose to greatness achieved this through hard work and taking the right initiatives and implementing rational decisions. This kind of conformity later made this company over some time to reach a breakthrough. In this kind of analysis, it becomes imperative that taking good rational decisions involves taking a conclusive look at all options at hand and come up with a self-evident decision that can work and bring a great potential of positive impact. Jim tells his audience that for a company to achieve the greatness which he categorizes as level five, it has to practice democracy where individuals at every level of the company have the ability to speak out freely and get heard.
Jim also in his book talks about the “Hedgehog Concept” this is a metaphor he derived from Berlin Isaiah’s essay known as “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows about one big thing” hence Jim in his book tries to clearly elaborate 3 cycles which are overlapping in nature to try and justify the model of getting to the top of this one big thing that the hedgehog knows, which is greatness. It is this kind of clarity and simplifying of issues that can make a clear way of a company to fame and greatness since Jim’s book elaborates that the 3 key elements which are required to develop a working hedgehog concept lie in only answering three questions known as the “three circles”(Jim, pg24).
In trying to sum up Jim’s book in simple words is that a good to great company is a company that understands what works well for it and tries to continuously try to answer the question that “what is the smartest way to give the momentum to our breakthrough”. This understanding Jim says in his book is a function of almost all the principles he illustrates in his book.
Collin Jim’s book, “Good to Great” is a very well-written and arranged book which solemnly can meet the intention of its beneficiaries or its audience especially the management of companies and organizations which are on the pursuit of rising from grass to grace.
Collin having done thorough research with his team on what good companies deed to later become great, it can be seen from his resultant book that he used the findings from that research to come up with well-articulated reasoning and factual concepts which were necessary for an organization to put into use to achieve greatness. In the analysis of work, it can be deduced that Jim really has the substance in his book to make a great impact on almost everyone who can utilize the knowledge and information he or she derives from the book.
Collin’s book is self-explanatory and very applicable to almost uprising or even already established organizations or companies since it gives outlines of various concepts which can be adopted to achieve greatness.
The methodological question that clearly arises from Jim’s book “Good to greatness” is that, how can one individual, company, or organization exemplify the principles illustrated in the book? and after doing so another question is that how can the people who implement them adhere to them in every day’s activities and interaction?
Jim C. Collins. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap.. and Others Don’t, William Collins Publishers, 2001.