How to go from Good to Great

Good to Great BookWhy you decided to choose this resource?

The executive team recommended the book “Good to Great”, by Jim Collins to emphasize why decent or good companies become great.  The book is a best seller and is known to go far beyond the range of simple business books.   The resource also ties directly to our firm.  We do our service line well but we are not great.  Hopefully this resource can be a reinforcing factor on becoming great.

What did you learn from it?

The first thing I learned from this book is that it shares the common idea of empowering employee growth.  For what is a successful company without successful employees and customer relationships?  The book teaches that a company should “Begin with the People” through company discipline and rewarding of success.

The next thing I attempted to learn from this resource is the book’s definition of “Greatness”.  Below is the definition I took from the book:

“Greatness” is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period.

I would simply add that greatness is defined more than money.  I know the resource made this final definition over several years of research; however I attribute this to be the business answer.  I agree that outpacing your competitors in financial performance is a key metric of greatness; however, items such as branding, market position, and employee happiness also heavily factor into greatness.

Key points

Seven characteristics of companies that went “from good to great”

  • Level 5 Leadership: Leaders who are humble, but driven to do what’s best for the company.
  • First Who, Then What: Get the right people on the bus, then figure out where to go. Finding the right people and trying them out in different positions.
  • Confront the Brutal Facts: The Stockdale paradox – Confront the brutal truth of the situation, yet at the same time, never give up hope.
  • Hedgehog Concept: Three overlapping circles: What lights your fire (“passion”)? What could you be best in the world at (“best at”)? What makes you money (“driving resource”)?
  • Culture of Discipline: Rinsing the cottage cheese.
  • Technology Accelerators: Using technology to accelerate growth, within the three circles of the hedgehog concept.
  • The Flywheel: The additive effect of many small initiatives; they act on each other like compound interest.

How are you using what you learned?

Currently,  We’ve instituted a weekly executive report on our financial performance.   PMO is very kind to fulfill this request and it allows us to see our financial health.  We can measure this against other companies that are in our field and around our employee + revenue size.


How can we as a company or individuals in the company use this?

Anyone in the company can gain valuable knowledge from this resource.  The Key points are a good frame of resource to remind someone to stay on task and to not allow rabbit holes to upend progress.  As mentioned, this resource comes highly recommended above normal business circles and is floated in both the marketing and technology sectors.


Title: Good to Great

Author: Jim Collins

Amazon Link:


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