The Best 12 Books on Jim Collins
Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies and studied each in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from the comparison companies and what were the common practices these enduringly great companies followed throughout their history?"
Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the 21st century and beyond.
- This monograph is a response to questions raised by readers in the social sector. It is not a new book.
- Jim Collins wants to avoid any confusion about the monograph being a book by limiting its distribution to online retailers.
- Based on interviews and workshops with over 100 social sector leaders.
- The difference between successful organizations is not between the business and the social sector, the difference is between good organizations and great ones.
Decline can be avoided. Decline can be detected. Decline can be reversed.
Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?
In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success
Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More
Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril
Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation
Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death
By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom. Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover.
Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.
Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. 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?
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:
- Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
- The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
- A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”
Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?
Every great company, no matter how large or small, has as its core a compelling vision. Beyond Entrepreneurship explains step by step how any firm can develop this vision and achieve enduring greatness. It provides a complete blueprint for steering your company to success.
Packed with real-world examples of firms that have grown and attained corporate greatness—including Nike, L.L. Bean, Mrs. Fields’ Cookies, Sony, and FedEx—this inspirational yet practical book . . .
· Covers in depth the five key elements common to all great enduring companies
· Shows how to lay a foundation for greatness while a company is still small and adaptable . . . how to set values, purpose, and mission, and instill them into the very roots of your organization
· Demonstrates how to develop the most effective leadership style for your specific situation
· Shows how to translate vision into effective day-to-day business tactics –and how to foster consistent tactical excellence in everything your company does
· Explains how to resolve the critical strategic issues faced by every small and mid-sized firm
· Prevents a set of concepts—and a host of practical techniques—for stimulating creativity and maintaining innovation as the company evolves
“Beyond Entrepreneurship is a blueprint for becoming great.” –Entrepreneur Magazine
“Good to Great” attained long-running positions on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Business Week best-seller lists, sold 2.5 million hardcover copies since publication, and has been translated into 32 languages.
"Greatness" is defined as financial performance several multiples better than the market average over a sustained period. Collins finds the main factor for achieving the transition to be a narrow focusing of the company’s resources on their field of competence. Collins used a large team of researchers who studied "6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project".
In this book summary of "Good to Great" you can discover the condensed wisdom to be gained from the book. You can discover what differences there were in companies that managed to achieve greatness.
Do you want to know the characteristics of a leader most likely to take their company from good to great? Do you want to know how to hire the right people? The book summary includes information on each of the topics covered in “Good To Great” in a format that will help you while reducing the time required for reading the entire book.
Chapter One: Good is the Enemy of Great
Chapter Two: Level 5 Leadership
Chapter Three: First Who… Then What
Chapter Four: Confront the Brutal Facts
Chapter Five: The Hedgehog Concept
Chapter Six: A Culture of Discipline
Chapter Seven: Technology Accelerators
Chapter Eight: The Flywheel and the Doom Loop
Chapter Nine: From Good to Great to Built to Last
The author of “Good to Great”, James C. "Jim" Collins, III is an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth. Jim Collins frequently contributes to Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Fortune and other magazines, journals, etc.
Collins began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts research and teaches executives from the corporate and social sectors.
Most executives have a big, hairy, audacious goal. But they install layers of stultifying bureaucracy that prevent them from realizing it. In this article, Jim Collins introduces the catalytic mechanism, a simple yet powerful managerial tool that helps turn lofty aspirations into reality. The crucial link between objectives and results, this tool is a galvanizing, nonbureaucratic way to turn one into the other. But the same catalytic mechanism that works in one organization won’t necessarily work in another. So, to help readers get started, Collins offers some general principles that support the process of building one effectively.
Since 1922, Harvard Business Review has been a leading source of breakthrough ideas in management practice. The Harvard Business Review Classics series now offers you the opportunity to make these seminal pieces a part of your permanent management library. Each highly readable volume contains a groundbreaking idea that continues to shape best practices and inspire countless managers around the world.