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Book Review: Good to Great

By Kevin A. Jackson |

Title: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...and Others Don't
Author: Jim Collins
Publisher: Harpercollins Trade Sales Dept; CD edition
ISBN: 978-0060794415

I have heard this book praised as one of the greatest business books ever, cursed as being worshipped too much and over-quoted to the point of nausea. Nevertheless, I came to it with an open mind and really got a lot out of it.

Jim Collins and his research team examined thousands of publicly traded companies, searching for companies that consistently outperformed the market by a large margin for at least 15 years. After applying this very strict criteria of long-lasting growth, they ended up with only a handful of companies that matched their criteria.

Industry specific growth was eliminated as a factor by comparing data about these companies with other companies in the same industry having similar size .

After interviewing senior executives, their analysis searched for common factors that would point to important ingredients which made a "good" company become a "great" company.

The findings were fascinating.

I felt that the research and methodology made their findings more solid and more reliable than the musings of yet another pundit.

I believe the findings are applicable to any size of organization or group - it doesn't have to be a Fortune 500. I have been applying them in our small 8-person company and a couple of boards that I sit on, and seeing interesting results.

Some who read the printed book, reported that it was more technical because it used a lot of graphs and charts to illustrate the points being made. Personally I listened to the audio book and was happy not to have to wade through all the technical stuff. The information in this book provides good, credible explanation about what it takes to become great. Audio books are a pleasant way to relieve the frustration of slow moving traffic, and broadening one's horizons at the same time.

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