is destined to become the bible of business for generations to come. It clearly and succinctly lays out the answers to the most difficult, important questions people face both on and off the job. Welch's objective is to speak to people at every level of the organization, in companies large and small. His audience is everyone from line workers to college students and MBAs, from project managers to senior executives. He describes his core business principles and devotes most of Winning to the real "stuff" of work--how to lead, hire, get ahead, even write a budget. Welch's optimistic, no excuses, get-it-done mind set is riveting. His goal is to help anyone and everyone who has a passion for success.
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't
In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins's crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies' stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company's economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins's strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins's perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn't benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figureout how to change their B grade to an A on their own. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
In his previous bestseller, Built to Last
, Jim Collins explored what made great companies great and how they sustained that greatness over time. One point kept nagging him, though - great companies have, for the most part, always been great, while a vast majority of good companies remain just that: good, but not great. What could merely good companies do to become great, to turn long-term weakness into long-term supremacy?
Collins and his team of researchers used strict benchmarks to identify a group of 11 elite companies that made the leap from good to great and sustained that greatness for at least 15 years. The real surprise of Good to Great is not so much what good companies do to propel themselves to greatness - it is why more companies have not done the same things more often.
The author and his team of researchers established these good-to-great benchmarks:
- The companies had to have experienced 15-year cumulative stock returns that were at or below the general stock market, punctuated by a transition point, then cumulative returns at least three times the market over the next fifteen years.
- Each company had to demonstrate the good-to-great pattern independent of its industry.
- Each company had to demonstrate a pattern of results.
- Each company was compared to other similar companies that either never made the good-to-great leap (or made it but did not sustain it), in order to determine what distinguished the good-to-great company from all others.
When the dust cleared and the good-to-great companies were identified, the author and his researchers found distinct patterns of behavior in those who led each company and the people who followed them - patterns that concerned disciplined people, thought and action.
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