Daily Archives: August 21, 2007

From not so good to not so great

Just finished reading “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and I feel a bit underwhelmed.

My friend and mentor puts it a bit less mildly: “All business books start with a known result (success) and then work their way backward from that known point.”

I don’t completely disagree with that, though I think that books such as G2G do provide some insights into the business.

Let me just stop beating around the bush, and present a chapter by chapter summary:

  • First who, then what“: Good employees, will usually create positive value on their own. That being said, there are some good workers who may struggle to create positive value if totally left without any guidance. So, practically, if you don’t know “what”, it may be difficult to get the right people, and then engage them.
  • Consider the brutal facts“: This is the “backward” part that my friend talks about. The successful companies are called the “honest” fact facers. The unsuccessful companies are called arrogant.
  • Hedgehog concept“: Gist of the book. This is really important. Identifying golden circles of a company does provide good clarity to everyone.
  • Culture of Discipline“: Basically, this is just common sense that the discipline has to be in moderation.
  • Technology Accelerators“: As the author says himself, companies should use technologies to accelerate, not provide growth opportunities. Valid point, but a bit on the simple side.
  • Flywheel and the Doomloop“: Good chapter, a bit cheesy, but the overall concept is that the transition point may not well defined. Flywheel takes time and constant improvement, and that should be the goal, not a retreat that is going to provide a sudden lift-off.
  • G2G and B2L“: I don’t think anyone considers this a real chapter, its more like trivia.
  • About 80 other pages at the end of the last chapter, such as FAQs, etc (not a regular book).