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Book Review - Good to Great

In my blog on Friday I was extolling the virtues of reading. I think it might make sense for me to recommend a book every now and then. My suggestion today is an older business book that has become something of a modern classic, Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Good to Great is often quoted in business circles and is focused on understanding what makes good companies become great.

Collins talks about the type of leader required in great organizations. He suggests that the high profile "celebrity" leader is not necessarily the right choice. "Level 5 Leaders" are those who lead with personal humility and professional will, and the preferred leadership type.

Collins coined the term "Get the right people on the bus". Basically the premise being that if you hire the right people then you can overcome most hurdles. They will adapt and get you to where you need to go.

To become a great company you really need to understand where you are, sounds easy but many never really do that. Then you need to understand what it is that you can be the best in the world at, what you are passionate about and what drives your economic engine.

Great companies have a culture of discipline and an ethic of entrepreneurship. They build a framework for their people to work within and employ self-disciplined people who will go to any length to fulfill their responsibilities.

Finally technology is harnessed as an accelerator by great companies. They don't follow fads, but they do recognize technologies that will bring value and they become leaders in their adoption and implementation.

This is not a hard book to read and is a good start for those of you who might not have read many business books. Of course there is always the 8 page synopsis available through Executive Book Summaries.