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Good to Great: A Fresh Look at Management Practices

By Jim Collins

 

Jim Collins’ book, “Good to Great: A Fresh Look at Management Practices”, provides innovative approaches to business planning and management practices. Collins succeeds to a good extent in rumpling our long accepted theories on professional strategies and working methods. A radical book, “Good to Great” elaborates on several critical ideas that take on modern management and upset their preconceived assumptions and questions proverbial concepts.

 

A former Stanford University Graduate School of Business professor, Collins is of the firm belief that corporate heads need to revise their working styles; they need to rework on management skills to combat new challenges.

 

In his book, Collins elaborates on 5 crucial strategies for business:

 

Level 5 Leaders: According to Collins, companies pay excessive importance to the role of executive heads in achieving organizational success. Contrary to popular assumption, an aggressive business head rarely proves a great leader. It is in fact, a humble and strong willed executive who is instrumental in achieving professional success. According to Collins, and other authors of the book, Level 5 leaders pay little attention to their egos, and instead work for the greater good of the company. Their leadership qualities are not to be mistaken as an absence of ego or self-respect. Indeed, these leaders are highly ambitious, but their greatness lies in achieving new heights from their companies, than themselves.

 

The Hedgehog Concept: Collins stresses on the importance of discovering self capabilities as opposed to an intention or strategy to exercise competence.   The Hedgehog Concept is based on the principle of ‘Know thy self’.

 

A Culture of Discipline: A good work discipline with strong entrepreneurial ethics is a fabled combination resulting in definite success.

 

Technology Accelerators: The approach to technology of ‘good to great’ businesses is different from that of other enterprises.  While technology is a critical tool, it is rarely the only constituent of an organization’s success. Collins stresses on the importance of employees of a company and calls them its ‘prized assets’.

 

The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Collins does not support vigorous changes and expansive organizational restructuring to achieve success. Instead, he feels that these are events leading to huge confusions.  

 

Collins book is crammed with challenging concepts. “Good to Great” cements the quality of greatness as not a consequence of circumstance, but a matter of discipline and personal decision.