What separates good businesses from really great businesses? The answer to this question is of great value to entrepreneurs everywhere. I know that I’m always on the look-out for great ideas that I can use in my business and I’ll bet that you are too. This question was the subject of a book that I’ve found to be extremely helpful in improving my company.
You’re wrong if you think that Jim Collins bestseller, GOOD TO GREAT: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t is a stuffy corporate business book with no relevance to entrepreneurs. Although the book looks at big businesses, the lessons are very applicable in the small business world that most entrepreneurs live in.
Good to Great is divided into 9 chapters covering the essential ingredients in great businesses:
- Good Is the Enemy of Great
- Level 5 Leadership
- First Who…Then What
- Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith)
- The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles)
- A Culture of Discipline
- Technology Accelerators
- The Flywheel and the Doom Loop
- From Good to Great to Built to Last
Good to Great is available in print as well as audio CD, and Kindle formats.
Author Jim Collins discovered in his research that the old adage “People are your most important asset” is wrong. People are not the most important asset in a business. The RIGHT people are. In other words, build your business around the right people. Whether a person is the right person or not is more about their character traits and innate capabilities than about their specific knowledge, background or skills. The right person is capable of learning the specific knowledge or skills if they don’t already have them. When the right people are hired, you don’t have to spend time motivating them, worry about them stealing from you, or treating your customers poorly. The difference between hiring the wrong person and the right person can be very costly!
The popular notion that technological change is the principle cause in the decline of previously great companies is not supported by the evidence. In the companies he studied, Jim found that technology by itself was never a primary cause of greatness or decline. Mediocre businesses look to technology to create momentum. Great businesses look to technology to accelerate momentum. This means avoiding fads in technology in favor of pursuing carefully selected technologies that link directly to your core passion and purpose.
Many of the key concepts in this book are of immense value to entrepreneurs focused on building a great business. This book is not a silver bullet that will magically transform your business from good to great overnight. What it will do is provide you with ideas and food for thought that will enable you to develop your good business into a great business.