Regardless of how many business books I go through, the one that I keep referring back to is Good to Great.
The book is based on an interesting premise. Jim Collins and a team of researchers identified and studied eleven companies that made the leap from good to great, and then sustained that greatness for at least fifteen years. Both the results of the study and the way in which Collins presents said results contributed to this book quickly becoming one of my favorites.
What is surprising, considering the simplicity of the ideas presented in the book, is how few companies actually adhere to the principles that were developed based on the findings. The companies that fit the strict criteria that Collins laid out didn’t include the big names that we usually read about (Coca Cola, McDonalds, Microsoft), but rather, the likes of Wells Fargo or Gillette- companies which rarely seem to be brought up in case discussions.
Even more interesting is that whenever you read about a company performing poorly, they are usually in violation of one or more of the principles that Collins found all eleven good-to-great companies shared.
So, what are these principles?