10 years after first reading ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins, I recently picked it back up and read it again. For those of you that haven’t read it, firstly, why not?! Secondly, to summarise the context, the book answers the question of how a Good company can become a Great company.
Against the backdrop of 2020, many good businesses are facing bigger challenges than they’ve ever faced before and will now be seeking to answer some fundamental questions about their future direction.
It struck me when reading Good to Great again how relevant some of the key findings in the book will be to many businesses and how they might help them answer these questions so I thought I’d share a couple with you (get the book and read it if you want some more!).
First Who, then What:
- People are not your most important asset. The right people are.
- Get the right people on the Bus before you decide where to take it.
- Who questions come before what decisions – before vision, before strategy, before organisation structure, before tactics
- Endless restructuring and mindless hacking are never part of a Good-to-Great model
Confront the Brutal Facts:
- You need to confront the brutal facts of your current reality
- As well as this, you must retain faith that you will prevail in the end regardless of the difficulties (The Stockdale Paradox)
- Create a culture wherein people have the opportunity to be heard
- Spending time and energy trying to “motivate” people is a waste of effort. If you have the right people, they will be self-motivated. The key is not to de-motivate them. Ignoring the brutal facts is one of the primary ways to de-motivate people.
Even if you don’t own a business, maybe you can introduce some of these concepts to your bosses or maybe you start to realise that you’re not on the right Bus and need to get off.
Whatever you take away, I for one have full confidence that we can all prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties we are all currently facing.