My review of Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by James C. Collins.
Date Finished: March 16th, 2017
Reading Time: A week
I enjoyed reading Good to Great. The author’s writing style was perfect for an airplane book (and was exceptional for a non-airplane book). Was it inspirational? Sure. Was my mind stimulated by the examples given? Yes. The great thing about the book is that it also provides really neat histories of the businesses covered. So, no, I don’t think it’s fair to say it can be boiled down to a collection of bullet points.
My biggest problem with this book specifically (to ignore the plight of [topic]-help books in general) is that some of the recommended behaviors were paradoxical. What if your hedgehog concept isn’t going to work? What exactly is wrong with being a fox? You’re supposed to accept that “great” employees leaving is natural, as they apparently outgrow the opportunities available to them, but what if there’s more to it? What if the company is in a rapid-growth industry where 15 years might as well be a millennium? Many of the best companies do fade after failing to improve on their most brilliant innovations, not because they lose discipline or go into the doom loop or whatever, but because they simply run out of brilliance. Should you always feel comfortable spending X years getting your #$%@ together under the premise of one day achieving a legendary level of success?
I don’t have the answer. I’m not sure this book does either, but, like I said, it was a lot of fun. The Outsiders is a fantastic CEO-centric follow-up to this book written 12 years later that you I recommend you pick up.