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Business Development – Good to Great – Jim Collins

Just back from some time off, how long ago does that seem and I thought it would be good to mention that I re-read the seminal business book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.  With well over a million copies sold, it doesn’t need a review from someone like me – the global public has spoken.  However, it will be good to highlight a few of the key topics, that can be applied everywhere.  For those that have not read the book, the I would heartily suggest that you do – but Jim Collins is a professor at the Stanford University, and over the course of 5 years, he applies intensive scrutiny over publically listed companies and tries to work out what has distinguished the great companies from the good.  As well as the studying the publically available data, Collins also interviews the management of his chosen Great companies, in some detail.

What stands out for me, are the following points:

  • Don’t be afraid to try and be different, but once you’ve worked out what works – stick with it.  Keep the flywheel turning
  • Get the right people on the bus
  • Great staff members, at all levels, have self discipline


Applying these points to my previous employ, then the company that had the most success, kept the flywheel turning. By having a focus on its chosen market, nothing was going to deflect that business from the market it was in – accountancy profession and delivering the great product and service to that market.  This intense focus meant that the flywheel kept turning, at ever increasing speed.


Get the right people on the bus.  Recruit the best, even if there are not current openings available. Do not be afraid to move people around, until you find the right role for them.


The major advantage of having great people is that they have self-discipline.  The group manages itself, because great people do not want to let their peers down.  More importantly, they know that time is precious, and has to be spent on their key tasks, and not be wasted.


As I said before, this is not meant to be a review, but it was interesting to reflect and apply the key learning’s of the book to both the good – and not so good work experiences that I have had in the past.  Excellent book – and if you have not read it, then I would strongly recommend it

Published by on September 4, 2013. Comments Off on Business Development – Good to Great – Jim Collins

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