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Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great
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Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,431 Ratings  ·  182 Reviews
Building upon the concepts introduced in Good to Great, Jim Collins answers the most commonly asked questions raised by his readers in the social sectors. Using information gathered from interviews with over 100 social sector leaders, Jim Collins shows that his "Level 5 Leader" and other good-to-great principles can help social sector organizations make the leap to greatne ...more
Paperback, 35 pages
Published November 22nd 2005 by HarperBusiness (first published 2001)
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May 12, 2012 Ensiform rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, work
A monograph to accompany Collins’ Good To Great (which I haven’t read). The underlying principle of this “missing chapter” is that we don't need to impose the language of business on the social sector, but develop a language of greatness. He does this by focusing on five issues that he used in the book and tweaking them for a different mission and context.

The first is Defining Great (How do we calibrate success without business metrics?). Instead of money being an output, as it is in the busines
Jeff Elliott
Dec 11, 2012 Jeff Elliott rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership, must-buy
Extensive quotes from the book:

Five questions which form the framework of this piece:
1. Defining "Great"--Getting Thing Done without Business Metrics
2. Level 5 Leadership--Getting Things Done within a Diffuse Power Structure
3. First Who--Getting the Right People on the Bus within Social Sector Constraints
4. The Hedgehog Concept--Rethinking the Economic Engine without a Profit Motive
5. Turning the Flywheel--Building Momentum by Building the Brand
pg. 3

A great organization is one that delivers supe
Nov 09, 2010 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: leadership
This was a fabulous little monograph that explains the "Good to Great" principles applied in the social sectors. "Our work is not fundamentally about business; it is about what separates great from good." We need to define "great" and measure it and collect evidence in some way, have good leadership and get things done in a diffuse power structure, get the right people on the bus, rethink the economic engine, and build momentum for the brand. A part of this is considering:
1. What are you deeply
Jan 29, 2016 Mark rated it really liked it
A very short book — more like a really long blog post — aimed at people who loved "Good to Great" but are in the social sector and thus do not have profits by which to measure success. Again, he's got a few amazing real-life stories to illustrate the merits of his program for going from good to great, such as with the Cleveland symphony. He admits the topic deserves a full book but says it'll take 10 years to do and so this is a stopgap meant to answer the most common questions he's received fro ...more
Feb 06, 2015 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great is Jim Collin’s extensive response to the FAQs in Good to Great which addresses the differences between business and those who work in the social sector concerned more about instilling social and cultural change than pocketing a profit. This book is basically a stand alone entity which revisits many of the core conclusions of Good to Great. In other words, one could read this without having read Good to Great and be jus ...more
Recently, my Manager and I had the opportunity to attend an event that Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free the Children and Me to We attended. After the presentation my Manager and I were thoroughly engaged and wanted to brainstorm about ideas to engage the rest of the staff in order to encourage participation in a "day of service".

My Manager than pulled out this book that she has received during her volunteer days on a local board. She encouraged me to read it as she knew I had previous exper
Jan 28, 2015 John-Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: development
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have not read this author's original book Good to Great but I still felt that this monograph had some good takeaways for those of us in the social sectors. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of getting the right people "on the bus," as I have been thinking about this ever since a previous job at a non-for-profit that could not retain its workforce to save its life. Unlike most of the other social sector organizations discussed in this work (police departmen ...more
Bailey Urban
Jun 03, 2015 Bailey Urban rated it really liked it
Though I have not read Good to Great, I knew this 'monograph' would have particular relevance to working in higher ed. It certainly did, and I learned about the odd comparison of businesses versus social sector institutions. I loved how it started out saying people compare these institutions to businesses unfairly... because they compare them to good companies, not generally great companies. So trying to imitate simply good companies is not a good strategy. I think I will eventually have to read ...more
Cathy Allen
Sometimes I like to argue with authors, often scribbling “yeah, but…” comments across the margins of their books. Other authors make such tight, well-researched cases for the points they make, they are hard to argue with. Jim Collins is in this last category. A business professor, Collins’ books are reports on in-depth university studies about his subjects. Built to Last and Good to Great have become essential business reading.

(I did a two-page summary of Good to Great a while back. You can find
Joy Prior
Sep 19, 2012 Joy Prior rated it really liked it
I love this book, and I was not expecting to. Usually, when I read books about how to obtain success I roll my eyes the whole time. I mean really, really, if you learned that other people like to talk about themselves from a business-help-you-book then not only must your business need help but I would suggest picking up a self-help-book too. Yet, I was completely impressed with Good-to-Great and the Social Sectors because the author Jim Collins emphasized the importance of system outline/goal fo ...more
Tyler Shinnick
Aug 27, 2014 Tyler Shinnick rated it it was amazing
This quick read really helped me organize my thinking about how to approach my new role in a non-profit. There isn't a ton of information that's not included in Good to Great, but Collins succinctly stated how those concepts should and should not be applied to the social sectors. The ideas you'll get about how to help your non-profit make the leap from good to great are definitely worth the half hour it takes to read this book.
Jul 13, 2015 Abbie rated it it was ok
After reading and re-reading a few sections of good to great, this mini book seemed redundant. If you consider yourself a leader and can't extrapolate meaningful ideas/theories from Good to Great, I'd be concerned. This clear path for use in the social sector would be useful if I hadn't read the original text. Might have been a nice intro to the whole book, but reading it after the book wasn't very useful.
Aug 30, 2014 Warren rated it really liked it
'Good to Great and the Social Sectors' is brief. This means it's a quick read. But best to read it in conjunction with 'Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't'. Better yet, try to read both and create your own great mini-bus within your organisation.

Good luck. And please let me know how you go. May you understand your hedgehog and learn how to protect it!
May 02, 2015 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book from a social standpoint

It was great to read and see the significance of great leadership in the social sector. Am constantly asking myself, "is this he right bus? Am I in the right seat?" Having loved the G2G book itself, I was intrigued to see how Jim pulled in the social engine in place of the financial.

Great Job Jim.
Allison Armour-Garb
Sep 24, 2014 Allison Armour-Garb rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Collins lumps in government with not-for-profits, and in so doing misses an opportunity to analyze systemic barriers to greatness, such as the way our political system selects against "Level 5 leadership" qualities like humility, and the way civil service exam/list systems prevent agency heads from "getting the right people on the bus."
Krishna Kumar
May 04, 2015 Krishna Kumar rated it liked it
This is a follow-up from Jim Collins "Good To Great". It is a very short monograph explaining how the topics in "Good to Great" applies to non-profit organizations. The book contains some very good insights into the motivations and constraints in the social sectors, especially the lack of "hire-and-fire" capability. A good read.
Matt Clem
This add-on to the book was, in my opinion, largely unneeded. While I recognize policing and other social services doesn't necessarily provide a tangible product to the market, it has never been difficult for me to translate effective business principles to the social sector. Nonetheless, a good add-on for those who need it.
Val Sanford
Oct 27, 2011 Val Sanford rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philanthropy
Be prepared to shake up your thinking! Defining your hedgehogs, priming the flywheel, and getting the right people on the bus are only part of the success equation for great companies and great social organizations.

In this monograph Collins spells out how to go for greatness by focusing on outcomes not inputs and helps clarify the challenge of defining non-monetary outcomes. What does it mean to empower middle-school girls? how do you know you've succeeded at being a world-class orchestra?

The i
Chinarut Ruangchotvit
Jun 10, 2015 Chinarut Ruangchotvit rated it really liked it
This is the missing chapter of Good to Great perfect for social entrepreneurs - you'll read it in less than an hour. Jim adapts the notion of the hedgehog concept to being driven by a "resource engine" opposed to an economic engine. Power is decentralized in this sector - tools like crowdsourcing and self-organization come to mind - he talks about how executives frequently fail to transition from typical "command" structures. Jim begins an inquiry around what it means to measure "success" and hi ...more
Feb 07, 2015 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership, business, 2015
I count Collins' Good to Great among the best business books I've read; all five principles he elucidates are insightful and useful for pursuing excellence in leadership of any kind.

This monograph for the social sectors makes some good nuanced applications for social organizations, and it is worth the read for anyone who affirms the Good to Great principles and wishes to apply them to NFP enterprise.
Mehreen Kassam
Oct 21, 2014 Mehreen Kassam rated it it was amazing
Fantastic look at how the good to great principles apply in the social sectors - from churches to nonprofits. Must read for anyone in these sectors to organize their approach.
Dan Mayer
Jan 07, 2016 Dan Mayer rated it really liked it
overall quick and well thought out. I don't agree with everything and that is fine it is still a good framework to think about work outside of the normal system.
Brian Caldwell
May 27, 2015 Brian Caldwell rated it really liked it
This book did a good job to lay out characteristics that takes a company from good to great. Many of the principles can be applied more broadly than just business.
Sep 20, 2011 Denise rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any business leader who has also read Good to Great
Shelves: business
I don't know why I didn't read this book sooner. It really is a good companion to Good to Great. Even though the book was written for the social sectors, I think it would also be a useful tool for a lot of business leaders in the corporate sector. As Collins notes, many business leaders serve on nonprofit boards and find it difficult to translate what they've learned in the private sector to a social sector enterprise. I also found that understanding how Good to Great's principals can be applied ...more
Apr 25, 2008 Aronkai rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading Jim Collin's book “Good to Great and the Social Sectors”. He focuses on his book to five issues which are,
1. Defining “Great” - Calibrating Success without Business Metrics.
2. Level 5 Leadership – Getting Things Done within a diffuse Power Structure
3. First Who – Getting the Right People on the bus within Social Sector Constraints
4. The Hedgehog Concept – Rethinking the Economic Engine without a Profit Motive
5. Turning the Flywheel – Building Momentum by Building the Brand.(Co
Sarah J Wear
Nov 21, 2015 Sarah J Wear rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great synopsis

Can be used for both private and social sector employees and leadership. Great overall synopsis of prior books and theories.
Jun 11, 2014 Charles rated it liked it
Shelves: leadership
Extends his work by applying it to the non-profit world.

(You don't need to have read prior work, but if you'd like some extra pointers on the theory, check out the author's website.)
Bo Adams
Jul 13, 2015 Bo Adams rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
A good review of the main tenets of Good to Great, as well as a brief look at those principles applied to the non-profit, social sector.
Brendon Connelly
Dec 14, 2014 Brendon Connelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, business
Super love Jim Collins' research and writing. Re-reading this because it is still awesome and I want to recapture some of these insights.
Jessica Coffin
Jun 16, 2014 Jessica Coffin rated it really liked it
Shelves: library-science
This book CAN be read by those in the social sector without having to read the longer "Good to Great," but would be better with further explanation of some of the concepts.
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good reminder for public servants 1 10 Dec 28, 2008 07:59AM  
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  • Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Nonprofit Boards
  • Servant Leadership: A Journey Into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
  • Give Smart: Philanthropy that Gets Results
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  • The One Thing You Need to Know: ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success
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  • Charity Case: How the Nonprofit Community Can Stand Up for Itself and Really Change the World
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies — how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has authored or co-authored four books, i
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