Jeff's Reviews > Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Great by Choice by Jim Collins
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's review
Mar 09, 12

bookshelves: 2012-book-list
Read from February 01 to March 09, 2012

I was a little disappointed with this book, probably because I had such high expectations especially after Good to Great and How the Mighty Fall. Still, it was a really good read.

Some take-aways:

The book probes this question: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?

Some myths and contrary findings:

Myth: Successful leaders in a turbulent world are bold, risk-seeking visionaries.
Contrary Finding: The best leaders studied did not have a visionary ability to predict the future. They observed what worked, figured out why it worked, and build upon proven foundations. They were not more risk taking, more bold, more visionary and more creative. They were more disciplined, more empirical and more paranoid.

Myth: Innovation is what distinguishes thriving companies.
Contrary Finding: Innovation turns out not to be the trump card. The ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline is.

Myth: A threat-filled world favors the speedy.
Contrary Finding: Thriving organizations and leaders figure out when to go fast, and when not to.

Myth: Radical change on the outside requires radical change on the inside.
Contrary Finding: Thriving organizations changed less in reaction.

THE SIGNATURE OF MEDIOCRITY IS NOT AN UNWILLINGNESS TO CHANGE; THE SIGNATURE OF MEDIOCRITY IS CHRONIC INCONSISTENCY.

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