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How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In
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How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  6,141 Ratings  ·  288 Reviews
Decline can be avoided.

Decline can be detected.

Decline can be reversed.

Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?

In How the Mighty Fall, Coll
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published May 19th 2009 by JimCollins (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jan 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
This book came across less as a useful tool for avoiding disaster and more as a defense of why so many of the companies profiled in Good to Great failed (answer: they stopped following Collins' advice!) Additionally, Collins gives no data to support his assertions, relying solely on anecdotes and assurances that he has the data and has looked at it.

The biggest flaw is that he's essentially doing a post-mortem risk assessment on these firms, looking at each risk in a vacuum. Unfortunately, risks
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Like his prior research, Jim Collins looked at several companies and their direct comparisons to identify commonalities shared by the failing companies that were not present in the comparison (successful) companies.

Study companies (those that succumbed to the five stages of decline):
Ames Department Stores
Bank of America (before it was acquired by NationsBank)
Circuit City
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Scott Paper

5 Stages of Decline

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Succ
Sadie-jane (sj) nunis
Sep 29, 2014 rated it really liked it

Even the Greatest Can Fail

THE Good to Great storyteller, Mr Jim Collins is back with How the Mighty Fall. Many great companies, even those that have lasted generations have fallen in recent years. This made Mr Collins question how and why it happens. More importantly, is there any way that companies can avoid the path of doom and gloom?

In his latest, he confronts these questions and gives an optimistic spin to leaders who may find themselves in a downward
Mukul Kumar
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very well explained along with the case study which seems to have been prepared after a lot of research.
Ekkirala Vikramaditya
Essential guidebook on pitfalls and plunders. Analytical and insightful
Karolina Halik
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Początkowym zamierzeniem Jima Collinsa, autora “Od dobrego do wielkiego” czy “Wielcy z wyboru”, było napisanie artykułu o tym, jak upadają wielkie firmy. Zebrany materiał okazał się jednak zbyt obszerny i w rezultacie powstała książka o znanych przedsiębiorstwach, które poniosły klęskę oraz o tym, co wskazywało nadchodzący upadek.

Collins poszukiwał odpowiedzi na pytanie nurtujące wielu przedsiębiorców - dlaczego upadają firmy, które odnosiły ogromne sukcesy. Na bazie dokumwntów takich firm jak B
Nov 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a great gift in a small package and represents, in my view, the best of Collin's serial strong efforts. In a word, this book is fantastic. Why? Because it's conslusions are as piercingly insightful as always, but this book offers something new as well - it's wisdom works on both the institutional/organizational level and on the personal level. In other words, it's one of the few "business" books that's just as applicable and powerful a tool in a personal context.

In this book, rather than
MsSmartiePants the candy...
Worthy of my trademarked award: SO GOOD, I'M READING IT TWICE!(tm) ;)

THE WORLD MAKES SENSE! This and other thoughts flooded my mind after finishing Jim Collins latest literary release. Concise and timely, the information applies to business as well as our personal lives!

I differ with another critics' premise that Mr. Collins' claims that "companies get into trouble because they overreach..."etc. That is NOT what Mr. Collins' found to happen first. There first is an arrogance, "hubris", which cr
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I love Jim Collins books. This book was written between two of his major two books (Good to Great followed by Great by Choice). I heard Collins speak at a conference and he explained how it struck him that he could pop out this book in the middle of the other big research projects he was working on. The book talks about the trajectory of company's that fail (some that save them selves and other do not). I have seen this trajectory many times (or parts of it) and it rang very true to me and was a ...more
Jeff Yoak
I never cease to be amazed at how awesome Collins' books are. In How The Mighty Fall, he addresses the patterns evident in great companies when they fall, and how those patterns might be identified and reversed early.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: college, owned
Una institución puede parecer sólida por fuera pero estar enferma por dentro, parada peligrosamente al borde de un precipicio.

Sujith Philip
Jan 25, 2013 rated it liked it
പഴയ പാമപു കഥ തനനെ ... ...more
Jeffrey Williams
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought I was going to be disappointed when Jim Collins mentioned in his introduction that this was originally supposed to be the size of a magazine article and not a large expanded book. After reading it, I believe he hit a proverbial home run. The size is perfect for the content.

As I write this review, Toys R Us has declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is facing liquidation while General Electric, with a new CEO, is trying to recover. These two companies were in the forefront of my mind when
Mar 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I am not a business graduate nor do I own a business, but reading about it did add to my existing perspectives. The references will obviously make more sense to a person who is in the respective field, but you sure can apply the same principles to anything that you are currently working on. Jim Collins creates space for life lessons among those meant for growing or in this case, saving a company.

This would be a great read for someone starting out as an entrepreneur, someone who has been in the
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an excellent look at how companies can fall from greatness to non-existence -- and what can be done to resurrect the company, if caught in time. As with Collins' other books, he draws on thorough research and presents his conclusions simply and compellingly.

In addition to leadership/management nerds, this book would be of interest to anyone interested in "success" or "failure" writ large, as many of Collins' conclusions are transferable outside of business to life: your church group, s
Laura Elizabeth
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
• Are we destined to fall too?
• Amadeo Giovanni—Bank of America story is awesome.
• 5 stages of decline:
o Hubris born of success (Pride, too confident and take things for granted)
o Undisciplined Pursuit of More: (Overconfident in areas its not ready to compete in)
o Denial of Risk and Peril: (Leaders over look concerns, reorganizations)
o Grasping for Salvation: (jump to quick fixes and die, rebuild returning to fundamentals)
o Resignation to Downfall: (Longer at stage 4 = death; either give up and
Logan Streondj
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The anti-pattern of Hubris, Gluttony, Denial and Escapism if not averted leads to Death.
Extensively researched with some of the best scientific method in the industry, this is a must read for anyone who has or intends to run a business, and can even help with everyday life by analogy.

It's good to be aware of, and I'm even thinking of getting the paper copy edition, so it can stare at me from my bookshelf, reminding me to check for the signs and avoid them.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Not as good as Collin's other work. This focuses on how companies fail

1. Hubris from success
2. Pursuing too much opportunity at once
3. Denial of reality
4. Flailing for too much change
5. Irrelevance, or death

Not really a focus on the innovators delima or stimulate the core as he describes in his other books.
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, _ebook
Unlike many current business books, this one isn't longer than needs to be to properly convey its main message: failure is in many cases preventable if one sticks to what really matters and sound management practices.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Another extraordinarily helpful book by Jim Collins. I'm basically devouring everything that he has written this year, and really getting a lot from his work that is helping me as a leader in both business and ministry.
Adrian S
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting angle of the 2008 Wall Street crash (among other case studies). If the author is right, then reckless, unsustainable growth and wild goose chases destroy more organizations than the failure to keep up with the times. Fossilization also kills organizations, but much more slowly.
Tammy Low
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting read on the stages businesses go through in declining to extinction. Great ideas for staying in solvent!
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good review of the taxonomy of how a company falls from grace.
Vern Wolfley
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was another good book from Jim Collins and team. It was a very quick read reviewing what makes great companies and how not to fail. Good reminders!
Milton George
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit too short (~200 pages), but it was good and on the point about how easily mighty companies can fall and how they can avoid it.
Sergey Grinev
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Все чётко, без воды, поэтому такой маленький объём. Много примеров реальных компаний.
Lech Kaniuk
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jim Collins research is very interesting and this book is a good follow up with the previous research.
Rob Bell
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is the BEST one from Jim Collins...
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
A solid book, good business sense. You really need to read his other, earlier books first to get the full value out of this, but it is solid and highly recommended.
Angie Dianetti
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Better than Good to Great and Built to Last!
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

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, including the classic BUILT TO LAST, wh
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“Bad decisions made with good intentions, are still bad decisions.” 41 likes
“I’ve come to see institutional decline like a staged disease: harder to detect but easier to cure in the early stages, easier to detect but harder to cure in the later stages. An institution can look strong on the outside but already be sick on the inside,” 0 likes
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