Parcoast's Reviews > Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Good to Great by James C. Collins
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really liked it
Read 2 times. Last read March 27, 2015.

February 2011:
I haven't handed out five stars in a long time. So how did this book get all five? Well, part of it might be that I haven't broken out of the Fantasy genre in a while, given my goal of getting through the Wheel of Time. Or maybe this is just a fantastic study on what makes companies great. Really great.

So the pros: This is a study put together with an approach that can only be called scientific for a topic that is so difficult to analyze quantitatively. That sounds pretty dry, I know. Yet it was very consumable. I had no trouble keeping my interest, and about 2/3 of the way through the book, when my attention started to wander, it ended right on time. The last third of the book held appendices a very helpful index, and basically a variety of a la carte data that backed up the main message of the book. It was very well put together.

The cons: I only have one con, and it is pretty weak. I look at the principles and think that there is room for a lot of personal application. I admit it doesn't fit in with the objective of the study, and any conclusions would be highly suspect, but I was left wanting. So it is my only con.

I recommend this to anyone who owns a business, works in a business, or is just plain interested in becoming not just good, but great at something. So that is just about everybody.

April 2015:

I wasn't planning on reading Good to Great this month, but I had reserved it from the library, and well, when opportunity knocks...

I read and reviewed Good to Great back in 2011, and gave it a glowing 5 stars, but my enthusiasm has probably waned a little since then. I still think it is a great book, but I've been exposed to a lot of other great books, and this is very foundational. Not as actionable. And although Collins addresses the concern of only having 11 companies to study, I still have trouble with it. With such a small data set, it is hard not to see outside influences and circumstances that might have affected the outcomes he highlights.

So I still like the key concepts in this book. Who before what. The hedgehog concept. The three circles. The flywheel principle. I think what I would really like to see is a follow-up study of the next generation of companies who fit the same criteria, and another study 10 years after that, etc. Every 10 years or so a new batch of companies should come along and either validate or invalidate his findings. Or just build on them and add depth. Until then, this one has slipped to 4 stars for me, although I still highly recommend it.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 11, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
March 27, 2015 – Finished Reading

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