Jim Collin’s Good to Great is an effective management tonic that explains how a good organization can become a great organization. According to Collins, sustainable excellence is possible and he beautifully explains the main criteria that constitute greatness. In this great management book, Collins also give suggestions for organization how to reach that excellence. Any business organization can learn from this book how to become great in Enrollment Management.
Good to Great explain how a company can convert from a mediocre company to an excellent one. The author of the book Jim Collin along with his team consider all the evidence and the large amount of date for putting forth the suggestions that can transform an average company to a great company. The book also explain how the giants like Abbott, Fannie Mae, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Circuit City, Philip Morris, Gillette, Pitney Bowes, Wells Fargo and Walgreens have attained excellent results. The book explain the key strategies that have enabled enduring success for these business kings enabling them to be ‘Built to Last’.
The author of Good to Great has considered two sets of comparison companies; direct comparisons and unsustained comparisons. Direct comparisons include companies that are in the same industry possessing same resources as well as prospects as the good-to-great group but exhibited no improvement in its performance. Examples of these companies include Silo, Great Western, Upjohn, Warner-Lambert, A;P, Bethlehem Steel, Scott Paper, RJ Reynolds, Eckerd, Addressograph, Bank of America etc. The companies that are in the Unsustained comparisons are the ones that have exhibited a short-term shift from good to great and found unsuccessful in maintaining the continuing that temporary improvement. These companies that made a short-term improvement include Burroughs, Harris, Chrysler, Hasbro, Teledyne, Rubbermaid etc.
Good to Great gives management wisdom in a nutshell. Numerous success tips for the success of the organizations are included in this book. For example, it is found out that managers or CEOs of all the good-to-great companies are from inside. They have been serving the company in various posts and have proved to be a good leader in the company. They are not recruited for saving the company in the time of trouble. These managers are not outsiders; they are either long term employees of the company or are from the family that owned the company. Good-to-great companies are keen about what they should stop doing and what they should never do. According to Collins and his team technology do not play a major role in the transformation of a company from good to great. It would only accelerate the development. Again Good to Great says that Mergers and acquisitions is not crucial in the good to great transformation. Another observation on the good-to-great companies have revealed that they pay little attention in motivating staff or managing change. Since all other favorable conditions are met in these companies problems related to employees and environment will not arise at all. It has also been discovered by Collin that good-to-great transformations seldom require a new name, big ad, tagline, publicity or a launch program. The progress was revealed as performance results rather than as a revolutionary process (expecting result). Again according to Good to Great, greatness is no longer a function of circumstance; rather it is a matter of deliberate choice.
Jim Collin’s Good to Great says that all the good-to-great companies possess a Level 5 management at the period of pivotal transition. In the concepts of management, Level 1 makes a Highly Capable employee, Level 2 a Contributing Team Member, Level 3 a Competent Manager, Level 4 an Effective Leader, and finally Level 5 an Executive (being a combination of continuous greatness and excellent personal humility and professional talent). The observations of Jim Collin have revealed that Level 5 exhibit, compelling modesty, a self-effacing nature and a discreet or cautious behavior. The unsuccessful companies on the other hand have mangers with gargantuan personal egos that have dragged the company to ultimate failure. These indifferent managers are the core reason for the mediocrity of the companies. Again according to the tips given in Good to Great, Level 5 managers are fanatically driven. They are pushed by a strong desire or motivation to bring about sustained results. They have taken the oath to take adventurous or difficult task that make their organization great. They are industrious and dangerous motivated. They make hard decisions and steps that may not have been attempted by any of their predecessors. According to the book, the foulest decision by the modern organization is their decision to recruit dazzling, celebrity leaders leaving out the highly potential Level 5 leaders. Companies are trying to pull outsiders into the company, based on the performance of these leaders in some other companies or fields. These managers may not have any expertise in managing the new industry and would do everything for the demise of the company. These companies miss the Level 5 leaders who are really in a position to save the company. These potential leaders are with great experience knowing every nook and corner of the company. The new outsider manager of the company, on the other hand, will have to learn the ABCD of the new company. Even though the research team did not mean to look into the advantages of the Level 5 leadership, they ended up in discovering that Level 5 leadership do always possess the necessary expertise to run the company to success. Great companies are aware of this secret as they have the future manager within the company. They are least likely to be attracted towards management graduates from shining institutes and other five start managers whose salary share can take off the entire profit portion of the organization. Good to Great has revealed overwhelming and convincing results concerning the Level 5 leadership. The highly successful companies would choose the right people for the team and management before they define the vision and strategy. Unsuccessful companies, however, first recruit a readymade manager from some corner of the world and later think of visions and strategies. Moreover, good-to-great companies are seldom ruthless and never depend on layoffs or restructuring to upgrade their performance. Moreover, these companies possess managers who research vigorously in search of the best conclusions. They do argue thoroughly over various choices and makes the best decisions. Good to Great thus gives all the tips that would transform an average company to a great company.
Collins, J. Good to Great, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, 2001.