Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Good to Great Refresher

It's been a while since we read Good to Great by Jim Collins so I thought it was time to revisit the work.  After-all, it made a lasting impression on all of us at DSM and at a crucial time in our history. The book addresses a single question: Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how?   

Good to Great shows that greatness is not primarily a function of circumstance; but largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline. It's interesting that many of the following gems from this 'business' book can apply to other areas of relationships or learning to play an instrument.  Good or great is not a matter of luck, there are no magic bullets. Here are a few items from the book that we've  tried to take to heart over the past 15+ years:

Good is the enemy of great.

Decline is typically self-inflicted.

Over night successes are usually 20 years in the making.

Striving for great is a cumulative never ending process - “the moment we think we’re great, we’re dead”.

Get the right people on the bus even before you decide where you’re going.

Hire self-motivated people who are committed to doing whatever it takes.

The “plow horse” typically beats the “show horse” when it comes to great CEOs.

My daily office hedgehog reminder
Have the discipline to confront the brutal facts.

Find your “hedgehog” concept. What are you truly passionate about? What can you be the best in the world at?

We're still hashing through the list,  but we've successfully checked a few items off over the years.  We have the right people on the bus, a plow horse and a hedgehog...


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