Jim Collins’s best seller “Good to Great” never finished to bring us all the details necessary to a perfect evolution of a modern company. Understanding that good is in fact, not so good at all, and finally a disadvantage, time has come to raise the level of competitivity of a corporation. Good is not good enough and need to enhance the conscious, but can be enough for lots of people, avoiding them to ask for excellence and greatness. That’s why Jim Collins drove a long years study, discovering and confronting “good” and “great” companies, to understand behaviors and differences of strategies, leading to change. I’d like to share a quick report of the principles keys, shaping the framework of results given by many interviews, meetings and talks with several executives and CEO. Interesting to see how structure, understanding and method can change the way we lead the business dance after digesting these different results.
1) Right people: any adventure you start, you have to play with good guys, right guys in fact; having right resources means not spending lots of money in motivations tools or process, by having DNA motivated guys to follow you, anytime you want.
2) Level 5 leaders: those who you want to follow by heavy weather too, in any situation against all transformations. Charism, good sense and ethic and far beyond basic business goals. Respectable, humble and close to executive, strong and straight decisions and last but not least: consistent. A kind of CEO you don’t forget, to pilot the business bus.
3) Brutal facts: they are for sure, and hide your face in the sand doesn’t make any sense. The best option is to face the reality with structure, skills and imagination. The more you consider it, the more you know your environment and know how to cope with it. a great and fantastic ability, buried into level 5 leaders core competencies, needed to right understanding of what’s going on…
4) Culture of Discipline: when you stare any modern and dynamic entity or try to explain the efficiency of a large corporation, there’s anything but discipline. If you have right people on the bus (see 1), you’ll get essence of discipline and motivation inside. Discipline includes organization, report, know all about your own responsability toward each other, a main competency for working in teams and large projects human groups. Army, as a comparison, can show a perfect model of efficiency of discipline when you have to cope with thousands of people on a whole operation to succeed. And if anyone knows his role in the larger project, the bus drives fast, surely and to achievement of initial goals.
5) the everlasting fashion dreams of “techs”: driven by IT, web 2.0 and web invasion, we think IT drives the world on its own. But none of it. IT makes things possible, but doesn’t create things, ideas, process and management. It forces us to change, revisit our old concepts, and shows us new possibilities. Web bubble increased the idea of “everything is possible”, without any improvement on HOW…we shall do it. If tech makes us dreaming, it seems “only” an accelerator and requires to have clear mind and strategy about how drive the company to success: business keys and positions to take. Techs are definitely not magic wand…
6) Faith? Everything in life needs faith. Faith for what you do, try, want, dream. If you stop having faith for what you believe, do or breathe, you won’t be excellent…You’ll miss the essential core of masterpieces. Spiritural side of your projects is important too, to feel the sheer face of problems, solutions and leadership. Any leader (religious, prophet, economic, politic…) has his own hidden side of unknown. But having faith always-on aside makes them more powerful and insightful for future.
7) the ongoing process of turning wheel (sometimes it even flies…!): when putting so much efforts and energy to get all those elements together, you don’t want to stop the movement. Getting part and involved in a whole shift for change, your old side is over. You nurtured a complex global machine, with each part in a single function, delivering value to the whole process. The inertia that has been generated can’t (must not) be stopped without throwing away all the efforts made so far. Too many changes in business navigation and you’re gonna lose teams and direction…You only make one good impression: the one you are, when you’re driving the change with leadership, success, method and charism.
This is the way for sure, to raise a “build-to-last” company, those one resist to crisis, transformation or turnover threats. Those who will face competition with serenity
I made my mind forever with this book. I agree with these simple concepts because for one time they are fully real and concrete. Company lead seems complicated because we make (and keep) it complicated, to build barriers for our own interest and not for collective and social improvement. And as I started, talking about Jim Collins’ thoughts, “companies can’t find the way to greatness because they are good. And they consider them as good enough, not to change anything…”. A human mistake, because we’re only human, with egos and limits…