Jim Collins is one of my all time favorites. He has a rare gift of balancing the science, reality of everyday business and passion. I started by reading the “Good to Great” and then the other older books. Have been waiting for this one since it was first mentioned on Jim Collins website. One curious thing is that Jim narrates his own books. He is a very passionate and engaging reader if you prefer audiobooks.
I have always been fascinated by the great and successful companies. When studying different organization, it is very hard to determine what exactly makes them successful. Is it the management, the culture or the workers? Who are the linchpins that get the machinery going and keep the speed and course to success?
Jim Collins and his team of researchers have found the answers to these questions. Although the approach and references to corporate culture is very American, the essence, meaning and characteristics are all universal.
This book provides lots of interesting and new material. Good to Great had the concept of Level 5 leaders, which is amazingly accurate. This book introduces the concept of 10X:ers. The attributes and characteristics of what it takes to become great and stay that way. What I found interesting in this book compared to Good to Great is that it focuses on more then just the CEO. There are number of discussions about qualities and traits of a great individual without having the title of the CEO.
The concept of SMaC is also a typical product of Jim Collins. Name a technique that is easy to understand, remember and talk about.
The discussion about the importance of luck is very interesting. Many people talk about luck, good or bad, as an important part of success. Reading this chapter makes so much more sense. It is not luck, it is what you do with your opportunities that makes the difference.
Lastly, the concept of “fire bullets, then cannonballs” is a very interesting topic that I have first hand experience with. I have seen so many prototypes becoming the final product. Once you see the devastating result of that you’ll know the importance of having many small intensive prototypes and ideas and then once you find the right one … just “bet the company” (Steve Jobs comment!)
In summary, I recommend this book on the highest level. Regardless if you are looking for a business, motivational, leadership or any other of these topics you will most certainly find many interesting concepts and thoughts in this book.