Good to Great Book Review Essay

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Good to Great Book Review

To transform a good company to great company is all manages’ dream, but only few of them make it. To find out the core factors which lead to a good company became a great company is very difficult, because in different era, different industry companies face different opportunities and threats. To begin the research for the Good-to-Great study, Jim Collins and his research team searched for companies that: performed at or below the general stock market for at least fifteen years; then at a transition point began to pull away from the competition, and sustained returns of at least 3 times the general market for the next fifteen years. He started with a list of 1,435 companies and found eleven that met his criteria. These eleven companies produced, on average, a return of 6.9 times the general stock market during the 15 years following the transition points. Collins chose a 15-year span to avoid "one-hit wonders" and lucky breaks. In the book, Collins highlights some important factors which are the result of the research. They are level 5 leadership, fist who … then what, confront the brutal facts, the hedgehog concept, culture of discipline, and technology accelerators, (Collins, 2001, p.12).

According to Wheelen & Hunger, strategic management “is that set of managerial decisions and actions that determines the long-run performance of a corporation. It includes environmental scanning (both external and internal), strategy formulation (strategic or long-range planning), strategy implementation, and evaluation and control” (2004, p2). All eleven good to great companies are benefit from strategic management and gain long term strategic advantage then lead to outperforming compared companies.

The first factor is level 5 leadership. A leader is the soul of the company. Base on the research, every good-to-great company had level 5 leaders during the pivotal transition years. In the book, level 5 leaders embody a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will (Collins, 2001, p.13). Darwin E. Smith is an example of lever 5 leasers. Smith transforms Kimberly-Clark into the leading paper-based consumer products company in the world within twenty years. Generated cumulative stocks return 4.1 times the general market, furthermore beating its direct rivals Procter & Gamble and Scott Paper. Level 5 leaderships’ ambition i...

... middle of paper ... not likes leader, concept, and culture; it is an accelerator for the company. Good-to-great companies used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. None of the good-to-great company began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers in the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their three circles and after they hit breakthrough (Collins, 2001, p.162). Before become a pioneer in the application of the technology, we have to do the external and internal scanning to see is it the technology fit our long term strategic and hedgehog concept.

Generally speaking, Good-to-Great are base on six major factors: leadership, staffing, information, concept, culture and technology. All these factors drive the companies good to great. Without a doubt, this is a must read for anyone in business, running a business or starting a business.


Collins, J. (2001). Don’t Good to Great – Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others. New York: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Wheelen T.L., & Hunger J.D. (2004). Strategic Management and Business Policy
(9thed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc.

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