A GOOD read from the bookshelf of Joe Framptom!
During my career I have read many “how to” books that promise success in one’s business. All of them together have not impacted me like Good to Great, which I read soon after it was published in 2001. The author, Jim Collins, began with 1,435 good companies, examined their performance over 40 years, and found the 11 companies that became great. The book provides lessons on eggs, flywheels, hedgehogs, buses, and other essentials of business that can help transform your company.
Many of us have sought success by operating our companies based on myths. Mr. Collins has proven the myths of change, stock options, fear, acquisitions, technology, and revolution to be wrong—“totally wrong” as he says. A champion rock climber, college professor, and business consultant, Mr. Collins spent five years leading a group of graduate students from the University of Colorado in the study. The team, while investigating the 1,435 companies, identified seven key factors that form the heart of their analysis: Level 5 leadership, first who . . . then what, the Stockdale paradox, the culture of discipline, technology accelerators, the flywheel, and the hedgehog concept. Reading the book will introduce you to each of these concepts and lead you to an understanding of what it takes to move a company from good to great.
Mr. Collins concluded that “good is the enemy of great.” He said, “Most people will look back and realize they did not have a great life because it’s just so easy to settle for a good life.” This book is about the success of those who choose to move beyond mediocrity to greatness.
After reading Good to Great, I realized that the lessons could be applied to any organization, including Paducah Bank. During the past several months each member of our Bank’s staff and Board has read Good to Great and has discussed it in numerous group sessions studying Mr. Collins’ findings and figuring out how to apply them to our Company. The understanding of the concepts and their subsequent application to one’s organization is a long journey, not a single event. Once one has taken the time to seek and grasp the meaning of the research, total dedication and commitment are required to move toward greatness. The power of the book is not in its content but in the application of that content to one’s own life, business and personal.
If you are happy and satisfied with being good, then there is no reason to read this book. If, however, you believe that things can be better and that greatness might be possible, then I strongly suggest that you read this book. A number of local companies are currently using this book, including the McCracken County Public Library where you may secure copies of the book in hardcover or on tape. Ask any member of our Bank’s staff what they think about the possibility of being great!