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Book Memo


“Good to great: Why some companies make the leap … and others don’t” is one of the bestselling books across the globe. Its author is known as Jim Collins. It is suitable for business people harboring the dream of achieving the best in their endeavors. Looking at the book, one notes that it highlights important issues regarding business activities. This discourse gives a summary of the book. Key areas of the book, as well as important issues emphasized by the author have also been discussed.

Collins (2001) is clear that most established companies faced challenges in their early days. They struggled to make ends meet. This involved hard work from the management yet there was no substantial output by these companies. According to the author, such companies lacked a spark to make them move towards the direction of success. However, there came a point where these companies realized their potential, and were turbo charged into huge companies that we see today.

The greatness seen in various companies did not come as a result of revolutions. Neither did such companies expand after a rich CEO took over management of the companies. The author is adamant that employing a CEO who uses enormous funds has never caused success in a company. Collins avers that growth and development of huge companies is attributable to consistent efforts which he terms as ‘pushing against the fly wheel’.

The author expounds his point by using an American company known as the American Drugstore Chain Walgreens. This is a company which survived amongst other companies by doing the ordinary things that any other company would do. Accordingly, the company remained a normal company for more than four decades. In the year 1975, the company engaged the second gear as far as its actions were concerned. It moved from an average way of doing things and this resulted into success. A move made by the management to put more effort in the company witnessed a significant company expansion. The period between the years 1975 and 2000 was the turning point of this company. It is factual that it grew eight times bigger than the coca cola company; five times bigger than the overhyped General Electricity; and it outperformed the General Stock Company fifteen times.

Jim highlights the issue of mediocrity in his book. He believes that a company can only be successful if mediocrity is not entertained. This triggered him plunge into intensive research to know how a company can come out of mediocrity. The research took him five years to complete. He discerned the operations of eleven great companies that have had a superior performance for the last decade and a half. These companies include: Pitney Bowes that deals with back office equipment; Philip Morris that produces cigarettes, chocolate and coffee products; Kimberly Klerk that deals with nappies and diapers; Gillette that produces razorblades; and Fannie Mae, a mortgage finance house company. He remarks that of all the companies researched upon, he found no company that underperformed.

Basically, the book highlights issues related to corporate world development. It is a book that suits not only entrepreneurs but also government officers who deal with government tenders and activities.

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Business and Client Relevancy

From the facts of the book, the author underscored various aspects that affect the contemporary business world. It is true that the business world yearns for success in every endeavor it undertakes. Accordingly, Jim has enumerated a number of things that spearhead the growth and development of the current business world.

A certain kind of leadership is necessary for any business endeavor to succeed. So many businesses have been established only to collapse before picking up. Others have reached the best heights and collapsed after some factors were channeled into those businesses. The common let-down in most businesses or corporate bodies comes from changes in the management. So many businesses have been adversely affected by change in management. This occurs in two major ways. One is where the outgoing management fails to make a proper choice of its successor. This is based on wrong advice from company stakeholders. Another mistake involves situations where the outgoing management would wish to have their legacy maintained. Consequently, they contemplate sabotaging company activities by choosing a management that lacks the capacity to maintain standards of the company. This underscores the need for better leadership in any business. In any case, the success or failure of any company is dependent on the kind of management that spearheads company activities. Therefore, the Central Communication Agency has to find proper leadership in order to raise the company to greater heights.

A company requires the right people within its employee books. Employees play a crucial role in developing an institution or corporate body. These are the people who understand activities within the cooperate body. As a result, they know what is best and what is not good for the company. They know the weaknesses of the company as well as its strength. Having the right people in the company implies dedication and hard work. It is true that proper remuneration is not the better way of triggering dedication and hard work among employees. There is a need to inculcate virtues of dedication amongst the staff. This important attribute means that members of the company execute their tasks with the required zeal. Deal with employees who have got the rightful mind. Offload those whose aim is to have personal gains at the expense of the company. This is the only way to have people with a common goal working for the company. Nonetheless, a company should approach a strict manner of doing things but not a ruthless one. The latter is unquestionably unproductive. Central Communication Agency should tap lessons from this aspect of proper business management. The management should choose people with the rightful mind.

The contemporary business requires the highest level of honesty. Honesty is all about saying facts as opposed to expressing feelings. If there is a wrong activity going on within the company, it should be spelled out by any employee notwithstanding their rank. They should not be intimidated by the management. On the other hand, the management should be ready to listen to anyone’s views within the company. This ensures that openness is cultivated in the company. With such critique strategies, a company heads towards a positive direction. This should be applied by the Central Communication Agency in its service delivery. When the management of this company allows people to express their views, it provides a platform to eliminate challenges.

Student Relevancy and Reaction

There are numerous lessons that this book provides as far as business strategies are concerned. Credit goes to the author for providing a holistic approach when articulating crucial issues of business strategies. It is a laudable exercise as it has been done in the most simple, yet exhaustive manner. This is ascribed to the fact that the author used various examples to add weight to his concepts. As if that is not enough, he gave quotes of some great people that lived. Such quotes did not only authenticate the topic of discussion but also made the book intriguing when reading. The book remains one of the best for it touches on almost all that we have learned in Central Washington University. Admittedly, the author has enumerated the major points that any enterprising person would wish to hear. He gave the best examples of companies that are known by virtually every American citizen. In that light, I would not disagree with him whatsoever.

Inasmuch as I would agree that the entire book is a hit, the most intriguing section is where he expounds on the meaning of the title ‘Good Is the Enemy of Great’. He states that good and bad can never augur. For either to thrive, one must be subdued. He says that we have so little that becomes great simply because there cannot be a simultaneous existence of both the good and the bad. Jim insists that transformation from good to great does not just happen spontaneously. There must be a process to facilitate such a transformation. There must be a buildup that is followed by a breakthrough that is coupled with three major elements. The first component is disciplined people. In any kind of chore, discipline takes precedence. Through discipline, members are able to execute specific chores without causing chaos and confusions. In the long run, positive results will begin cropping up. Disciplined thought is the second component. The author uses the stock dale paradox and the hedgehog concept to underscore this pertinent element. Basically, he implies that a rightful mind has got the ability to comprehend issues that affect any errand. Lastly, the author touches on the disciplined action. When a member of a corporation or business endeavor executes a certain act, they do it responsibly and must be ready to be held accountable incase of need.

This book is an epitome of quality insights. The Central Communication Agency possesses the goal of being the best service provider in town. As indicated by Jim (2001), there is nothing that is impossible as long as an extra effort is channeled into the work done. With a myriad of lessons from the book, stakeholders of the Central Communication Agency have got no reason to give incase the company fails to reach the revered top-notch.

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