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Good to Great

A book by Jim Collins

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Get book, not CDs. But "Good to Great" by Jim Collins is a must-read, just as any MBA will tell you.

  • Oct 24, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+3
People with MBAs agree this is the one book to read if you wish you had an MBA but know you'll never put that time in.

I recommend getting the book rather than the audiobook because, even though I'm benefiting from CDs in my car, I'm not enjoying it all that much. I do think I'd enjoy the book, though, because I'd be able to skim and flip around according to my interests in the moment. I plan to buy it.

Lists and data don't lend themselves to being read aloud. Jim himself reads the book and effusively acts out each word, so "terrible" and "tremendous" are laden with feeling. The double effect is a bit much. His enunciation is overly crisp, which makes me wish I were an ESL student who longed for people to just slow down and speak more precisely. As a native speaker, I don't need that.

It's a little creepy that the "great" companies include a cigarette maker, but Jim makes it clear that the researchers chose to base greatness on data rather than social value. I can understand that, and for the purposes of the book, it doesn't matter. His team extracts principles that any company can apply in any industry, and that's a real service. The principles themselves actually relax me because I agree with them and feel heartened that they are receiving such a credible endorsement.

Another odd chord is struck when Circuit City turns up on the "great" list. It went out of business in the current recession. Nevertheless, I tend to believe it was great during the time of Jim's research. I haven't looked into that in detail, but I do feel very curious and would love an updated look.

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More Good to Great reviews
Quick Tip by . June 05, 2010
Good book...but how have so many "great" companies failed
About the reviewer
Lauren Edwards ()
Ranked #942
I am employed bythe firm that handledpublic relationsfor Lunch at the time of its launch, although I myself don'tdesign and executePR campaigns. Until now, I didn't plan on using this forum for business. … more
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Author: Jim Collins
Genre: Management, Case Studies

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