Built to Last, the definining managment study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
Our Nr.1 client Allegro Microsystems shows the way with Good To Great philosophies applied including getting the right people on the bus as Fitco has enabled them to do since 2012 and since 2014 they have grown at over 33% per annum in the worlds largest automotive market China.
Why Some Companies Make the Leap and others Dont?
Good to Great Company Characteristics
- Level 5 leadership. Level 5 executives “build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will,” Collins explains.
- First who ... then what. Good-to-Great leaders “first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats—and then they figured out where to drive it,” says Collins.
- Confront the brutal facts, yet never lose faith. “Every Good-to-Great company embraced the [Vietnam POW] Stockdale Paradox: You must maintain unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and, at the same time, have the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
- The hedgehog concept (simplicity within the three circles). Good-to-Great companies are like hedgehogs—“simple, dowdy creatures that know ‘one big thing’ and stick to it. The comparison companies are more like foxes—crafty, cunning creatures that know many things yet lack consistency,” says Collins. Good-to-Great companies apply the hedgehog concept to find simplicity within three intersecting circles: what you can be the best in the world at; what you are deeply passionate about; and what drives your economic engine.
- A culture of discipline. “All companies have a culture, some companies have discipline, but few companies have a culture of discipline,” Collins explains. “When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great performance.”
- Technology accelerators. “Good-to-Great companies think differently about the role of technology,” says Collins. “They never use technology as the primary means of igniting a transformation. Yet, paradoxically, they are pioneers in the application of carefully selected technologies.”
- The flywheel concept. “No matter how dramatic the end result, Good-to-Great transformations never happened in one fell swoop,” says Collins. “There was no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break [like the Hush Puppies epidemic], no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembled relentlessly pushing a giant heavy flywheel in one direction, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.”