Good To Great - Culture Of Discipline
By Brian Chernett
Getting from good to great is a matter of finding the right formula for the business. The real effort, suggests Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, is in staying great. That is a real a team effort with proper (Level 5) leadership and a simple (Hedgehog) concept. But temptations come along and businesses seem to be programmed to pursue opportunities even when they are not exactly what they should be doing. How can this ‘creep’ into non-Hedgehog areas be resisted?
The business needs to provide freedom and...
...responsibility within a framework that can be understood and applied. Collins proposes that take off from good to great comes from the process of disciplined people, applying disciplined thought and leading to disciplined action.
All this talk of discipline caused Collins to doubt whether this section was rightly in the GTG formula. After all, there were many examples of charismatic leaders acting in a tyrannical way to impose discipline on their business — and the results did, in many cases, respond positively to that. However, the team decided that it was a culture of discipline that was what made companies move from good to great and stay there not a tyrant. The difference is that the tyrant needs to be there for growth and performance to happen whereas a culture ensures growth and performance happen independent of leadership.
Fanatical adherance to the Hedgehog Concept along with the belief that “we WILL find a way” often leads directly to great performance. When distractions, however apparently lucrative, appear, the business will apply a simple test -anything that does not fit, we will not do — and the people within the business will understand why some opportunities are turned... continued on page two >