How the Mighty Fall

Just finished How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great.  As the name connotes, it’s about what contributes to the fall of once-great companies. 

He says there are five stages in the process of falling:

  1. Hubris Born of Success
  2. Undisciplined Pursuit of More
  3. Denial of Risk and Peril
  4. Grasping for Salvation
  5. Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

Here are some things I picked up from it:

  • “Don’t try to come up with the right answers; focus on coming up with good questions.”
  • “There are more ways to fall than to become great.”
  • When grasping for salvation “Common ‘saviors’ include a charismatic visionary leader, a bold but untested strategy, a radical transformation, a dramatic cultural revolution, a hoped-for blockbuster product, a ‘game changing’ acquisition, or any number of other silver-bullet solutions.”
  • “Great companies foster a productive tension between continuity and change.”
  • “Everyone in a key seat should be able to respond to the question ‘What do you do?’ not with a job title, but with a statement of personal responsibility.”
  • “Many ‘overnight success’ stories are about twenty years in the making.”

About Big Tasty

Be better today than yesterday.

Posted on November 30, 2009, in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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