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On Jim Collins

May 7th, 2003 · No Comments

Jim Collins has authored two best-selling books on management: “Built To Last” and “Good to Great.” He now commands USD 1,000 a minute for his speeches. Forbes has more:

He spins out reassuring truisms: Companies should set especially ambitious goals. Chief executives don’t have to be charismatic to succeed. Those who put their companies first, rather than themselves, are more likely to thrive. Companies that make profit maximization their priority don’t perform as well as firms that live up to the core values of their founders. He preaches patience: A real turnaround can take seven years, and failing to “embrace that fact is one of the primary causes of chronic mediocrity.”Collins says it’s okay to enter a new tech market late rather than get there first, and that technology doesn’t assure greatness but merely accelerates it–soothing words for tech-shy chief executives.

Collins says that how a company measures its performance is critical. Sheer profit isn’t the best gauge, he argues; corporate greatness requires every company to isolate and measure the most profound economic denominator that best reflects its ability to make money. Less than 10% of companies understand their true economic denominator, he asserts.

Now Collins, at the urging of Intel Chairman Andrew Grove, is turning to corporate autopsies, studying why great companies relapse into merely good ones and why some fall all the way to mediocre.


Jim Collins

Tags: Management

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