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Good to Great: A Summary

Good to Great: A Summary

June 06, 2023

What makes someone great in the first place? is a subject that is addressed in the book Good To Great.

Over a period of 30 years, Jim and his colleagues examined 28 companies in three categories, good-to-great, direct comparison, and unsustained comparison, to determine which ones outperformed the stock market by a minimum of three times.

The end result is a collection of tactics, routines, and procedures that can elevate a business to greatness. To give you a sense of what it takes to create something of the highest caliber, here are three of them:

  1. Find your Hedgehog concept.
  2. Only adopt new technology if it helps you reach your goal.
  3. Confront nasty facts head on but don’t lose hope.

Find Your Hedgehog

The hedgehog reigns supreme in the forest if the lion rules the jungle. Yes, you read that correctly—the hedgehog.


He has the most straightforward protection method of them all, and he knows what to do in any attack scenario: curl up and transform into an impenetrable, spiky, rock-like, unbreakable fortress.

Foxes and snakes can devise as many sophisticated methods as they like, but the hedgehog will always respond the same way and win every time.

Companies that transform from good to great, according to Jim Collins, always come up with their own "Hedgehog concept"—a plan they can maintain implementing for a very long time and that will eventually propel them to the top. You must respond to three questions to determine your hedgehog notion.

  • What are we capable of excelling at?
  • What are some things we can be passionate about?
  • What important economic indicator should we pay attention to?

But don't rush; most good-to-great enterprises require time to develop It probably won't be easy to find yours; it took me 4 years to figure it out. Examples are Walgreens, which strives to be the greatest, most convenient drugstore with a high profit per visit, and Zappos, which wants to provide the finest customer experience for individuals who buy shoes online.

Only adopt new technology if it helps you reach your goal

All of these social networks—Anchor,, Vine, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter—are less than ten years old, and there are dozens more. Every year, a staggering quantity of new technology is introduced to us. What remains to be shown is how much of it actually helps us.

I'm attempting to create the best book summary website in the entire world, and I'm depending on blogging—a medium that is currently seen as outdated in every way—to do it.

Naturally, I test out the new gear, but I don't immediately stake everything on it. You'll have a very difficult time integrating new technology with your genuine objective if you adopt it solely to be a trailblazer or out of fear of missing out.

For instance, Walgreens suffered a 40% share price decline by first shunning e-commerce totally. They meticulously planned their web strategy and used it to advance their genuine objective of becoming the finest pharmacy shop, such as by providing online prescriptions for in-store pickup, while competitors sprang swiftly and vanished again a year later.

Be on the lookout for novel developments. Be sure they will help you develop your Hedgehog notion before you join the bandwagon.

Confront nasty facts head on but don’t lose hope

Another trait shared by good-to-great organizations is realistic optimism. They don't bury their heads in the sand and deny the obvious truths, but they also don't give up in despair.

Accept it and move on when your business is simply not profitable enough to make it or when your most recent marketing effort failed. For instance, the situation for the industry leaders Scott Paper and Kimberly-Clark looked quite gloomy when Procter & Gamble entered the paper goods sector.

Kimberly-Clark observed a moment of quiet for P&G since they knew the big guys were about to lose, but Scott Paper gave up the fight before it even started and began to expand out, aiming to control a few little sectors P&G had no business in. When given the chance to compete against one of the big boys, Kimberly-Clark rose to the occasion.

Twenty years later, Kimberly-Clark acquired Scott Paper and surpassed P&G in six of the eight product categories.

Everyone cooks their meal in the same water, as my mother likes to say. So be honest about the negative aspects but never lose hope in your capacity to solve the problem.

If you'd like to read this book for yourself, this link will take you to Amazon!