Posts Tagged ‘Jim Collins’

Good to Great

Monday, January 24th, 2011

“My grandfather said that if you read too many books, your head would fall off.”  -Peppermint Patty

Five more books to read from the 2010 Veterinary Economics Summer Reading List!  I have three on my nightstand, one ordered and one on the way through interlibrary loan with Omaha Public Libraries.  Woo!  Can you think of ANYTHING more exciting?  Um…well, I am very excited.  Here is a review of the latest one I finished…

Good to Great

Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t


Jim Collins

Five Stars!


First I will cover…the cover. It is beautiful – red with black and white text, and the faintest upward-trending graph in light red, not pink, more of a contrasting-the-background shiny red that you can see if you shift the book in the light.  I carried Good to Great with me everywhere I went, and it looked lovely with my purple tennies and red mittens.

On to content…well, not yet.  On to context. This book has TONS of research behind it.  A research team of twenty people spent an estimated fifteen thousand hours gathering and analyzing data for the book.  Who am I to say Phillip Morris is not a great company?  By the very rigid, exacting and well-studied parameters of the Good to Great Research Team and the definition they agreed upon in order to study greatness from a common vantage point, it is.  And we all have much to learn from the companies, the book, and the team behind it.

And now the book itself… When I finished arguing with the book about the definition of greatness, I settled in and learned things that have been integrated as permanent components of my own definition of greatness.  The concepts that are stuck in my head and going onto my vision board today are the Hedgehog Concept and the Flywheel.

The Hedgehog Concept: Hedgehogs are focused on what is important to them.  (Here is my veterinary summary:  Danger!  Roll!)  If we are similarly focused, we will invest our energy into what we are passionate about, what we can be best at, and what drives our economic engine – the Hedgehog Concept.  I love it.

The Flywheel: The Flywheel is a visual picture of the process of continuing forward, making the right decisions, doing the right things, until you have built momentum, and you are successful.  Awesome.  Explained much better in the book.

The book is extremely detailed and profiles several companies that have successfully moved from “good to great” over many years.  It has many other concepts that are relevant to veterinary medicine and life in general.  I honestly can not think of a color of mitten that would not look nice with this book, so now would be a great time to start it.

Bunny Trails: Before Good to Great, Jim Collins wrote Built to Last, which I have often heard is worth reading.  In Good to Great, the author says that after finishing both books, he actually thinks Built to Last works better as a sequel to Good to Great.  Awesome!  I am right on track!  I will definitely be reading Built to Last soon.

Mr. Bean, my constant reminder of the Hedgehog Concept

If you need a reminder too, his handmade friends are available from Artists for Hope, and bonus, you would be helping kids in Haiti!

Coming Soon to Riley and James!

“The Farmer, A True (Short) Story”

“Happy Heartworm Free February”

“You Say It’s Your Birthday…”