Jim Collins Research Paper

Pages: 7 (2158 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

Jim Collins is an American business consultant who provides lecturer on the subject of company growth and sustained progress. In 1992, he won the 'Distinguished Teachers Award' while working as a teacher at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He also worked as senior executive at CNN International and in 1995; he established a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado which is his native place. He regularly contributes to some of the business magazines and newspapers such as Business Week, Harvard Business Review and Fortune. (About Jim)

Jim Collins is a well-known bestselling author of some of very popular business books that represents class research and provides a clear insight at some of very important aspects of business management and sustainable growth. Some of his excellent works include 'How Mighty Fall and Why Some Companies Never Give in,' 'Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies' and 'Good to Great.' (About Jim)

Jim Collins is considered as one of the eminent thinkers of leadership in business, yet he considers himself as a historian who considers a set of historical events in the business management in a systematic, controlled and analytic way. He compares matched pairs of companies that were facing similar set of circumstances and difficult situations. (Hossli, Steve Jobs is an Industrial Beethoven).

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Jim Collins formulated tangible frameworks for explaining and making it understandable that what it takes it for an organization to succeed along with straightforwardly explaining about the dark side of the issue and suggesting why some of the companies fail. Good to Great was published just after the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001. Under the influence of the burst dot-com bubble and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when the United States was feeling the nervous times, his book brought the back-to-basic message, stating Quiet but determined leaders who remained focused on clear and simple goals were the real success stories of corporate America (Bryant, A4).

Research Paper on Jim Collins Assignment

'Good to Great' can be said as one of the finest books on business management for the following reason:

Jim Collins identifies the main essential factors behind the success of any great business of large, small or medium size very clearly in that book.

He creates an undeniably gripping profile of a modern day leader and all his or her abilities and acumen that is necessary in him or her to take an enterprise from good to great.

He demonstrates the objective principle behind any successful enterprise suggesting that the success is the direct result of determined ethical behaviour, he negates the idea that one need to compromise in order to gain success. He strongly claims that only those can succeed who deny compromising on their objectivistic ethical grounds.

Right at the beginning of the book, Jim Collins makes a non-spontaneous, counterintuitive yet an amazingly true statement that "Good is the enemy of great." He defies all the evolutionary ideas that something can improve from bad to good and from good to better and then best. Rather he suggests that "The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good -- and that is their main problem." (Collins, 1)

The book was the result of some five to six-year of hard work through which Jim Collins and his assistants researched extensively. He refers his assistant research team as "The Chimps" and at his third floor office in the city of Boulder, which he refers as the "Management Lab" there is a room with a small sign outside the door that says "Chimps Works" (Bryant, A4).

The book does not tell you what to do or what not to do for being good or better or great, rather the book discusses the cases of 11 companies Abbott, Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo and analyzes them thoroughly to explain his view point, suggesting how one can be great. He again attacks the generally established yet completely wrong idea that to be great, one needs luck. He suggests the idea of greatness through one of the eye-catching phrase of the book "Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice" (Collins, 162).

In his previous book, 'Built to Last', Jim Collins suggested how great companies win over time and masters long-term sustained performance throughout from their very beginning. He also suggested that companies that see themselves as more than just revenue-generators-hose that have a strong mission-consistently outperform the Dow (Laabs, 7). In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins take the challenge to suggest that what it would take for a company that is not so great, to be a great enterprise, he looks through the issue to solve out the question, how can a bad company, a mediocre company or a relatively good company can achieve a sustainable and time enduring greatness.

Jim Collins suggested that only some of the companies can stand against all the odds and explained why some of the companies like P&G, GE, J&J, and IBM, although felt the heat of the outburst of dot-com bubble and the terrorist attacks of 9/11, yet the companies had an incredible fabric of values, of underlying principles that explained why it was important that they existed (Reingold, 15). He explained this through the example of P&G that remained determined on the business principle of always building reputation on quality. When a company faces difficult times and need to cut cost, instead of compromising over the quality of their product by using cheaper ingredients, they chose not to do it. The other important thing about great companies Jim Collins noted, was the fact that even the most difficult tumultuous times, the great companies relied more over their working force whom they treated as a family.

Jim Collins and his research team have read and coded 6,000 articles and produced more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and about 384 megabytes of computer data was compiled during the research time of five years for the book whose main motive is to evolve a systematic study to find what it will take for a good, mediocre or even a badly performing company to be a great enterprise. First the book established the definition of good and great and then defines the transition of good to great, which includes a ten years empty period and fifteen years of increased profits. Colin's research include all the companies that made on the list of Fortune 500, that is, about 1400 companies and then in a well-argued and instructive manner, he identifies 11 companies that he termed as great on the basis of well established principles. The 11 companies include Walgreens, Kimberly Clark, and Fannie Mae. (McCleave; Gale, 53).

The findings of the great research put forth by Collin in the book 'Good to Great' are definitely able to surprise most of the readers. The research touches virtually all the areas of business management and strategy practices and hence can be considered as a great guide for anyone interested and in need of a proper guide for managing their business. The findings of Jim Collins research work include the type of leadership that a company requires to achieve the greatness. The finding of Jim Collins in his research-based book From Good to Great suggest that consistently successful companies - those successful over a 15-year period - are frequently led by quiet, even shy, individuals who are nevertheless rigorous in people decisions and win the loyalty of their staff (Steve, 18).

While explaining "what makes a great leader," Jim suggest that great leaders are not in for themselves. They are in it to build a great company, something that is larger than them. They are in it to have a real impact on the world and they are utterly relentless in making the most painful decisions required in order to make good on that ambition (Hossli, Steve Jobs is an Industrial Beethoven). The book also mentions that one of the most damaging trend in many of the enterprises in the recent history is to select smart celebrity leaders above potential Level 5 leaders, obviously it hurts the company to great extent and such companies often fails to reach the heights of greatness they could have. He suggests that Potential Level 5 leaders are not someone with extremely rare nature or qualities, rather we can find potential level 5 leaders everywhere around us, the only problem is, we need to look for them and distinguish them.

Another suggestion by Jim Collins in his book 'Good to Great' for the companies that strive for their transition from good to great enterprises is the Hedgehog Concept that emphasizes on the simplicity within the Three Circles and suggests that to transcend from good to great, an enterprise need to rise above the circles of competence. The Hedgehog Concept is based on the intersection of three conceptual circles of thoughts namely, what you can be the best in the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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