In addition, executives were worried about the feelings of the management, whereas in Pitney Bowes, a good-to-great company, the entire management team was open to challenges and suggestions. As Collins described in Chapter 2, they relied principally on inspired standards: [ ] what we just accomplished, no matter how great, is never going to be good enough to sustain us, as one executive at Pitney Bowes said. The lesson here is that less charismatic leaders often produce better long-term results than the more charismatic ones.
The author also concludes that spending time and energy trying to motivate people is a waste of effort. The point is that if you have the right people, they will be self-motivated and the key is to not de-motivate them. The solution to the latter is to create a culture that gives people the opportunity to be heard and, eventually, for the truth to be heard. Several tips are presented as basic practices to create this climate:
Lead with questions, not answers.
? Why: to gain understanding
? Make particular good use of informal meetings
? Case of Alan Wurtzel, CEO of Circuit City
Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion.
? Strategy is evolving through many arguments and fights
? Case of Ken Iverson, CEO of Nucor
Conduct autopsies, without blame.
? No one points fingers to single out blame
? Learn from the mistake
Build red flag mechanisms.
? The key is to turn information into information that cannot be ignored.
In confronting the brutal facts, the good-to-great companies became stronger and more competitive. They did not just have the goal to merely survive, but also to prevail in the end as great companies. Collins brings to our knowledge the case of Fannie Mae, a company that never entertained the possibility that it would fail, rebuilding the entire business management and reshaping the corporate culture into a high-performance machine.
The chapter ends with a biographical subchapter in whi View More »