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Great by Choice

Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The new question
Ten years after the worldwide bestseller Good to Great, Jim Collins returns with another groundbreaking work, this time to ask: Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not? Based on nine years of research, buttressed by rigorous analysis and infused with engaging stories, Collins and his colleague, Morten Hansen, enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous, and fast-moving times.

The new study
Great by Choice distinguishes itself from Collins’s prior work by its focus not just on performance, but also on the type of unstable environments faced by leaders today.

With a team of more than twenty researchers, Collins and Hansen studied companies that rose to greatness—beating their industry indexes by a minimum of ten times over fifteen years—in environments characterized by big forces and rapid shifts that leaders could not predict or control. The research team then contrasted these “10X companies” to a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to achieve greatness in similarly extreme environments.

The new findings
The study results were full of provocative surprises. Such as:
The best leaders were not more risk taking, more visionary, and more creative than the comparisons; they were more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.Innovation by itself turns out not to be the trump card in a chaotic and uncertain world; more important is the ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline.Following the belief that leading in a “fast world” always requires “fast decisions” and “fast action” is a good way to get killed.The great companies changed less in reaction to a radically changing world than the comparison companies.
The authors challenge conventional wisdom with thought-provoking, sticky, and supremely practical concepts. They include: 10Xers; the 20 Mile March; Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs; Leading above the Death Line; Zoom Out, Then Zoom In; and the SMaC Recipe.

Finally, in the last chapter, Collins and Hansen present their most provocative and original analysis: defining, quantifying, and studying the role of luck. The great companies and the leaders who built them were not luckier than the comparisons, but they did get a higher Return on Luck.

This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting. He and Hansen show convincingly that, even in a chaotic and uncertain world, greatness happens by choice, not chance.

Customer Reviews

Great by Choice

As a high school principal, this book contains valuable information and can be quickly applied to educational leadership. This book is a must read for leaders entering strategic planning, school reform, or for those who simply seek to achieve and maintain excellence.

Priceless Info

I own a small business that has undergone radical change over 12 years. With a strong staff we have been able to grow and thrive. However, it was not always clear to us why we survived while competitors went under. This book put many of our strategies into focus and helped us realize what we were doing right (and wrong.) By knowing more about why strategies work we can become an even greater success despite the disruptive events that unfold.

If you want to keep your company on top, I can't think of many books that would be better. (I just hope my competitors aren't smart enough to buy a copy or implement it's lessons!)

Great by Choice is worth 10x what they charge.

Great by Choice

Another outstanding book by Jim Collins. Such simple concepts that are so easy to lose sight of in this fast changing chaotic world. I highly recommend this book for anyone in business or just getting ready to enter the business world.

Great by Choice
View In iTunes
  • $14.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Management & Leadership
  • Published: Oct 11, 2011
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings