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Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All

Jim Collins, Morten T.

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 Hansen enumerate the principles for building a truly great enterprise in unpredictable, tumultuous and fast-moving times.

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Book Information

Publisher: HarperBusiness
Publish Date: 10/11/2011
Pages: 304
ISBN-13: 9780062120991
ISBN-10: 0062120999
Language: English

What We're Saying

January 10, 2012

The time has come! Drum roll, please. . READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 29, 2011

Posting the strategy + business list before the Thanksgiving break reminded me that we haven't seen quite as many "best of 2011" business lists at this point of year as we have in years past. Beside the Goldman Sachs/FT award and s+b's list, The only two I've seen have come from booksellers—Amazon and Hudson. Amazon's Best Books of 2011 were announced earlier this month. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 15, 2011

Great By Choice

By 800-CEO-READ

Chaos and uncertainty are all around us. The economy is struggling, some have been out of work for years, and entrepreneurs are having a more and more difficult time creating success. Yet despite those things, there are organizations that are extremely successful. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

October 14, 2011

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen, HarperBusiness, 320 Pages, $29. 99 Hardcover, October 2011, ISBN 9780062120991 Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, which has gone on to sell well over 4 million copies, and we liked it enough to pick it as one of our 100 best business books of all time, has written, with Morten Hansen, another seminal book. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 17, 2012

Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck—Why Some Thrive Despite Them All by Jim Collins & Morten T. Hansen, published by HarperBusiness Chaos and uncertainty are all around us. The economy is struggling, some have been out of work for years, and entrepreneurs are having a more and more difficult time creating success. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

January 04, 2012

What was the Best Business Book written in 2011? Watch this 90 second video and find out more. Ok, so we didn't tell you what the best book was. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

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.


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