Archive for July, 2010

For quite some time I’ve been meaning to write this post. Finally, a young visitor that came by our back yard this week,  and got me to sit down and own up to my vision.

The reading of Jim Collin’s monumental book ‘Good to Great‘ back in 2005, has had a profound impact on the way I view my career goals and my entrepreneurial aspirations. For the past half a decade (hey, I”m turning 40 this month, so I can start counting in half-decades) I’ve been wanting to take all that I’ve learnt in the book and apply it to something of my own.

For those of you who have not read the book, here’s a brief Book Report: The book analyses some 1400 good US companies  and selects a short list of  11 great companies which it then goes onto analyse even further. The result yields an astounding list of cross-company revelations on what does it take to transition from good- to great. This amazing insight can be applied be it if you’re a CEO, a team leader, or a self aspiring entrepreneur. The neat thing about the book is that it is not another business book full of the author’s own theories and ideas. The findings in the books are based upon hard facts extracted from countless hours of interviews with company staff, executive team, suppliers, customers and competitors. Faced with all this data, it is difficult to argue these clear and enlightening findings the resonate from across the board- of what constitutes great performance.

Such facts are labeled in book’s chapters such as “Level 5 Leadership”, “First who…then what” and most notably ‘The Hedgehog concept” which I mentioned in my opening post for this blog.

The bottom line that connects all these revelations is that- it’s all about people. Put  the right people in the right places and construct around them the right environment in which to perform- and perform the will, to their greatest ability.

So you might ask yourself: “OK, so what else is new?”

Well then, here’s a mental exercise to consider: Imagine taking all these great ideas and incorporating it into your own workplace. Imagine you came one day to the office and told everyone that you’ve seen the light and that from now you want to do things different. How successful do you think you’ll be in creating that change in your current work place?  Zero would be a close estimate!!

So, with that in mind, I decided to turn this idea on its head.

What if I could round up a group of talented individuals, get them to read the book (you can borrow my English copy) and then recruit them on board to start up a new company based upon adhering to these founding principles listed in the book. In the words of Jim Collins himself- first who… then what.

First we select who’s on the bus, and only then we decide together- what to do.

The book will form both an entrance exam, as well as a roadmap, to which all members will reference as we steer this ship into the open waters- and hopefully onto greatness.

If you are still with me so far and have yet to read the book, you might think that I”m a bit off, but if you have read the book and understand where I’m going with this, I’m sure you agree that there is some merit to this. And please feel free to add your comments below.

So far, in my search for great people, I’ve signed on 5 friends that have read the book and agree with the concept.

So to conclude, this post is calling all entrepreneurs (preferably local ones) who have read the book (or want to read it) to step forward, come borrow my copy, and join the discussion.

It’s all happening, in my back yard.

Hedgehog in the holyland

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