DMINLGP

DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

GOOD TO GREAT

Written by: on September 7, 2016

Introduction

Written by J. C. Collins and published in 2011, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap—and Others Don’t describes how companies have actually transitioned from average to huge, while also examining the other side: why this transition does not happen and why those companies end up in failure. The first book focuses on “Built to last,” which defines management of the nineties, showing how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into DNA of an enterprise from the very beginning.

Summary

Collins also examines how companies not born with the DNA for achieving success can also gain success and how mediocre and bad companies can also achieve enduring greatness on the whole.[1] This question had long been on the author’s mind and throughout the book he works to answer it. Other questions he tried to answer related to companies who convert long-term mediocrity to success or deteriorate from long-term superiority to failure.[2] What are the essential characteristics that cause a company to move from good to great? In this book, Collins and his research team set up some tough benchmarks and identify a few top-notch companies who have achieved outstanding results that sustained them over a period of 15 years.

Reflection

Overall, the book “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap—and Others Don’t “is a great resource for entrepreneurship because of its studies. Those who want to do business should read it to understand the keys to a successful and sustainable business. The key of doing great business is its success in the long term, and understanding the characteristics that make it happen is most essential. Reviewing the book reveals five findings:

Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.

The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): Going from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.

A Culture of Discipline: Combining a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship yields the magical alchemy for great results.

Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about technology’s role.

The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical-change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.

However, out of the five it was the hedgehog concept—how to find the one big thing your company must focus on—that caught my attention. What is the hedgehog concept? It is the idea that similar things which equal another thing also equal one another, “an axiom to the One Thing.” The idea is based on the famous essay by Isaiah Berlin, “The Hedgehog and the Fox,” which describes how the world is divided into two types. The fox knows many things. The fox is a very cunning creature, able to devise a myriad of complex strategies to launch a sneak attack upon hedgehog. The hedgehog knows one big thing, rolling up into a perfect little ball to become a sphere of sharp spikes, pointing outward in all directions. The hedgehog always wins despite the different tactics the fox uses.[3]

For business, the Hedgehog Concept is the intersection of three circles. It is more than a strategy: It is really an understanding. It is interesting to note the difference that Jim Collins identifies in Good to Great. “Good-to-great companies set their goals and strategies based on understanding; comparison companies set their goals and strategies based on bravado. The good to great companies are more like hedgehogs; they know ‘one big thing’ and stick to it. The comparison companies are more like foxes; they know many things but lack consistency.”[4] Therefore, it is important for our organization, Restoration Christian Outreach Community, to continue focusing on restoring the culture’s spiritual foundation as our one big thing, “The Hedgehog Concept.” to become a greater community. The success of our spiritual growth is determined by the strength of our spiritual foundation, (Matthew 7: 24-27 KJV). The Scripture asserts that the Christian life built on a solid foundation will withstand the storms of life

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Good to Great and the Social Sectors: Why Business Thinking Is Not the Answer … this is Collins Second book, which  is actually an extended version of a new chapter destined for upcoming editions of Good to Great.[1]Jim Collins states that this monologue might not be interesting for everyone, but it does serve anyone in the social sectors well. He is interested in this topic for two reasons. First, he was surprised at how his work is reaching the social sectors even though he is a business writer. Second, he is always eager to learn new things, and this book is about the numerous challenges facing social-sector leaders and the questions that puzzle them when applying his work to such different circumstances

An outstanding monograph, the book highlights some of the most important and topical thoughts associated with leadership and excellence in the social sector. The main thought from the monograph is that “We must reject the idea—well-intentioned but dead wrong—that the primary path to greatness in the social sectors is to become ‘more like a business.’”[2] The author explains that the major distinction is actually not business versus social; rather, it is great versus good.

Reflection

Overall, the book is very informative and has helped me navigate leadership principles in the context of running a social-sector organization. Ultimately, the greatness principles include discipline, measuring results, and strong leadership, but these are not necessarily “business” concepts; rather, these concepts correlate with great organizations. We need to stop comparing nonprofits with businesses, and begin looking at what sets great organizations apart from others. This will help us begin building great—not good—nonprofits in the social sector. In 1977, Robert Greenleaf published his reflections on his journey into the nature of power and greatness. Greenleaf’s reflections presented a rather optimistic model of leadership that he believed could be achieved—that leaders, through their service, could legitimize their power and help build a serving society. Yet to do so, leaders had to model principles that, at least at the outset, seemed counterintuitive to many people’s concepts of leadership. This principle emanated from a desire to serve that, according to Greenleaf, was inherent in the leader. For Greenleaf, “the servant-leader is servant first …. It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve.”[3] The Bible is replete with examples of leaders who sought to serve others (Joseph, Moses, Peter, Paul, etc.). Thus, it is not difficult to see why the concept of servant leadership continues to resonate with Christian leaders today. What may be more difficult is for believers to remember the importance of who is to be the primary recipient of our service.

[1]. James Charles Collins, Good to Great and the Social Sectors: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great (New York: Random House, 2006), 1.

[2]. R. K. Greenleaf, Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness (New York: Paulist Press, 1977).

[3]. Ibid.

 

[1]. Gordon Walker, “Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap—and Others Don’t,” Academy of Management Perspectives 20, no. 1 (2006): 120–22.

[2]. James C. Collins, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap—and Others Don’t, Kindle ed. (New York, NY: HarperBusiness, 2011).

[3]. Douglas Wick, “The Hedgehog Concept” in Strategic Discipline Blog November 8, 2013. http://strategicdiscipline.positioningsystems.com/bid/98239/The-Hedgehog-Concept (accessed August 30, 2016).

[4]. Ibid.

About the Author

mm

Rose Anding

Rose Maria “Simmons McCarthy” Anding, a Visionary, Teacher,Evangelist, Biblical Counselor/ Chaplain and Author, of High Heels, Honey Lips, and White Powder. She is a widower, mother, stepmother, grandmother, great grandmother of Denver James, the greater joy of her life. She has lived in Chicago, Washington, DC, and North Carolina, and is now back on the forgiving soil of Mississippi.

8 responses to “GOOD TO GREAT”

  1. mm Marc Andresen says:

    Rose,

    You named Joseph, Moses, Peter, and Paul as examples of leaders who serve others. Combining humility and strength of will that Collins names as part of Level 5 leaders, which of these men most exemplifies Level 5 leadership? What do you see in them that is Level 5?

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Marc for the question, maybe all of biblical leaders exemplifies Level 5 to a certain degree.

      Moses, for example, can be rightly viewed as one of history’s godliest servant leaders. But his life was not always marked by such humble service to God. Consider Moses’ role in delivering the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage. The events that led to his leadership role were sparked by Moses’ slaying of an Egyptian taskmaster (Exodus 2:11). Even though Paul held the position of Apostle he did not operate out of that mindset in leading the Thessalonians. When we look at Permission / Relationship: “We cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” (1 Thess. 2:7,8) Paul’s personal affection for them validates his leadership.

      Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  2. Aaron Peterson says:

    Hi Rose. You mention that the one big thing for Restoration Community is to focus on restoring the spiritual foundation. What does this look like? Collins talks about creating a culture of discipline. How can Restoration Community show discipline around this one big thing? Nice Blog!

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thanks Aaron P, for the great question!
      Our one big thing for the Restoration Community is to focus on restoring the spiritual foundation for a drug culture. First, we must, “Develop a clear vision for our organization that moves people emotionally”. You cannot create discipline without creating vision. So, it is our picture of success that we will continue… sharing it with our team within the community as they serve the culture.
      . When I write vision I mean “paint the scene, describe a picture, in the future, of what successful progress would look like for our organization”.

      Example: It is a holistic drug rehab community… “Having a “Significant Other” to go through the program with each member of the drug culture is one of our visions. During the 90 days of the program, the assigned Personal Minister at Restoration Community, will provide a ministry support system for the Student and the Significant Other. During their 90-day stay, the student will be under the direct supervision of a ministry support team that will teach the student the behavior modification principles that will enable he or she to live free forever.

      Therefore, we change the life of drug addict and he or she has the support of the community and Significant Other, therefore our vision paint a picture of caring and togetherness,everyone that we make contact with and make sure that we leave each encounter with us with a smile!” That is a vision! That is an inspiring and challenging call that I want to be and is a part of!

      Thanks for sharing Rose Maria

  3. Aaron Cole says:

    Rose,

    It’s good to read your writing, great insight. Of all these things stated in your blog, your last statement rises to the top for me. You stated: “What may be more difficult is for believers to remember the importance of who is to be the primary recipient of our service.” I completely agree with you. Why do you think this is so difficult?

    See you in London,
    Aaron

    • mm Rose Anding says:

      Thank Aaron C for the question, It is only difficult because people are not fully aware of the way to show their love for God is to serve each other.

      This is because a person call himself a Christian without feeling a deep obligation and desire to serve his fellow human beings. Jesus Christ taught us to “love one another” while He was on earth, and He also said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35).
      Our service allows us to practice doing what Jesus would do. It connects us to those we serve and gives us a kind of satisfaction that self-interest can never offer. I remember these words, for Greenleaf, the call to “serve first”{1} assumes service to others, the people the leader leads, and proceeds from his naturalistic worldview. Christians rooted in the Biblical worldview, however, must understand that the Greatest Commandment outlines The Greatest 3 the order of our service—that order being God first, then others.

      Thanks for sharing … if the Lord ‘s will we will meet in London. Rose Maria

  4. mm Garfield Harvey says:

    Rose,
    This was a very informative and comprehensive blog. You stated that “Ultimately, the greatness principles include discipline, measuring results, and strong leadership, but these are not necessarily “business” concepts; rather, these concepts correlate with great organizations.” As church leaders or even those in the social sector, often fail because we believe that great organization principles don’t translate in our environment. Regardless of the culture or environment, great leadership principles extend itself for ultimate success.

    Garfield

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