Great by choice – creating 10x business

Just browsed through this book, while trying to figure out what makes some companies better than others. Few observations from that walk through:

Topic is little different compared to the current quarter economy. Collins and Hansen decided to study companies which have successful track record of 15+ years compared to stock market and relative to industry where they operate. Environment of these studied companies was turbulent and they survived from small start to 10x position.

Seeking for maximum growth during good times was seen as bad thing, because it would make company vulnerable during bad times. Writers seem to promote consistency as basis for good long term success.

Fire first bullets then cannonballs approach: low-cost, low risk experiment or testing should be done inorder to validate what will actually work. Resources should be concentrated to effort only after figuring out that goal is reachable and potential return is high enough. Less innovation is enough as long as efforts are directed wisely.

Good companies exercise productive paranoia, obsessing about what can go wrong. This approach will balance their risk taking for better results. Taking time available, before risk profile changes, for careful decision making, seem to produce better outcome, than rushing a decision. SMaC: Specific, Methodical and Consistent. SMaC is giving clear guidance regarding what to do and what not to do.

I think one of the key ideas was that good companies can utilize luck for results, seizing the opportunity. Better companies can even turn bad luck into good results.

This book was definitely interesting reading. Trying to figure out how those lessons learned could be turned into practical results in today’s fast moving business life.

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