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Have you read ‘Good to Great’? | Issue #126

7 Important Lessons From Jim Collins’ ‘Good to Great’

Jim Collins’ books – where do I start? They’re some of my favourite management books of all time. You must read them – particularly if you’re a CEO looking to grow your business. They’re just too important to ignore. Start with ‘Good to Great’. This seminal book had a profound influence on me. To say it transformed my way of thinking is an understatement. 

I first read it when it was published back in 2001 and shortly after I’d completed my MBA. There I was as a new Managing Director of a start-up, Rackspace UK, facing challenges and looking for tools.  ‘Good to Great’ formed the foundation for all of these. The gems Jim Collins shared proved to be actionable during my time as MD at Rackspace as well as IT Lab and Peer 1. Now they form the basis of my coaching practice. 

I’ve read ‘Good to Great’ and its follow up ‘Great By Choice’ countless times, most recently over Christmas. It’s good to go back to the source – particularly as some of the theories are often re-interpreted or given a certain spin by others. You have to be careful you don’t lose the original detail and definition – like photocopying an image over and over until it gets faded. I was struck again by his key themes because I think they’re so relevant to the journey our clients are on. Or want to be on. 

If there was any criticism of ‘Good to Great’ when it first came out, it was that this longitudinal study of what made companies ‘great’ focused on larger organisations. In response, Collins went away and wrote ‘Great by Choice’ looking at smaller businesses who, as they’d scaled up, decided to be excellent. What’s fascinating is he concluded there was little difference when he compared and contrasted the larger companies with the smaller.  All the good to great companies shared the same characteristics. 

So what were these characteristics? And what are the main lessons from ‘Good to Great’?

Normalising Virtual & Hybrid Events with Mike Piddock

If you’re looking for a virtual, hybrid and in-person meetings software that maximises audience engagement, retention and monetisation, then don’t miss this latest episode of The Melting Pot, with Mike Piddock, founder and CEO of Glisser, the award-winning audience engagement software.

Just over a year ago, Mike’s original platform was all about how to drive interactivity in a physical meeting, but like a lot of companies, with physical meetings reducing to zero, he’s had to pivot. 

Now Glisser is a hybrid events platform. 

But how do you run an amazing virtual event? How do you make a virtual event as good as it can be? And in a world where hybrid or blended is the future of events, how can you take in-person visitors to an event and blend them seamlessly with people who are coming in virtually? 

“I think the most common driver bringing prospective clients to us is that they want to go beyond the Zoom meeting, or they want to do more than just another team session.”

So if you’re a marketeer, or the CEO, thinking that you won’t ever get to run corporate events again, or you’re bored with Zoom meetings, or you want to spice up your internal training by turning it into amazing, interactive, responsive virtual training for your organisation, don’t miss this great conversation with Mike. 

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.  

Reach or Miss

This podcast is about the customer focused entrepreneur. Hayut Yogev chats with Guy Kawasaki, John Lee Dumas, Michael Stelzner, Kate Erickson, Chris Brogan, Mark Schaefer, Joe Pulizzi, Marcus Sheridan and more successful entrepreneurs and opinion leaders about their customer approach and focus. The goal is to help entrepreneurs and startup founders to reach business success with the right strategy, marketing and sales approach.

Productivity vs. Priority Overload: 3 Steps for Leaders

Most leaders have important, yet lengthy, priority lists following the events of 2020. The trouble is, priority overload can fuel the flames of burnout, spread teams thin and inhibit goal achievement. Especially considering that many organizations are already grappling with burnout and mental health issues among employees, leaders should not ask what their organization can do, but what it should do.

Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Walk

Several years ago, I was watching a Today Show segment about helping your children and teens create healthy habits. The subject of the piece was a notable nutritionist, whose kids were reluctant to eat their greens and work up a sweat. The most memorable quote came from one of her pre-teens who said, “Walking makes me sad.”.

7 ways Morning Star Tomatoes helps employees become high performers

A recent discovery in the study of capillaries and cavities yields an interesting perspective on the dynamics of organisational culture, which provides a number of insights into channels for alignment and self-management from the Morning Star Tomatoes company. Materials with tiny capillaries and cavities are widely used in filtration and separation to support our modern lifestyle. Until recently it has been impossible to create artificial capillaries with atomic-scale precision.

Great at Work by Morten T. Hansen

Why do some people perform better at work than others? This deceptively simple question continues to confound professionals in all sectors of the workforce. Now, after a unique, five-year study of more than 5,000 managers and employees, Morten Hansen reveals the answers in his ‘Seven Work Smarter Practices’ that can be applied by anyone looking to maximise their time and performance. Each of Hansen’s seven practices is highlighted by inspiring stories from individuals in his comprehensive study. You’ll meet a high school principal who engineered a dramatic turnaround of his failing high school; a rural Indian farmer determined to establish a better way of life for women in his village; and a sushi chef, whose simple preparation has led to his restaurant (tucked away under a Tokyo subway station underpass) being awarded the maximum of three Michelin stars. Hansen also explains how the way Alfred Hitchcock filmed Psycho and the 1911 race to become the first explorer to reach the South Pole both illustrate the use of his seven practices (even before they were identified).

Think Again by Adam Grant

Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, the most crucial skill may be the ability to rethink and unlearn. Recent global and political changes have forced many of us to re-evaluate our opinions and decisions. Yet we often still favour the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt, and prefer opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. Intelligence is no cure, and can even be a curse. The brighter we are, the blinder we can become to our own limitations. Adam Grant – Wharton’s top-rated professor and #1 bestselling author – offers bold ideas and rigorous evidence to show how we can embrace the joy of being wrong, encourage others to rethink topics as wide-ranging as abortion and climate change, and build schools, workplaces, and communities of lifelong learners. You’ll learn how an international debate champion wins arguments, a Black musician persuades white supremacists to abandon hate, and how a vaccine whisperer convinces anti-vaxxers to immunize their children. Think Again is an invitation to let go of stale opinions and prize mental flexibility, humility, and curiosity over foolish consistency. If knowledge is power, knowing what you don’t know is wisdom.


Re-visit the Rockefeller Habits Checklist

As part of our annual planning process, we get Executive Teams to go through the Rockefeller Habits checklist.  And then we do the same for managers in the organisation. This gives a great insight into where the gaps are and the priorities to fix.  By doing this, you’ll have a series of quarterly themes for the coming year.

Read more here and here

Upcoming Events


To celebrate the release of BE 2.0 (Beyond Entrepreneurship 2.0), Jim Collins, best-selling author and globally revered leadership thinker will return to The Growth Faculty stage to present this powerful live virtual event. CEOs, business leaders and their teams will be among the first of the global business community to hear new insights from his latest book and be equipped with Jim’s highly anticipated framework, “The Map”.


Looking to get back on track because COVID-19 disrupted your plans? Join Join top Scaling Up partners from around the globe for Verne’s first Summit of the year.  These leading CEOs and authors will share actionable insight focused on your people and culture to ensure a prosperous 2021. 3 keynotes in 90 minutes. 2.24pm ET – 4.04pm ET.


When the going gets tough, attitude trumps everything. Don’t let COVID-19 beat you into the ground and take your business. Treat this pandemic as an accelerator. The “one thing” you’ve been looking for to pivot, re-evaluate or simply get shit done. Join us on our farm in Wiltshire to walk through our Scaling Up growth programme.

Quote of the week

“Great vision without great people is irrelevant”

Jim Collins

Dominic Monkhouse

Dominic offers business coaching and management development, strategy planning and organisational change, using tried and tested methods to launch your organisation onto an unparalleled growth trajectory. His programme is a function of his broad experience, his deep expertise and a proven process used by over 2,700 firms worldwide.

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