I was really looking forward to hearing Collins speak at last month’s NPODs conference and hopefully to have him answer the one question that bugs me about his book “Goood to Great”. The thing I didn’t understand was “How can you know the ‘right’ people before you know what you want to aim for?
Jim is an energetic speaker who opened with a ‘left hook’ – “good is the mortal enemy of great” and finished with a right jab – his current research is showing that the “signature of mediocrity is not resistance to change, as they had suspected, but a chronic inconsistency” Hmmm.
I liked knowing that his research is grounded in ‘contrast’ aka twin studies in psychology. Colleague Porras twigged to the idea that organisations have twins too – so their research approach is to look for the impacts of “nature” and “nurture”. The conclusion is that greatness is not a function of environment or circumstances but of choices and discipline – sounds like nurture to me.
Anyway to cut a long story short – you can read my summary notes below if you are interested in the long story – he did give us an answer to my question of “how do you choose ‘who’? and the answer is “choose based on values”. You first select “who” by choosing people who share your common values and then you collectively decide what. Of course – it all makes sense now. He also said that you cannot make people share your values, only find those who already believe in them. Interesting….