The Good to Great is a book that was written by Jim Collins. It provides philosophical ideas towards becoming a success in business and other spheres. It describes the way companies can become great. In his book, Collins finds one major factor of achieving the transition through focusing on the resources of the company effective for its competence. In his research study carried out with other more 20 assistants, he came up with the issues that makes the companies great, and reasons that make organizations fail to attain their greatness. He contends that good is the enemy of great, and some companies would never achieve greatness because of settling down that they are good. His analysis is based on an enormous amount of research work and his opinions about being great. Collins and his team carried out a thorough research of different companies, and they found out that many companies have resources, but they have not made any transition, nor showed great performance.
The philosophical assumptions underlying the research and methodology of Collins are varied. First, Collins coined what is known as the 5 level leaders. These are the underlying assumptions that he believes leaders can use, in order to achieve better organizational performance. In other words, through the use of these level 5 leaders, companies would achieve greatness. This assumption constitutes highly capable people, team members, a competence and effective leader. Their assumption defines the use of power in bringing people together to work towards achieving the organizational goals. In this case, leadership is defined as a mean of combining humility with fierce resolve. It is clear that authority does not come from power, but rather from the authentic leadership. Collins (2001) argues that if people follow their follower when they have no choice, then it means that the leader is not leading them well. Therefore, in this assumption, Collins concludes that true leaders are those people who are followed by others who have freedom.
Another philosophical assumption and methodology is the Corporate Barnum Effect, which is also known as the Forever Effect. This is an assumption that Collins proposes that they are good at promoting greatness. In this phenomenon, he emphasizes what it basically means when a leader recruits good people. He demands leaders to recruit people with adequate skills and personality directed towards achieving the goals of the company. Although the notion of what is vague and ambiguous assumption, it is open to interpretations. His assumption is that many leaders think that their way of recruiting and interviewing is the best way of getting good employees. Thus, he comments that most leaders do not have the better way of choosing good people.
Moreover, Collins revealed that assembling the right team is nothing new, unless the leader finds where the team should go. Therefore, he responded that in case leaders begin with ‘who than what’, they will be able to adapt to the changing conditions. He, therefore, gave an example of people joining a bus without knowing their destination. In this case, he clarifies that the right people should not be fired or tightly managed. They only need the self-motivation and inner drive, in order to produce better results, thus become part of creating something great (Collins, 2006). Consequently, in non-organizations and law enforcement sectors, it is difficult to move people without really telling them where they are going. This is because they can easily be fired. Thus, the social sectors have a compelling advantage. This is because of the type of individuals drawn to policing, serving the needy, training and other social jobs that have internal motivation.
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A culture of discipline is another philosophical assumption being describes in Collins’s book. Collins argues that a culture of discipline should be emphasized in an organization. Collins and his team members realized that many good to great organizations had one thing in common. They had a culture of discipline in common, and this is to what all the employees showed their great diligence and strength in their actions. Moreover, they always focus on the company’s Hedge concept. Hence, employees, who have a culture of discipline, do not necessarily need the discipline. This is because they already have self-discipline, thus they are allowed to exercise freedom and have their own responsibilities of performing tasks. Collins reveals that most social and business sectors call this a relentless culture of discipline.
Collins introduces the method of hedgehog concept. This is well understood through considering of three different circles. These include things that drive the economic engine, what the organization is passionate about and what they can be the best across the globe (Harding, and Dunn, 2003). He further emphasizes the importance of adopting the hedge concepts. However, the economic engine has a problem. This is because in some cases, it does not talk about money only, but rather volunteers, as well as the good will. Therefore, Collins changed this circle into the resource engine, which he further categorized into time, money and brand. In these three categories, he emphasizes that the brand is of the great importance that an organization should focus on when carrying out their business. After that, they should then focus on time and money, because it is through effective time planning and money that they can provide effective services to clients.
Another assumption or method is turning the flywheel. In this case, he demands that organizations should build the brand, in order to attract more customers. This is a developmental process that he believes would make an organization become great. Building the brand is vital and this is what he considers as turning the flywheel in order to have the superior financial outcomes. Through this, individuals will have adequate money, which they will invest in the business sector. Collins achieving greatness takes time. It cannot happen for one night and it requires dedication or hard working. Thus, the essential thing is to embark on the voyage because it might take decades in changing the entire systematic milieu. According to Nelson (2003), greatness is not a purpose of circumstances. This is because it turns out as a subject of conscious option and discipline.
The last assumption is facing the brutal facts, which Collins considers among the step that leads to achieving greatness. Arden (2003) points out that people are not as good as they think. This is because people within the organizations tend to perform poorly and they cannot claim that they are flourishing. Collins was right when he revealed out that there is only a one measure of outcomes. This is found on the results of the clients. It is not a matter of making profits that indicate the company has achieved greatness. What matters is the output, and in fact, what matters the most is when people whom they serve are doing a lot better. However, companies hardly measure the output or the benefits of clients. Collins emphasizes that the organization should be in a position of measuring, if the clients have fully achieved satisfaction and they live better lives. Therefore, companies need to take seriously, thus they need to set up the power mechanisms for monitoring the extent to which they improve the results.
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The practical significance of their assumptions is that they can lead to a better management and accountability in an organization. For instance, monitoring of real time is significant, because it will enable companies to make adjustments where necessary. Collins emphasized that achieving greatness requires managers to recruit people with knowledge, and are able to support decisions, once they are made. This is one of his assumptions that are fundamental, because hiring people who will actively participate in making vital decision is crucial. This will make an organization achieve a success, thus better performance (Nelson, 2003).
The underlying assumptions of Collin’s research reveal the true picture of greatness. For instance, culture of discipline is essential in an organization. Discipline is essential in any organization that may want to achieve a success. This is because in the modern organization, culture is emphasized within the organizations. This is because culture may impact negatively an organization, thus resulting into the poor performance. Therefore, most organizations nowadays emphasize the need for cultural discipline, because it would lead to achieving greatness. In Collins’s book, he emphasizes that a discipline of culture would make people become self-disciplined. Hence, if organizations may employ these assumptions, especially companies, they would achieve success in their business performance. This is because organizations that emphasize cultural discipline have higher chances of attracting more customers and making more profit in the business.
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Collins emphasizes on the idea of achieving a culture of discipline. This is essential, because achieving a culture of greatness in policing promotes greatness in an organization. People talk about facing brutal facts, level 5 leaders and good being the enemy of the great (Collins, 2006). The most difficult task of achieving greatness can be sustained through making different changes in policing. In policing, achieving greatness is not a matter of finding the great people and putting them on the top management positions. However, it is a matter of creating great systems through which the organizations may overcome obstacles, thus establishing a stronger and disciplined people. Therefore, Collins’ assumptions may be particularly significant when analyzing carefully. For instance, some assumptions of Collins such as the level 5 leaders are essential, in case organizations pay close attention to them. These assumptions are significant, if they are taken into consideration, because they will prepare leaders of tomorrow on the way of achieving greatness. This involves giving managers more power to make the essential decisions.
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The effect of Collins’s assumptions in the research’s applicability is that they search for truth and communicate essential information for the decision making. Therefore, those who have come across these assumptions including managers have been introduced to a motivational speaker, but one is required to think critically before applying these assumptions. Thus, carrying out philosophical analysis and identifying the assumptions that underpin the research applicability and methodology is crucial. This is a research carried out of curiosity, thus organizational leaders should make critical decisions when formulating organization policies. Collins and his team provided biased information that calls from the philosophical thinking. Thus, companies that want to become great should have to think about the ways of becoming successful. Maybe this is what Collins and his team members wanted to know, if companies are good to become great, when applying ideas that are essential. These ideas can guide them towards achieving the greatness.
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From the assumptions and methodology of Collins’s book and observations of the conventionalist approach, one can argue that his methodology and assumptions are biased. In the conventionalist approach, one focuses on the issues and then applies philosophical analysis in making a judgment of something (Finnie and Abraham, 2002). Therefore, through reading the work of Collins, it seems that he was just making his own judgment about what makes a company achieve greatness. It is only that he was trying to formulate his own ideas on the way an organization may become great through making his own opinions. From the conventionalist point of view, Collins pictured the way organizations fail to achieve greatness, thus he made his own perceptions of trying to convince organizational leaders the way they can achieve greatness. Therefore, the conventionalist would conclude that Collins and his team were trying to make brutal facts, and the methodologies they use are disappointing.
In conclusion, Collins and his team carried out the research on diverse companies, and they found out that many companies have resources, but they have not showed great performance. Therefore, they came up with the assumptions and methodologies that can be employed in creating transition. The effect of Collins’s assumptions in the research’s applicability is that they search for truth and communicate essential information for the decision making. However, their assumptions require philosophical thinking, because they are biased. Although, companies should employ some of his assumptions, such as cultural discipline, they need to make wise decisions before employing the assumptions. Thus, some of the conventionalist may argue that Collins was trying to formulate his own ideas that would make companies achieve greatness. Therefore, through observations and reading the work of Collins, one may conclude that this methodology of writing has brutal facts. Thus, before making decisions, on may need to make a wise decision before applying his ideas of good to greatness.
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