Great by Choice : Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck--Why Some Thrive Despite Them All
- Hardback | 304 pages
- 155 x 231 x 28mm | 567g
- 15 Oct 2011
- HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- HarperCollins Publishers
- New York, NY, United States
- Figures; Tables, black and white
Other books in this series
22 Apr 2006
12 Dec 2006
Back cover copy
With a team of more than twenty researchers, Collins and Hansen studied companies that rose to greatness--beating their industry indexes by a minimum of ten times over fifteen years--in environments characterized by big forces and rapid shifts that leaders could not predict or control. The research team then contrasted these "10X companies" to a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to achieve greatness in similarly extreme environments.
The new findingsThe study results were full of provocative surprises. Such as:
The best leaders were not more risk taking, more visionary, and more creative than the comparisons; they were more disciplined, more empirical, and more paranoid.Innovation by itself turns out not to be the trump card in a chaotic and uncertain world; more important is the ability to scale innovation, to blend creativity with discipline.Following the belief that leading in a "fast world" always requires "fast decisions" and "fast action" is a good way to get killed.The great companies changed less in reaction to a radically changing world than the comparison companies.
The authors challenge conventional wisdom with thought-provoking, sticky, and supremely practical concepts. They include: 10Xers; the 20 Mile March; Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs; Leading above the Death Line; Zoom Out, Then Zoom In; and the SMaC Recipe.
Finally, in the last chapter, Collins and Hansen present their most provocative and original analysis: defining, quantifying, and studying the role of luck. The great companies and the leaders who built them were not luckier than the comparisons, but they did get a higher Return on Luck.
This book is classic Collins: contrarian, data-driven, and uplifting. He and Hansen show convincingly that, even in a chaotic and uncertain world, greatness happens by choice, not chance.
About Jim Collins
Morten T. Hansen is a management professor at the University of California, Berkeley (School of Information), and at INSEAD. Formerly a professor at Harvard Business School, Morten holds a PhD from Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He is the author of Collaboration and the winner of the Administrative Science Quarterly Award for exceptional contributions to the field of organization studies. Previously a manager with the Boston Consulting Group, Morten consults and gives talks for companies worldwide.