Book Review: Good to Great

Photo by Filipe Barreto

Photo by Filipe Barreto

I love to read, and I go through phases where I knock out books left and right--I am in such a phase right now.  After hearing numerous references to Good to Great by Jim Collins, I finally picked it up and read it, and I'm so glad that I did.  When considering how to lead change in an organization, I often think ofthe ideas from The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner; my fraternity uses this model for its Leadership Academy, and it has been quite effective.  But Good to Great is based on real companies and real data and notes what made them stand out.  The ideas are rather simple, but they have changed the way I think about organizations.  (Here's a short article by Jim Collins if you're not familiar with Good to Great)

The first tidbit was getting the right people on the bus.  You don't need to have a vision or clear direction of where you're going--the first step is getting the right people in the organization.  It seems contrary to how I previously thought about leading change, and yet I think that's because this step is taken for granted.  Change can be hard--painful even--so it is important that we have talented people we can rely upon to support us and challenge us when we need it.

The flywheel and hedgehog concepts are brilliant, and these are metaphors that I think can be used within organizations to keep momentum going.

Allison Pollard

I help people discover their agile instincts and develop their coaching abilities. As an agile coach with Improving in Dallas, I enjoy mentoring others to become great Scrum Masters, coaching managers to grow teams that deliver amazing results, and fostering communities that provide sustainability for agile transformations. In my experience, applying agile methods improves delivery, strengthens relationships, and builds trust between business and IT. A big believer in the power of community-based learning, I grew the DFW Scrum user group significantly over the five years I served as an organizer. I am also a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, a foodie, and proud glasses wearer.