Jim Collins begins this book with a startling and counterintuitive claim: 'Good is the enemy of great.' We've become so conditioned to think of performance as something that develops along evolutionary lines -- from poor to good to outstanding -- that it takes a minute to grasp the notion that competence can actually inhibit achievement. As Collins says, 'The vast majority of companies never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good -- and that is their main problem.' Based on an extensive five-year study conducted by Collins and a research team he affectionately refers to as 'the Chimps,' Good to Great defines and analyzes the practices that allowed 11 companies to make the rare transition from solid to outstanding performance. One of the first surprises of the book is the list of companies Collins focuses on: Circuit City, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo haven't been touted as top performers in that way that GE or Coca-Cola, for instance, have. Nonetheless, the companies chosen have all met the rigorous criteria that Collins developed to measure the good-to-great transition. Some of the other revelations in the book concern the lack of correlation between executive compensation and corporate performance; the fact that technology did not in itself engender corporate transformation; and the scant attention that these upward-trending companies paid to such issues as managing change or motivating people. Collins's philosophy is summed up in one noteworthy phrase from the book -- 'Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice.' Anyone who wants to make the right choices for their business will find Good to Great instructive, accessible, and well worth reading. It is sure to be a business book that will be consulted and referred to for years to come.The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include: Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness. The Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence. A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology. The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap. Some of the key concepts discerned in the study, comments Jim Collins, 'fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people. Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings?