|I am re-reading Jim Collins classic book ‘Good to Great’. The premise of the book is that Good is the enemy of Great and that is why we have so little that becomes great.
We don’t have great schools, principally because we have good schools. We don’t have great hosptitals, principly because we have good hospitals. Few people attain great lives, in large part because it is just so easy to settle for a good life. The vast majority of organizations never become great, precisely because the vast majority become quite good – and that is their main problem.
This supports the the fact that organizations that develop a focus on Continuous Improvement have less than 5% chance of achieving long term success and sustaining improvements.
To make this transformation and to build an organization that excels at problem solving, organizations must confront the brutal facts and at the same time, never losing faith that we can achieve greatness.
|Confronting the brutal facts requires a number of leadership conditions:
How well does you organization measure up to the conditions?
- Lead with questions, not answers
- Engage in dialogue and debate, not coercion
- Conduct pre and post mortums without blame and maintain accountability
- Through our management systems, build in warning mechanisms that turn information into information that can not be ignored
Truly great organizations have disciplined people, who engage in disciplined thought, who take disciplined action. We need to ensure we do not settle merely for good.