Achieving greatness is every business desire especially in todays competitive environment. One simple test for greatness is how all its shareholders including customers, owners, investors, suppliers, and all other business partners experience an organization or company. Great companies receive a positive rating from its shareholders starting from consumers to suppliers. Great companies treat all its shareholders well, and through this, they have learned to scale their heights even higher collectively. Good to great companies have directions, they are committed and have aligned their personnel appropriately (Collins). Jim Collins states that good to great companies have the right people on their bus. These people help the company strive towards its goals with minimal pressure. Right people do not need tight management as they are self-motivated and strive to produce best results for the company.
Characteristics of a good to great companies
Good to great companies have ambition. Majority of great ones have the desire to address the unmet needs of clients wholeheartedly. Ambitious companies are not driven by personal greed but realize that a company delivers set promises with utmost quality. Great ambition is the starting point towards greatness, and this is what defines great companies. Companies such as Minute Clinic have ambitions, and it is destined to change how overall healthcare is delivered, for the overall benefit of patients.
Good to great companies meet customer needs without fail. These companies understand the needs of customers from the very start and through that they seek to address every loophole. When it comes to meeting customer needs such customers remain focused on what they know already know and what they can do to maximize customer satisfaction (Collins).
Good to great companies know that satisfying customers demands unending execution. These companies capabilities to deliver differentiate them from other struggling companies. They know that execution is not just delivering service or product but more of creating value.
Good to great companies engage their employees in building a successful empire. They know that ideas come from every direction in the company not just top-down. More so, such companies know that ultimate inspiration of a company begins at the top level, but sustainable leadership drives the inspiration by engaging everyone regardless of position or status (Collins and Morten).
Challenges a CEO must overcome to implement good to great strategies
Challenges that face CEOs in driving towards a good to the great company are many, and some of them include low self-confidence among employees, fear of failure, low expectations, and achievement anxiety (Collins, and Charles). These challenges contribute significantly towards slow progress towards a good to great company. For example, if employees lack self-confidence they find it hard to initiate a good working relationship with others. More so, employees with low self-confidence do not apply maximum effort in assigned duties. Low expectations make employees unmotivated and in the process do not perform as expected by the employee (Marion). Additionally, employees with achievement anxiety can easily perceive criticism and punishment negatively and in the process creates hostility in the workplace. Fear of failure prevents employees from attaining the best as they are always scared of unlikely consequences.
How CEOs overcome challenges by using good to great characteristics
To overcome the above challenges, CEOs must create an environment within the organization where truth prevails and problems confronted without fear. The CEO has to lead with questions and not answers. For example, the CEO can confront achievement anxiety by engaging employees emotionally by asking questions such as, what do you think is best in this case? The CEO should also engage in dialogues and not coercion. Good to great companies call for open discussions to understand and problem from down its roots. Healthy conflicts fuel togetherness and encourage everyone to feel part of the company (Marion). The CEO also ought to create a culture of self-discipline which in process encourages employees to work within set goals. Finally, the CEO should encourage the idea of momentum where everyone in the organization pushes towards one direction. Collaboration helps the company overcome barriers one step at a time.
Collins, James Charles. Good to great: Why some companies make the leap... and others don't. Random House, 2001.
Collins, Jim, and Morten T. Hansen. Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos and Luck-Why some thrive despite them all. Random House, 2011.
Collins, Jim, and James Charles Collins. How the mighty fall: And why some companies never give in. Random House, 2009.
Marion, Maneker. Good to Not So Great: How Companies Fail, 2009. http://www.thedailybeast.com/good-to-not-so-great-how-companies-fail
The Economist. Harvard Business School risks going from great to good. https://www.economist.com/news/business/21721681-confidential-memorandum-warning-its-senior-faculty-harvard-business-school-risks-going
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