When I was in business school, a required reading was “Good to Great” by Jim Collins.
It’s a management book that explains why some companies make the leap from good to great…and others don’t.
The profession spent weeks dissecting that book with us students, but there’s one chapter that is so apropos to our industry that I wanted to share it with you and it’s called…
I’ve condensed it a lot but here is the gist of it:
Good to great transformations often look like dramatic events to those observing from the outside, but are really organic, cumulative processes on the inside that work over the long haul.
Meaning, there was no single defining action, advertising campaign, or luck that built a great company.
Instead, the good to great companies followed a predictable pattern of buildup and breakthrough that takes effort to get going, like a heavy flywheel; however, once it’s going, it builds momentum and hits a point of breakthrough that becomes unstoppable and produces dramatic results without added effort.
But most companies follow a different pattern….the doom loop.
Rather than accumulating momentum, they try to skip buildup and jump immediately to breakthrough with one-off tactics that give them immediate but short-term results.
Instead, they get disappointing results because they fail to maintain a consistent direction, so they try another short-term tactic to get immediate results and more disappointing results happen for further disappointment, and now they are in the doom loop and heading for disaster.