Friday, September 24, 2010

The Flywheel and the Doom Loop

Here are my favorite quotes from Good to Great by Jim Collins Chapter 8 - The Flywheel and the Doom Loop.

It was all of them [pushes on the flywheel] added together in an overall accumulation of effort applied in a consistent direction.

No matter how dramatic the end result, the good-to-great transformations never happened in one fell swoop.

Good to great comes about by a cumulative process – step by step, action by action, decision by decision, turn by turn of the flywheel – that adds up to sustained and spectacular results. (165)

We’ve allowed the way transitions look from the outside to drive our perception of what they feel like to those going through them on the inside. From the outside, they look like dramatic, almost revolutionary breakthroughs. But from the inside, they feel completely different, mor like an organic development process.

It was a whole bunch of interlocking pieces that built one upon another. (168)

…it was a quiet, deliberate process of figuring out what needed to be done to create the best future results and then simply taking those steps, one after the other, turn by turn of the flywheel. (169)

…our success was evolutionary as opposed to revolutionary…

We realized that evolution is a whole different concept than change. (171)

…no matter how short or long it took, every good-to-great transformation followed the same basic pattern – accumulating momentum, turn by turn of the flywheel – until buildup transformed into breakthrough. (172)

…the time-honored discipline of under-promising and over-delivering.

Tremendous power exists in the fact of continued improvement and the delivery of results. Point to tangible accomplishments – however incremental at first – and show how these steps fit into the context of an overall concept that will work. (174)

What do the right people want more than almost anything else? They want to be part of a winning team. (177)

Peter Drucker once observed that the drive for mergers and acquisitions comes less from sound reasoning and more from the fact that doing deals is a much more exciting way to spend your day than doing actual work. (180)

When I look over the good-to-great transformations, the one word that keeps coming to mind is consistency. (182)

Equally important is to remember the Stockdale Paradox: We’re not going to hit breakthrough by Christmas, but if we keep pushing in the right direction, we will eventually hit breakthrough. (184)

Alignment principally follows from results and momentum, not the other way around. (187)

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