In his great book, Good to Great, Jim Collins talks about what happens in some organizations that make them great, while other organizations plateau at good. The question you need to ask is whether you have a good company (or team), or a great company (or team). Have you hit a plateau or are you really seeking to be great.
“Good is the enemy of great” is one of my favorite quotes from the book because I think it is so true. Too often I see organizations and teams who confuse good with great. They think that because they are making a profit or having success, they have reached the pinnacle. However, when they really look at the potential, they see that there is a whole new level available for them to pursue.
Below are a few things to help you consider whether you have a good or great organization or team. See how you do.
- Do you feel like you have the right people on your team, in your organization? Good teams will “accept” people as “not the best at what they do, but a good person” while great teams ask themselves whether team members can be the absolute best at what they are expected to do.
- Do you have a common vision of who you are and what you want to accomplish? Collins calls this the Hedgehog Concept. There are three questions you can ask yourself to help determine your Hedgehog Concept:
What are we really passionate about?
What do we do that drives the economic engine?
What can we be best in the world at?
- Do you confront the “brutal facts”. Good teams understand there are difficult issues to be dealt with, but have the tendency to put them off or ignore them. Great teams use these difficult issues to open discussion and look for better ways to do things.
- Does your organization or team have the discipline to focus on the important aspects of being great? Have you identified where you need to be more disciplined? Are you holding everyone accountable for doing the things that will make you great?
How did you do? Are you good . . . or are you great? The “great” news is that either answer presents opportunity. Take a step back, consider where you are and make plans to become even greater.