Great by Choice Book Summary By Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

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Great by Choice is a book that explores the strength and resilience of organizations in chaotic and unpredictable environments.

This fascinating work dives deep into research on companies that have not only been able to survive in these conditions, but have even managed to become stronger due to it.

The authors use case studies to explain why some organizations succeed while others fail in highly dynamic situations.

They look at individual competition, team efforts, and industry trends among many other topics when interpreting the data.

Furthermore, the insights within Great by Choice are practical for business owners looking for ways to improve their organization's long-term success in varying environments.

Great by Choice Book

Book Name: Great by Choice (Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck – Why Some Thrive Despite Them All)

Author(s): Jim Collins and Morten T. Hansen

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 17 Minutes

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Author Bio

Jim Collins is one of the world's top business authors and consultants.

His books, such as Good to Great and Built to Last, have sold over ten million copies around the globe.

Collins is dedicated to researching the best practices of businesses and conveying them to his audience through seminars, books and more.

He even runs a management laboratory where he conducts research and teaches others his findings.

With such impressive credentials, there's no doubt that when it comes to business know how - Collins is at the top of his game!

Be Prepared: The Key To Success In Uncertain Times

Key To Success

In Great by Choice, the authors explain that companies that are best prepared are the ones that will succeed in uncertain business environments.

Just like how, in 1911, two teams set off on a race to become the first explorers to reach the South Pole – one of which was lead by Roald Amundsen.

He won modestly and safely due to his extreme levels of preparation; he scoured for every source of useful knowledge and even tried out every potential food source – including dolphins!

His team also brought extra supplies as insurance against any delays they may encounter and carefully marked out their supply depots with black flags so they were easily visible against the bright white landscape.

On the other hand, Robert Falcon Scott’s team were poorly prepared compared to Amundsen’s and brought a fraction of the provisions required for their treacherous journey.

They attempted to use untested technologies such as motor sledges but failed under extreme conditions and this lack of preparation resulted in delays, failure and eventually death for all members of Scott’s ill-fated expedition.

The lesson here is that companies must be prepared for anything when faced with unpredictable business environments because those who leave little chances taken will prevail over those who don’t.

How 10X Companies Thrive In Uncertainty Through Fanatic Discipline, Evidence-Based Innovation, And Productive Paranoia

When it comes to companies that manage to thrive in highly uncertain and unpredictable environments, one thing many of them have in common is a strong sense of discipline, innovation based on evidence and preparedness based on paranoia.

Take 10Xers as an example: they are highly successful companies that outperform their industry by at least a factor of ten.

This outstanding performance is due to their disciplined approach and dedication to evidence-based decision making – decisions made based not simply on opinion or consensus, but rather on hard data and facts.

Additionally, these companies remain vigilant and prepared for the worst; they never become too comfortable or certain in their endeavors.

Much like the Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen who carefully planned his route to the South Pole despite being unsure of what he could find, 10Xers use discipline, analysis and paranoia to better understand their environment and give them the best chance at success no matter what might come their way.

The Power Of Roald Amundsen’S Twenty-Mile Marching Strategy For 10X Companies

The hallmark of the 10X companies is the ability to consistently reach their targets, no matter what.

This approach comes straight from the famed polar explorer Roald Amundsen, who made sure his expeditions always marched a consistent daily distance over difficult terrain and weather conditions – forming the concept of twenty-mile marching.

For example, AMD (Advanced Micro Devices), attempted to grow by at least 60% each year, but their overexertion saw them running out of resources when their market collapsed – allowing 10X companies such as Intel to Steadily overtake them with consistent growth instead.

10X companies recognize that maintaining an even pace is crucial in uncertain times: though it might seem counterintuitive that one should set some limits for oneself rather than push for maximum success at all times, doing so leads to better long-term sustainability.

They then strive towards hitting this target precisely every year regardless of shifting landscapes.

10Xers: Bold, Innovative Risk-Takers Tied To Empirical Evidence

Innovative Risk-Takers

10Xers aren’t known for taking foolhardy risks with their innovation – they have a policy of first firing bullets, then cannonballs.

This means they cautiously test the market before launching their big innovations.

Before investing their resources and time in ground-breaking products, 10Xers will conduct extensive research to build a solid understanding of the market which they can use to adjust the direction of their innovative strategies.

Once good targets have been identified, only then do 10Xers use all their resources to pursue its full potential.

This so-called empirical creativity successfully achieved by Apple with its MP3 player and iTunes music store is but one example among many of this strategy in action.

The bottom line is that 10Xers are indeed bold and innovative – but only when the evidence shows it is a smart move.

It’s Not Just Innovation – Discipline And Focus Is Also Critical For Business Success

Innovation is important, but it’s not enough in itself to guarantee success in business.

Compelling evidence of this can be seen by comparing the tech industry, where innovation is critical for staying competitive, and the airline industry, where innovation isn’t quite so fast-moving.

Intel demonstrated this perfectly; despite an initial technical edge from rival Advanced Memory Systems (AMS), Intel ultimately triumphed due to its combination of genuine innovation and rigorously disciplined business practice.

As Intel focused on all elements of their business strategy – ranging from innovating to manufacturing, distribution and even cost-saving – they managed to set themselves ahead of other firms who simply chased after innovative breakthroughs.

The lesson here is simple: while innovation is undoubtedly essential for sustained success, it must be balanced with other areas of operation if a firm wishes to truly flourish.

Companies that hope to succeed must remain committed to exploring innovative solutions whilst also devoting sufficient effort into maintaining efficient operations and leadership strategies.

The Productive Paranoia Of 10Xers: How Preparing For The Worst Guarantees Success In Times Of Crisis

10Xers are incredibly protective of their businesses and the success it brings.

They never become complacent, no matter how successful things may be – there’s always a fear for the future and an anxiety about what could come.

This fear drives them to prepare for any situation that may come across – whether it’s a new industry trend, competition or even catastrophes like 9/11.

This includes having huge reserves of cash to rely on during difficult times, as well as being hypervigilant with each move and action taken within their market or industry.

In doing so, they develop a deep understanding of their market; giving them the edge over competitors when something changes in their environment.

Southwest Airlines is one example where this “productive paranoia” resulted in great results despite such disasters like 9/11.

The airline not only managed to survive but also grow during the chaos- something which other airlines found themselves not able to do.

10Xers are constantly aware and anticipate whatever comes next, making sure they’re always ready for it; thus it’s safe to say that they’re “productively paranoid.”

10X Companies Use Smac Operating Procedures To Maintain Consistency And Promote Success

Promote Success

The concept of 10X companies creating durable and specific operating procedures which breed consistency and success is illustrated well by the example of Southwest Airlines.

When the airline industry was deregulated in 1979, Southwest’s CEO issued a list of 10 commandments to help the company succeed.

Of this list, 80% stayed the same for over 25 years, only 20% being changed.

This clearly shows how successful these specific and methodical procedures were – they inspired clarity and consistency even during a highly volatile economic period.

These operating procedures were so successful because they took into account different scenarios that could arise, whilst still being specific enough to be applied in different situations.

10Xers understand the need to remain consistent under varying circumstances – their extreme commitment to empirical evidence allows them to develop concise lists with confidence and direction.

This discipline enables them to stick with their operating procedures even when times are tough – thus achieving success despite intense competition or economic instability.

In conclusion, it is clear that 10X companies create durable and specific operating procedures which breed consistency and success – as shown so aptly by Southwest Airlines’ decades-long adherence to their SMaC system despite big changes in their industry.

Hard Work And Ambition Make 10X Leaders, Not Luck Or Chance

It’s become all too common in today’s society, the idea that success is more a matter of luck and circumstance rather than actual hard work.

People assume that great leaders and powerful companies happen to be in the right place at exactly the right time, and it’s this random luck that has made them so successful.

The truth, however, is that a 10X leader creates their own luck.

They don’t believe in waiting for the opportunity to come to them – instead, they go out and search for it.

Take Bill Gates of Microsoft, for example.

He was incredibly lucky to have access to computers while in college and to have read Popular Electronics magazine.

But what really made him great wasn’t just his good fortune; it was his hard work and ambition that pushed him over the line into success.

After he read the article in said magazine he changed his life plans – he dropped out of college and worked all hours attempting to create something revolutionary – something innovative – something groundbreaking.

He refused to stop until he had achieved greatness, working all hours of the day often neglecting sleep or meals to get there.

In short – neither luck nor chance makes 10X companies great – rather it’s a presence of strong ambition combined with groundwork which allows those companies to stand above anyone else and gain recognition among their peers within the same market category.

Only through committed dedication can you make your luck truly count!

Wrap Up

In conclusion, Great by Choice reveals that long-term success is not driven by luck or chance.

Rather, it is achieved through a combination of evidence-based innovation, discipline and “productively paranoid” preparedness.

10X companies are characterized by their ambitious goals, bold actions and specific yet durable operating procedures.

They carefully weigh the evidence before each decision and consistently strive to meet targets no matter what conditions they face.

This mix of evidence-based innovation and consistent discipline is how 10Xers make the most out of their luck.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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