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Western Kentucky University

CWD: Courses: Management and Supervisory Training

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Principles of Good to Great

Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't

Session Format:

4 Hours Total (One 4-Hour Session)


This course is based on the ideas Jim Collins developed for his seminal book, "Good to Great." As Collins notes, "It's not really that much harder to be great than good, and if you're not motivated to greatness, perhaps you should consider doing something else where you are."

His purpose in writing the book was basically to answer questions about how good companies might become great companies, and how they went about doing so.


The participant will learn: (1) the characteristics of "Level 5 Leaders," who have both personal humility and professional will, (2) how to get the right people "on the bus" (3) how to always "confront the brutal facts," and why failure to do so can spell disaster, (4) how to implement the "Hedgehog concept" (5) how to develop and maintain a culture of self-discipline, (6) how to use technology is an accelerator of change -- not a change agent and (7) how to build momentum by using the "Flywheel" strategy.

Content Outline

  • The Inspiration: What Motivated Collins to Write the Book
  • The Companies: The Companies that Seem to be Doing It Right
  • Level Five leaders: Who They Are and What They Do
  • First Who, Then What: Getting the Right People Onboard
  • Confronting the Brutal Facts: The Importance of Having Accurate Information
  • The Hedgehog and the Fox: The Three Most Important Factors in Business Success
  • A Culture of Discipline: Nurturing Freedom Within Established Boundaries
  • Technology: A Means to an End, Not an end in Itself
  • Flywheels and Doom Loops: Building Momentum Without Getting Lost
  • Built to Last: Why Good to Great Has to Happen First

Who Should Attend

This seminar is intended for managers, supervisors, supervisory trainees, and employees involved in teams or work groups; i.e. anyone in a leadership role or in a position to influence others.

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 Last Modified 9/24/14