Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Inevitablity is Built In

Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great - Jim Collins - (Harper Business)

Jim Collins' seminal bestseller, Good to Great is not what I would normally consider a traditional business/leadership book; I think it set out to expound on the elements that went into separating good companies, from great companies and along the way it drew not so much a map but a set of guideposts that companies/leaders can put to work on their journey to greatness. It is one of the few books in the category that I find myself re-reading/listening to and one that I regularly buy copies of for friends, colleagues and clients.

So picking up on this monograph was a natural step.Turning the Flywheel: A Monograph to Accompany Good to Great, takes the concept of a business flywheel, first espoiused in the book, and clarified by time and practice and is expanded by the efficacy of countless proven examples of success. What once was a chapter, is now expanded to to the proper depth and breadth in the form this monograph.

Collins details some of the companies that have put the flywheel concept into successful practice. I think the clarity with which he writes about the built in inevitability that is part of a successful flywheel. It is not just a list of steps companies can take put in some random order or a circular pattern. That inevitability comes when nail a step leads naturally to the next and the next to build the momentum of success.

That success is built in the developmental stage and Collins explains the steps you can undertake to "capture your flywheel." Collins, along with the examples that lace this monograph suggests that four to six elements is a workable number and more will make things too complicated to build the momentum you need. He also makes solid suggestions on how to avoid what he dubs the "doom loop."

While I think it's perfectly clear that there is no one size fits all, plug and play flywheel that you can adapt to your business and it's unique drivers (markets/competition), I think there are certainly transferable pieces in the examples that dot the book that may make sense to put into play in your flywheel. My marked up copy has copious notes and sticky notes littering the 40 pages.