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Three Categories of Company’s – Jim Collins - Dallas Growth Summit



Jim Collins presentation provided a wealth of information.  I hope you’ve read the blog on developing a Key People Indicator for your company and begun to track this. 
Here’s what Collins offered on the present economic storm and what it’s taught us. If you went into the storm [poor economy] strong the storm exposed your strengths relative to others.   If you went in weak it exposed your weaknesses relative to others. 
That’s why what you do before the storm comes is more important than what you do in a storm. Storms are assured to keep coming. In good, stable times it is often difficult to see differences between companies. In a storm the gap widens. That’s why companies that have their fundamentals right embrace the storm. They know that they not only can weather the storm, but they will thrive once the storm has washed those aside you didn’t have the proper pieces in place. 
What is that critical difference? It’s a culture of discipline. Whether it’s your company, the 82nd airborne [required to be anywhere within 18 hours], the US Marines, or the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra [they can’t miss a note]. As I noted in my blog Greatness Is A Conscious Choice, Jim Collins stated, “A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” And, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline”
Collins indicated there are three kinds of companies. These three can be identified by their response when the present economic storm hit:
1.    What can we do to not waste time during this time of crisis? [Intel might be an example of a company that looked at the crisis this way. Goldman Sachs might be another.]
2.    What must we do and less time on what can we do during this time of crisis?
3.    All of their time is spent on what must we do to survive this crisis. [or what my client called scratching where it itches. – GM is a good example of this category of company]
I pose to you what Collins asked us, which type of company are you?
Collins provided some insights into avoiding the mistakes learned from How the Mighty Fall and some interesting contrasts in Companies that enter Stage 4. He provided insights into how Xerox, Nucor and Disney came back from late Stage Four. That'll be in my next blog.

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