Not so ‘Good to Great’

An executive asked my opinion about having his staff all read Good to Great by Jim Collins (2001).

It’s been years since I first read the book, one of many business books collecting dust in my library.  When I went back to the list of companies used for research I saw some I knew hadn’t sustained their ‘greatness’.  So I looked up their ticker symbols, and here’s the fate of the Not so ‘Good to Great’:

  • Circuit City bankrupt, Fannie Mae in conservatorship, Wells Fargo bailed out by US Treasury.
  • Only Nucor is really great, up over 400%.
  • All others track with the rest of the pack (DJI)

Not so Good to Great
The stocks:

  1. Abbott Laboratories (ABT)
  2. Circuit City
  3. Fannie Mae (FNMA)
  4. Gillette → Bought by P&G
  5. Kimberly-Clark (KMB)
  6. Kroger (KR)
  7. Nucor (NUE)
  8. Philip Morris  (PM)
  9. Pitney Bowes (PBI)
  10. Walgreens (WAG)
  11. Wells Fargo (WFC)

So given the crummy performance, I have to wonder about the premises made that these companies, that had previously gone from good to great, had some special common characteristics or just random chance.




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