In Good to Great, the structure follows three core disciplines. Disciplined people, disciplined thought and disciplined action.
Disciplined people covers Level 5 Leadership and First Who… Then What.
Disciplined thought covers Confront the Brutal Facts and Hedgehog Concept.
Disciplined action covers Culture of Discipline and Technology Accelerators.
Culture of discipline in good-to-great companies means that they have a consistent system with clear constraints but they also give people freedom and responsibility within that system. The company employees self-disciplined people who do not need to be managed, and instead manage the company instead of the people.
Jim Collins’s research of those companies uncovered consistent use of words like disciplined, rigorous, dogged, determined, diligent, precise, fastidious, systematic, methodical, workmanlike, demanding, consistent, focused, accountable and responsible.
The chapter states that great companies had people who were “extreme in their fulfillment of responsibilities bordering on fanaticism”. And it likened the fanaticism to athlete Dave Scott who won Hawaii Ironman Triathlon six times and was known to even rinse his cottage cheese to remove any extra fat.
Kind of makes me think of what the 2015 & 2016 fittest woman on earth must go through each day… You can’t have an off day. Or an off moment.
The key takeaways for this topic were:
- You need to build a culture of self-disciplined people that focus their disciplined action within the three circles
- You don’t need bureaucracy in your workplace if you have the right people on the bus; it only exists when compensating for those self-disciplined people you need
- A culture of discipline is a balance between two opposites: people who strictly adhere to a consistent system and also people who are given every freedom and responsibility within the framework of the system
- People have to engage in disciplined thought and then take disciplined action
- Good-to-great companies appear boring on the outside, but under the microscope are frantic with diligence and the intensity of rinsing their cottage cheese
- A culture of discipline is not ruled by a tyrant; saviour CEOs ruling through force will fail to produce sustained results
- People must strictly adhere to the Hedgehog Concept and leave behind any opportunities that fall outside of it; that will also ensure more opportunities for growth
- AND most importantly “stop doing” lists are critical… even more so that “to do” lists
That last one is going to be a hard one. I will really have to review what I’m committing to.
Time to get out those weekly planning tools and really figure out what we’re going to achieve day by day, week by week, month by month…