Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Thing Big Act Small

Another book from Good to Great style of research. Good to Great is a different kind of book. Rather than having some theories in mind and finding data which fit that jim Collins takes a very different view of strategy and companies.

He went about searching about companies in America which live up to a specific list of data parameters and he found out the "good to great" companies.

Jack Covert from 800-CEO reviews a new book called "Think Big Act Small" by Jason Jennings where he goes about searching 100000 companies in America with the specific data parameter of "increased revenue and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years".

What Jennings' and his research team did was to look at 100,000 American companies and found nine companies that have increased revenue and profits by ten percent or more for ten consecutive years. The nine companies range from retailers like Petco and Cabela's, manufactures like Medline Industries, service companies like Sonic Drive-In, private education companies like Strayer and industrial giants like Koch Industries. Rounding out the nine are SAS, the software company, O'Reilly Automotive and DOT Foods. 
What do all these companies have in common? You guessed it: they all "Think big and act small."

In the book, each chapter focuses on a company and how that company handles one of the ten "Building Blocks." The building blocks are:

1. Down to earth
2. Keep your hands dirty
3. Make short term goals and long term horizons
4. Let go
5. Have everyone think and act like an owner
6. Invent new businesses
7. Create win-win solutions
8. Choose your competition
9. Build communities
10. Grow future leaders.

The book is loaded with insight and easily applicable ideas for anybody interested in improving themselves and their company. I especially like the conclusion:

"We live in interesting times. Complexity causes people to yearn for simple, profound ideas that can be readily related to diverse situations. People gravitate to confidence, decisiveness, and clear, powerful messages, searching for the ultimate metaphysical reference point. So we end as we begin, with this message: to guild an organization with balanced focus, camaraderie, and the ability to prosper over the long term...think big, act small."


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