10 years after the success of ‘Good to Great‘, author Jim Collins returns with some interesting findings. Top contenders are findings such as the ability to scale innovation and to blend creativity and discipline. I have long argued that creativity is not ‘flakey’ but the most disciplined that you will ever be (Collins = hedgehog). That creative discipline delivers on performance goals and is consistent with values-in-action. The ability to marry relentless discipline with focused creativity is more important now that ever before. What also hasn’t changed is the leadership mandate of serving a cause bigger than personal ego. The rest is new findings, not a rehash of old results. Emphasis is on long-term strategy – a 20 mile march. Hopefully we have learned by now that a focus on short-term results leads to trouble if not extinction. I love the concept of ‘zoom-out then zoom-in’ – holding both a mega and micro view builds on what we know of complexity theory that is driving business results, SMaC (specific, methodical and consistent) and the genius of the ‘and’. A worthwhile read.
Every so often I purchase a book as soon as it hits the bookstores. Every so often, I sit and read a book cover to cover. This book is worth that level of commitment. Walter Isaacson has written a masterful account of the life of Steve Jobs.
This book was a revelation as to the unwavering determination of Jobs in delivering on his vision. Isaacson doesn’t pull his punches as to how difficult Jobs could be professionally or personally. Jobs was determined from the outset to connect creativity with technology and managed to revolutionize six industries: personal computers, animation, music, phones, tablet computing and digital publishing. Rebel, genius, sometimes a jerk – Jobs epitomized the force needed to sustainably drive ideas to action. If you haven’t seen his Stanford graduation address, it’s a great place to start before opening the book.
In Job’s own words:
“I hate it when people call themselves ‘entrepreneurs’ when what they are trying to do is launch a startup and then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business. That’s how you really make a contribution and add to the legacy of those who went before. You build a company that will still stand for something a generation or two from now.”
For all that follow or are curious of the ‘cult of apple’, this is a great read. For all those who choose to stand on the shoulders of giants, who are determined to innovate, to “think different”, this book provides both instruction and inspiration. A joy to add to my book collection. A loss of a great mind. My hope is that his dream lives on.