Why Good Companies Go Bad
Overview of the book
Much has been written about how companies can go from good to great, but the reality is that most companies go from good to bad-or worse. Based on extensive research into successful and failed transformations in many industries, Donald N. Sull unveils a new model for change that centers around transformational commitments-specific actions that help eliminate status-quo behaviors in five areas: strategic frames, relationships, processes, resources, and values. He introduces practical tools that managers can use to diagnose and fight active inertia and successfully implement the right commitment for the right dilemma.
This new edition includes best-selling Harvard Business Review article "Why Good Companies Go Bad," and a new appendix to help managers assess their managerial commitments.
Reviews and Awards
-Best of the Business Books by the Magazine Publishers of America.
-Finalist, Academy of Management George R. Terry award for outstanding book on management.
-Selected as one of top ten business books by The National Post (Canada), Expansion Directo (Spain), Exame (Brazil) and Commonwealth (Taiwan).
Financial Times, May 12 2003
"a rounded account of...how to turn stale strategies into moist, wealth-creating business models."
Economist, May 31 2003
"argues that good firms go bad when they suffer from 'active inertia'...their values become dogmas, and their resources millstones."
Toronto Globe and Mail, July 16 2003
"fascinating...will prod you to see leadership anew, as a series of commitments that must be carefully managed."
-Translated into eight languages with paperback edition.
"Books on leading change usually provide either checklists of actions without an overall logic to motivate and unify those actions, or a broad conceptual framework without specific how-to's. In Revival of the Fittest, Donald Sull links a sensible framework for managing change with a toolkit of diagnostic questions and specific responses to guide a manager's moves. Well-written, clearly illustrated, and intellectually rigorous, this book is one that all managers should carefully read."
--Sumantra Ghoshal, Former Professor of Strategic and International Management, London Business School
"There are more books today written about business success than there are successful businesses, and the books often outlast the companies they describe. Revival of the Fittest serves to reverse that trend by explaining how successful companies can falter and then recover their leadership positions."
--R. E. Cavanagh, President and CEO, The Conference Board
"This book is an easy-to-read combination of theory and practical advice. Too often, business books deal only with theory and don't explain how it can be applied. Not so here. Don Sull presents a lot of ideas on what to do come 'Monday morning' to improve your business."
--B. Charles Ames, Vice Chairman, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice
Case in point
Samsung's transformation from a local Korean conglomerate to one of the world's leading electronics companies is a remarkable story of leading strategic transformation. The case is detailed in this article that draws broader lessons on transforming a local player to compete globally.
Good to global The Smart Manager. 2004.