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How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In [Anglais] [Relié]

Jim Collins
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Description de l'ouvrage

19 mai 2009

Decline can be avoided.

Decline can be detected.

Decline can be reversed.

Amidst the desolate landscape of fallen great companies, Jim Collins began to wonder: How do the mighty fall? Can decline be detected early and avoided? How far can a company fall before the path toward doom becomes inevitable and unshakable? How can companies reverse course?

In How the Mighty Fall, Collins confronts these questions, offering leaders the well-founded hope that they can learn how to stave off decline and, if they find themselves falling, reverse their course. Collins' research project—more than four years in duration—uncovered five step-wise stages of decline:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success

Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation

Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

By understanding these stages of decline, leaders can substantially reduce their chances of falling all the way to the bottom.

Great companies can stumble, badly, and recover.

Every institution, no matter how great, is vulnerable to decline. There is no law of nature that the most powerful will inevitably remain at the top. Anyone can fall and most eventually do. But, as Collins' research emphasizes, some companies do indeed recover—in some cases, coming back even stronger—even after having crashed into the depths of Stage 4.

Decline, it turns out, is largely self-inflicted, and the path to recovery lies largely within our own hands. We are not imprisoned by our circumstances, our history, or even our staggering defeats along the way. As long as we never get entirely knocked out of the game, hope always remains. The mighty can fall, but they can often rise again.


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How The Mighty Fall: And Why Some Companies Never Give In + Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies + Good To Great
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Descriptions du produit

Quatrième de couverture

'Whether you prevail or fail, endure or die, depends more on what you do to yourself than on what the world does to you.' Jim Collins --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Biographie de l'auteur

Jim Collins is author or coauthor of six books that have sold in total more than ten million copies worldwide, including the bestsellers Good to Great, Built to Last, and How the Mighty Fall. Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. He now operates a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he conducts research, teaches, and consults with executives from the corporate and social sectors.


Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 240 pages
  • Editeur : JimCollins (19 mai 2009)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0977326411
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977326419
  • Dimensions du produit: 19,6 x 14 x 2,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
Par Manageris TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Relié
Après Built to Last (Bâties pour durer) – qui étudiait les pratiques d'entreprises ayant réussi à maintenir une performance remarquable sur une durée exceptionnelle – et Good to Great (De la performance à l'excellence) – qui tirait les leçons d'entreprises ayant réussi des sauts de performance spectaculaires, Jim Collins s'intéresse à celles qui, au sommet de leur gloire, ont soudain connu l'effondrement.

Loin de conclure à la fatalité, ce livre tire de quatre ans de recherches des enseignements dont toute entreprise pourra s'inspirer pour éviter malheur similaire. Tout l'enjeu est d'identifier suffisamment tôt les signes de déclin, de façon à y réagir avant qu'il ne soit trop tard. L'auteur identifie 5 phases successives de déclin nécessitant chacune des réactions différentes. La première se caractérise par l'arrogance née du succès – que beaucoup reconnaîtront aisément. Qui ne connait des personnes ou des organisations qui se croient invincibles parce qu'ils n'ont jamais été vaincus ? Puis la quête de "toujours plus", poussant à grossir toujours et toujours jusqu'à en perdre le contrôle, par exemple. Le déni du danger vient alors… Faire l'autruche n'est-il pas la meilleure façon de ne pas avoir peur ? On a alors tendance à croire au sauveur, quel qu'il soit. Un leader charismatique, un projet "miraculeux" réconfortent… mais résolvent-ils vraiment les problèmes ? Arrive ensuite la capitulation.

Un petit livre simple et agréable à lire, dont vous garderez toujours à l'esprit les messages d'alerte, mais aussi la conviction qu'il est possible de réagir pour éviter ce cycle infernal.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 JIm Collins - Excellent In Depth Analysis 28 juillet 2011
Par Al B
Format:Relié
Having real Built To Last, Good To Great and now How The Mighty Fall, one should know that all 3 of these books sort of interrelate. They are all a stream of research and make an excellent study of the inner workings of major corporations. These all relate to life, small business and everything in-between. Sound research and sound conclusions. Very smooth read, very much recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  159 commentaires
437 internautes sur 483 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Neither good nor great 29 mai 2009
Par T. Sull - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Let me preface this review by saying that I am a fan of Collins' earlier work. Built to Last was a great book, and Good to Great was very good. How the Mighty Fall, however, is neither. The issue of corporate failure is critical, particularly in the current downturn. Unfortunately, the core of Collins' analysis in this book is flawed.

How the Mighty Fall addresses two related questions: Why do good companies fail? and how does management respond once a company gets into trouble? Collins introduces a five stage model to answer these questions, where steps one and two address the roots of corporate failure and steps three through five managements' response.

Collins' analysis of management response to decline--denial of risk, grasping for salvation, and capitulation to irrelevance or death--accurately describe how leaders respond to deterioration in their business. This analysis here is solid, the writing clear, and the tempo brisk. Collins does a particularly good job of describing dysfunctional leadership behaviors of companies is in decline.

Collins' analysis of why companies get into trouble in the first place is much less compelling. Companies fail, according to Collins, when success breeds managerial hubris, which leads to overreach and ultimately failure. Like many of Collins' findings, this makes intuitive sense. Unfortunately in this case, his core argument runs counter to research on hundreds of companies, conducted over decades by dozens of scholars. There are two major flaws in Collins argument.

First, he claims that companies get into trouble because they overreach and expand beyond their core. This is consistent with data showing that diversified companies trade at a discount to focused rivals. Recent research published in the Journal of Financial Economics and the Journal of Finance has established that the companies often diversify to escape decline in their core business. Overreach is a symptom--not a cause--of decline and thus cannot explain its roots.

Second, Collins ignores a rich body of research that finds decline sets in not because companies stray from their core, but because they stick too close to it. Clay Christensen's research on disruptive technology, for example, demonstrates that companies stumble when they stay too close to their established customers and fail to serve emerging segments. The competency trap literature finds that companies get locked in by what they do well and struggle to adapt when circumstances change. Hubris and overreach, of course, play a role in corporate decline, but a well-established body of research suggests that they are rarely the root causes.

How did Collins, who does many things right in his research, get his core finding so wrong in this case? As always he tackles a big and important question, and his pairing of comparable companies is a sensible research design. His failure to read or acknowledge a rich body of previous research that bears directly on his research question, in this case, has led him to rather facile observations. In research, as in business, a lack of humility in recognizing the contributions of others can lead to overreach.
82 internautes sur 96 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Honest Follow-up On Greatness 29 mai 2009
Par S. Durocher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
One thing that strikes me about Jim Collins' work is that he is passionate about what he does. He and his researchers dig down deep into companies and examine them from different perspectives over a period of time. As he says, "We do not decide which companies we 'want' to study... we lay out the criteria for the study-set selection before we see the data and systematically eliminate companies from consideration based on whether they meet the criteria." This has given him great insight into what success is, not just for corporations, but for any institution.

What comes through in his recent book, along with passionate study, is honesty. Collins previously chose Fannie Mae as a "Good to Great" institution. Recently, they have demonstrated anything but greatness in facing economic and marketplace changes. There are other companies he chose, like Circuit City, that have gone the same path. Collins discusses why these enterprises were chosen in his previous book and why they fell on hard times after once being great. Because a great company stumbles into mediocrity does not mean the criteria is flawed or the framework wrong. Rather, as the study shows, somewhere along the way these companies strayed away from what once made them great. "How the Mighty Fall" uses the same criteria from "Good to Great," only in reverse, to show how and why once great enterprises have fallen. Collins does this with the same attention to detail and passion as in his previous works.

There are a couple of parts that I found most interesting from the book. First is the chapter entitled "The Undisciplined Pursuit of More." The examples of Ames and Rubbermaid, along with the other ideas presented in this chapter, really hit home in light of recent developments in our financial markets. The second part is appendix 6 where he gives brief case studies on IBM, Nucor and Nordstrom using the "Good to Great" framework to demonstrate how they went from struggling companies back to greatness. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in an honest assessment of either business success or success principles in general.
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 How the Mighty Fall 4 juin 2009
Par dzr242 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
I am a huge Jim Collins fan. I really believe that Good to Great helped my company in many different ways. This book had some great information in it, but it could have been done in an article in a magazine. There is just not enough substance to fill an entire book. What is there is really important, but not much of it. In fact it seems like half of the book is appendix. I guess after Good to Great I expected more.
24 internautes sur 27 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 "Fire, Ready, Aim" Management Described 14 juillet 2009
Par Donald Mitchell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
"Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth." -- Genesis 11:4

How the Mighty Fall takes a methodology similar to Built to Last and Good to Great and searches for differences among paired companies (Loser--Winner; A&P--Kroger; Addressograph--Pitney Bowes; Ames--Wal-Mart; Bank of America--Wells Fargo; Circuit City--Best Buy; Hewlett Packard--IBM; Merck--Johnson & Johnson; Motorola--Texas Instruments; Rubbermaid--None qualified; Scott Paper--Kimberly-Clark; and Zenith--Motorola) As you can see, it all makes for strange bedfellows (Motorola is on both sides of the divide and Rubbermaid doesn't have a winning comparison partner). As before, the analysis relies on public information from that period (such as annual reports, business journalism articles, and analyst reports).

From these data, Jim Collins discerns the following taxonomy of stages:

1. Hubris (excess pride) due to prior success
2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
3. Denial of risk and peril
4. Grasping for salvation
5. Capitulation to irrelevance or death

Reaching any one of these stages doesn't mean that stage 5 is inevitable in Collins' view.

The result is more like a monograph than a full business book with limited examples and observations. Many readers will find themselves hungering for more.

I was grateful to Mr. Collins for the excellent way that he defined and described his cases. As a result, I was able to look into what he was measuring to see what else might be there.

I had the good fortune to work with most of these companies as a consultant either just before or during the measurement period. As a result, I was able to think about what people inside the company had told me at the time about what they were doing and why they were doing it as well as what I observed about how they went about doing their work.

From those additional perspectives, I thought there were some other lessons:

1. Capable continual business model innovators (Kroger, Pitney Bowes, Wal-Mart, Wells Fargo, Best Buy, IBM, TI, and J & J) outperform those who mostly try to make old business models more efficient and effective.

2. Companies are more likely to try to do too much and swerve off in weird directions because the CEO feels insecure (Addressograph, Ames, Bank of America, Merck, Motorola, Scott, and Zenith) compared to a predecessor and the predecessor's track record (or a competitor CEO and that CEO's track record) rather than because of excess pride.

3. Denial of risk and peril arrives long before the company's performance peaks (Addressograph, Ames, Bank of America, Circuit City, Motorola, Scott, and Zenith). It just shows up as a problem later after a change in the environment causes the company to be exposed to worse results because of risk than before.

4. Ignorance about how to do big acquisitions successfully is rampant in large organizations (Ames, Hewlett Packard, Merck, and Motorola). Do a difficult large acquisition without understanding how to succeed, and you will probably fall flat on your face. Your stock will fall flatter than a pancake.

5. Pursuit of seemingly higher-growth markets is an irresistible lure for the portfolio-strategy-focused CEO (these names shall remain unidentified, but they know who they are) regardless of the real opportunity (think of the AOL-Time Warner merger).

This subject, I think, would be much better studied as a methodology by long-term tracking studies that include annual interviews and visits with a large number of competitors, customers, suppliers, and employees among the comparison companies. Perhaps someone from academia will move beyond the desire to write a quick case and do this kind of fundamental research to help answer the question: "How can we know when we are headed for a fall?"
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Not bad, but so very thin (120 pages) and hurried, begs the question - WHY? 8 août 2009
Par Abhinav Agarwal - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Not too bad a book. But... has a sort of hurried feel to it. Too thin, and the style is too reminiscent of "Good To Great", but without the details of the former. Almost like a movie trailer trying to pass as the movie itself. 120 pages of content, and 100+ pages of appendices and notes and index. Come on... this is just not done, Mr Collins, and certainly not expected from someone like you.

There is a great opportunity for making this book truly great when Collins quotes Tolstoy's novel Anna Karenina.
__"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." ... I've concluded that there are more ways to fall than to become great. [page 19]

But that's pretty much the start and end of any attempt to move the book from mediocrity to good, let alone great.

According to Collins, companies that fail tend to follow five stages of decline. Companies can fall one or more levels and still recover, but many keep sliding from one level to another, their descent punctuated only by frantic efforts at reorganization, rapid-fire change in leadership, random changes in the business model, brutal layoffs, and more.

The five stages are:
Stage 1 - Hubris Born of Success.
Stage 2 - Undisciplined Pursuit of More.
Stage 3 - Denial of Risk and Peril.
Stage 4 - Grasping for Salvation.
Stage 5 - Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death.

Companies can seem to be in rise even as they go through stages 1, 2, and 3. Decline visible to world, seems to occur only at stage 4, at which point most companies will inevitably slide down further and further. The book's first half is all about these five stages.That is all of 124 pages or so. Yes. 124 pages of large type on paper size that is smaller than most paperbacks. The next 90 pages are notes and appendices for each section. 29 pages of notes, the rest are appendices. So, if you skip the references and notes and all, as most people do, you could be done reading the book before you are halfway on a flight from Seattle to San Jose.

__"Packard's Law states that no company can consistently grow revenues faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth and still become a great company. ... (We named this law after David Packard, cofounder of HP, inspired by his insight that a great company is more likely to die of indigestion from too much opportunity than stavation from too little.) "[page 55]

This book needed to have covered new ground, or in a different way, or should have insights that would have been illuminating. It is none. Some of the material, especially on people and bureaucracies, is indeed timeless, and useful, but he has covered that to some extent in Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't. If you have not read that book, then this book is useful enough. When comparing or contrasting two firms that went to a particular stage, and one recovered and the other did not, you don't really get any insight. The example of TI and Motorola is one. Or that of IBM and HP. HP seemed to have gone down the tube under the leadership of Carly Fiorina, but has been on the mend with its new CEO, Mark Hurd. Was the acquisition of Compaq all that big a failure as is made out to be? What was it that HP did to come back from the brink? TI does not seem to be doing too well these days. The leadership is the same. What changed?

Collins does seem to recognize the impreciseness of such studies though.
__"If we could conduct double-blind, prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled trials, we would be able to create a predictive model of corporate performance. But such experiments simply do not exist in the real world of management, and therefore it's impossible to claim cause and effect with 100-percent certainty." [page 17]

Collins has written a lot about the importance of people in organizations. And this book is no different. People can and do make or break companies.
__"You break Packard's Law and begin to fill key seats with the wrong people; to compensate for the wrong people's inadequacies, you institute bureaucratic procedures; this, in turn, drives away the right people (because they chafe under the bureaucracy or cannot tolerate working with less competent people or both); this then invites more bureaucracy to compensate for having more of the wrong people, which then drives away more of the right people; and a culture of bureaucratic mediocrity gradually replaces a culture of disciplined excellence. When bureaucratic rules erode an ethic of freedom and responsibility within a framework of core values and demanding standards, you've become infected with the disease of mediocrity." [page 56]

Perhaps the answer to the question as to why this book has such a hurried feel, and why it feels so 'lightweight', even for a pulp-management title, lies on page 118, where Collins writes:

"While working on How the Might Fall, my colleague Morten Hansen and I have been simultaneously working on a six-year research project to study companies that grew from vulnerability to greatness..." [page 118]
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