Monday, March 31st, 2014


There really are a lot of blah blah blah business books.
As a top executive you can get quite cynical as authors sell their very simple
model for a very simple problem that with a very simple matrix can make them a lot of money.  Give me a good matrix and I’ll show you a best seller.

But there are some good business books too.  Mostly I read to solve a very specific problem.  I don’t tuck in with a business book every night.  Usually I scan several books and put together my own concept or practice that fits exactly what I’m working on.

Today, one book keeps coming to mind because it is a remedy for the biggest blind spot of all which is the inability to see your organization as 
a live changing perhaps declining system.  You probably know the book.  It is HOW THE MIGHTY FALL by Jim Collins.  It gives the symptoms of various stages of decline that ring absolutely true to me.  

Here’s my challenge.  Invite fifteen people to a lunch with you–randomly selected, various levels.  Make it an invitational to see who wants to play.
Ask them to read the book and assess which stage your company is in based on the indicators in the book.  Don’t be blind to the idea that your company might be in the beginning stages of decline.  If you get news you don’t like, have another lunch.  Then do something about where you land in the decline slide.  It’s a hopeful book. 

 Seeing clearly saves a lot of money and opens lots of opportunity.  And it is the rare executive who can see without the blinders of over optimism, believing their own Wall Street spin, or who can tolerate seeing failure.  I bet this book has not sold as well as Jim Collin’s others and it should because it forced a close look at reality.


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