Brief Biography of Jim Collins
Jim Collins was born in 1958 and earned his bachelor’s and MBA degrees from Stanford University. He began his teaching career at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and later went on to found an independent management research laboratory in Boulder, Colorado. In addition to his writing and research, Collins now works as a consultant for both businesses and the social sector. In addition to Good to Great, Collins has published four other book-length works of nonfiction and one shorter monograph about applying his good-to-great concepts to the social sector. He is an avid rock climber and is married to triathlete Joanne Ernst.
Historical Context of Good to Great
Good to Great was researched and written during the height of the dot-com bubble in the late 1990s, but it was published in 2001, after that bubble had burst. With readers searching for alternatives to the stereotype of the visionary business leader, Collins’s simple lessons in humble management were especially welcome at the time of the book’s publication. Accordingly, it became a bestseller with a variety of audiences beyond the business sector. Some of the good-to-great companies have faced significant setbacks since the book’s publication, most notably Fannie Mae and Circuit City. These real-world changes offer an additional perspective on the good-to-great concepts and how companies might fail if they stop consistently applying those principles.
Other Books Related to Good to Great
Good to Great is directly related to Jim Collins’s other books, with the author himself stating that he views it as a prequel to his 1994 book Built to Last. It is also closely linked to How the Mighty Fall, the author’s 2009 book about the decline of once-great companies. Additionally, Good to Great is one in broad genre of countless books that claim to reveal the secrets of successful companies. A few of the most notable comparisons include Patty McCord’s 2018 release Powerful, which focuses on building effective company cultures of the kind Collins describes, and Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s 2010 release Black Swan, which focuses on the hidden impact of improbable events like the ones that often shape companies.
Key Facts about Good to Great
Full Title: Good to Great
When Written: Late 1990s
Where Written: Likely at the author’s research laboratory in Boulder, Colorado
When Published: 2001
Literary Period: Contemporary
Genre: Business, Management, Self-Help
Climax: The unifying metaphor of the flywheel
Point of View: First-person, in the voice of author Jim Collins
Extra Credit for Good to Great