Good to Great


Jim Collins

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Good to Great can help.
Themes and Colors
The Possibility of Transformation Theme Icon
The Importance of the Right People Theme Icon
Focus and Consistency Theme Icon
Duality and Contradiction Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Good to Great, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

The Possibility of Transformation

While Jim Collins’s study of how good companies become great ones focuses specifically on large corporations that fit the “good-to-great” model, he makes it clear from the start that the principles discussed throughout the book are intended to apply beyond the business world. Collins and his research team focus on companies because their stock value offers a clear measure of success and because information about this success over time is readily available…

read analysis of The Possibility of Transformation

The Importance of the Right People

The idea that people are an important component of any company or organization is nothing new. However, Jim Collins goes beyond this commonplace wisdom to claim that having the right people in the right roles within a company is an essential foundation without which the company cannot truly succeed. According to Collins’s model, people are the essence of sustainable greatness, rather than just one component of it. However, Collins’s idea of the “right” people rests…

read analysis of The Importance of the Right People

Focus and Consistency

In keeping with Jim Collins’s emphasis on simple, comprehensible keys to success, the idea of narrow focus and consistent application of that focus comes up throughout the book. For Collins, these straightforward concepts are not limiting or small-minded; rather, they are the necessary foundational structures that allow for the complexities of true greatness to blossom. According to Collins’s model of greatness, small ideas and actions are necessary for big success.

The idea of the…

read analysis of Focus and Consistency
Get the entire Good to Great LitChart as a printable PDF.
Good to Great PDF

Duality and Contradiction

The idea of duality emerges as a key foundation of Jim Collins’s findings. In nearly every aspect of successful companies, Collins reveals two essential truths that coexist with each other, rather than one overarching truth. Furthermore, these pairs of truths usually seem to be in opposition, which presents companies with the challenge of balancing them effectively. While having to face seemingly contradictory demands might seem like a setback for an organization or company seeking…

read analysis of Duality and Contradiction