Chapter 6 - Culture of discipline
- The food-to-great companies built a consistent system with clear constraints, but they also gave people freedom and responsibility within the framework of that system. They hired self-discplined people who didn't need to be managed, and then managed the system, not the people..
- Everyone would like to be the best, but most organizations lack the discipline to figure out with egoless clarity what tey can be the best at and the will to do whatever it takes to turn that potential into reality. They lack the discipline to rinse their cottage cheese.
- Whereas the good-to-great companies had Level 5 leaders who built an enduring culture of discpline, the unsustained comparisons had Level 4 leaders who personally discplined the organization through sheer force.
- The good-to-great companies at their best followed a simple mantra: "Anything that does not fit with out Hedgehog Concept, we will not do. We will not launch unrealted businesses. We will not make unrelated acquisitions. We will not do unrelated joint ventures. If it doesn't fit, we dont' do it it. Period"
- It takes discipline to say, "No, thank you" to big opportunities. The fact that something is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" is irrelevant if it doesn't fit within the three circles.
- In a good-to-great transformation, budgeting is a discipline to decide which areans should be fully funded and which should not be funded at all. In other words, the budget process is not about figuring out how much each activity gets, but about determining which activities best support the HedgeHod Concept and should be fully strengthened and which should be eliminated entirely.
- Sustained great results depend upon building a culture full of self-disciplined people who take discipline action, fanatically consistent with the three circle.
- Bureaucratic cultures arise to compensate for incompetence and lack of discipline, which arise from having the wrong people on the bus in the first place.If you get the right people on the bus, and the wrong people off, you don't need stultifying bureaycracy.
- A culture of discipline involves a duality. On the one hand, it requires people who adhere to a consistent system; yet, on the other hand, it gives people freedom and responsibility within the framework of that system.
- A culture of discipline is not just about action. It is about getting discplined people who engage in discipline thought and who then take disciplined action.
- The good-to-great companies appear boring and pedestrian looking in from the outside, but upon closer inspection, they're full of people who display extreme diligence and a stunning intensity (they "rinse their cottage cheese").
- Do no confuse a culture of discipline with a tyrant who disciplines - they are very different concepts, one highly functional, the other highly dysfunctional. Savior CEOs who personally discipline through sheer force of personality usually fail to produce sustained results.
- The single most important form of discipline for sustained results is fanatical adherence to the Hedgehog concept and the willingness to shun opportunities that fall outside the three circle.
-- unexpected findings --
- The more an organization has the discipline to stay within its three cirlces, with almost religious consistency, the more it will have opportunities for grwoth.
- The fact that something is a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" is irrelevant, unless it fits within the three circles. A great company will have many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
- The purpose of budgeting in a good-to-great company is not to decide how much each activity gets, but to decide which arenas best fit with the Hedgehog Concept and should be fully funded and which should not be funded at all.
- "Stop doing" lists are more important than "to do" lists.