Chapter 7 - Technology accelerators
- Technology-induced change is nothing new. The real question is not, what is the role of technology? Rather, the real question is, How do good-to-great organizations think differently about technology?
- This brings us to the central point of the chapter. When used right, technology becomes an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. The good-to-great companies never began their transitions with pioneering technolog, for the simple reason that you cannot make good use of technology until you know which technologies are relevant. And which are those? Those - and only those - that link directly to the three intersecting circles of the Hedgehog Concept.
- We were quite surprised to find that fully 80 percent of the good-to-great executives we interviewed didn't even mention technology as one of the top five factors in the transition. Furthermore, in the cases where they did mention technology, it had a median ranking of fourth, with only two executives of eighty-four interviewed ranking it number one.
- The evidence from our study does no support the idea that technological change plays the principal role in the decline of one-great companies (or the perpetual mediocrity of others). Certainly, technology is important - you can't remain a laggard and hope to be great. But technology by itself is never a primary cause of either greatness or decline.
- No, those who turn good into great are motivated by a deep creative urge and an inner compulsion for sheer unadulterated excellence for its own sake. Those who build and perpetuate mediocrity, in contrast, are motivated more by the fear of being left behind.
- Good-to-great organizations think differently about technology and technological change chan mediocre ones.
- Good-to-great organizations avoid technology fads and bandwagons, yet they become pioneers in the application of carefully selected technologies.
- The key question about any technology is, Does the technology fir directly with your Hedgehog Concept? If yes, then you need to become a pioneer in the application of that technology. If no, then you can settle for parity or ignore it entirely.
- The good-to-great companies used technology as an accelerator of momentum, not a creator of it. None of the good-to-great companies began their transformations with pioneering technology, yet they all became pioneers in the application of technology once they grasped how it fit with their three circles and after they hit breakthrough.
- You could have taken the exact same leading-edge technologies pioneered at the good-to-great companies and handed them to their direct comparisons for free, and the comparisons still would have failed to produce anywhere near the same results.
- How a company reacts to technological change is a good indicator of its inner drive for greatness versus mediocrity. Great companies respond with thoughtfulness and creativity, driven by a compulsion to turn unrealized potential into results; mediocre companies react and lurch about, motivated by fear of being left behind.
- The idea that technological change is the principal cause in the decline of once-great companies (or the perpetual mediocrity of others) is not supported by the evidence. Certainly, a company can't remain a laggard and hope to be great, but technology by itself is never a primary root cause of either greatness or decline.
- Across eighty-four interview with good-to-great executives, fully 80 percent didn't even mention technology as one of the top five factors in the transformation. This is true even in companies famous for their pioneering application of technology, such as Nucor.
- "Crawl, walk, run" can be a very effective approach, even during times of rapid and radical technological change.ShareThis