Wisdom From Books

In search of excellence!

Posted on: April 10, 2011

Why are some companies successful and some companies are not so successful?

One of the most widely held library books in the United States, ‘In search of Excellence’ provides some thoughts to answer this question.  This is a research based book. Authors travelled world wide and met hundreds of best business people for this book. Therefore, this book is interesting and practical.

However, before you read the 8 ideas presented in this international best seller, an interesting thing must be noted. In late 1990s, certain companies which were reported in the book as ‘Excellent’ started losing their market share and some of them even disappeared. When some one asked the author why were those companies not excellent, the response was: Excellence is a time bound characteristic. It may or may not happen that a company remains excellent for ever!

So true – Like companies, it can be applied to individuals too.

To remain excellent, there need to be some habit of excellence which should be practiced through out ones life.

Here are the eight characteristics of the highly successful / excellent companies:

  1. Getting things done and ‘acting’ fast: Excellent companies are quick in making decisions. As one of our friends said: They practice IMAN i.e. I must Act Now!
  2. Close to the customer: Excellent companies are close to their customers. They know what their customers want and they try their level best to serve their customers. (A thought: Are we serving our customers in our offices, businesses and in our lives? Do we know what our family wants from us and are we acting to delight them?)
  3. Autonomy and entrepreneurship: Needless to say, excellent companies give greater autonomy to its employees which results in effectiveness and efficiencies.
  4. Productivity through people: Excellent companies treat all employees as a source of quality and try their level best that people should perform effectively and efficiently to get the best results possible.
  5. Hands-on, value-driven – management philosophy: Top management of excellent companies believe to practice what they preach. Management is committed and demonstrate the acts of excellence.
  6. Stick to the knit: This might appear to be controversial as authors advocate of doing the business which is core and not doing the business which is not core.  Excellent companies keep on doing what they are meant to do and not otherwise.
  7. Lean, mean, fighting machine – Excellent companies believe in less staff at their head quarters. 
  8. Simultaneous loose-tight properties: Excellent companies have hybrid of centralization and decentralization practices

Your thoughts on characteristics of excellence?


4 Responses to "In search of excellence!"

IMAN….its the Act which gets results not just the good ideas…

thanks for sharing sir..

Thanks Saleem for reading and your comments

So true. I especially liked the “Excellence is time bound”.Another reason why one has to keep on working well and smart!!

Second is Trust. Empowering employees to make decisions is a form of trust and that takes us well ahead.

Thanks Jawad sb for your comments and sharing your thoughts

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