Review: How the Mighty Fall by Jim Collins

Down and Dirty: 4 out of 5

An eye-opening comparison to the myths versus reality of what makes a company fail.

“They failed to innovate. They were lazy. They didn’t have good, revolutionary leaders.” These are just a few of the incorrect assumptions about what makes a company fall from Great or even Good to disaster.

Jim Collins and his team at Chimp Labs have uncovered five stages of destruction and ‘markers’ that can be found as indicators of each stage. One struggle they had in uncovering the pattern was that not every company followed the same pattern, some would pull out of their nose dive – why, how?

While this book has a grim topic and as Collins goes deep into the explanations you are filled with dread at how inevitable the fall begins to look, there is a silver lining to this book.

In every stage there are ways to pull out of the nose-dive. Being aware of the company’s ‘sickness symptoms’ means you’re more alert to potential problems in earlier stages, when it will be easier to treat. However, Collins documents companies even in the late 4th stage able to make a turn around (although with considerable more effort and pain).  There is a glimmer of hope and a word of warning that would be very helpful for many business owners to keep in mind.

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