As the summer spirals to the end, teachers across the country are coming to the realization that the short, sweet weeks of summer are rapidly coming to a close and its time to start refocusing on another year ahead. Time to put down the sunscreen and novels and start to reexamine curriculum and rethink lesson plans. In the spirit of returning to school, I felt it might be useful to read a book that can add and help improve my educational knowledge. Rather than reading something about educational philosophy or policy(as I did for the past few years), I turned to a classic book about business titled Good to Great by Jim Collins.
I wasn't quite sure if this book would apply to schools or even if the book would be interesting (as I am not really a business person); I was sure that it was a classic book on business that is highly recommended. Luckily, the book was applicable to schools, easy to get through and interesting to boot!
Basically, the book looks at eleven Fortune 500 that made the leap from being good to being great. There is a whole bunch of rigid criteria, and I feel pretty confident that those 11 are pretty special. Anyway, the book breaks down six major things (in three categories) that have helped these companies rise to the level of greatness.
Overall, what I found most pleasing about this book was the simplicity (yet difficulty to accomplish) of each aspect and how easily the business examples and stories could apply to any organization, even a school. I was worried the book would all be business golbydegoop (sp?) but all of it was easy to digest and made a great deal of sense. The really difficult part, however, is putting into practice the ideas Collins mentions. Nonetheless, it is certainly nice to now have a detailed and clear road map.
I wouldn't necessarily suggest this book for alot of teachers out there, but I would urge anyone to pick it up and check it out if you are curious about organizational leadership, how to create a successful business model, or how to go from being good to great. You can scan through many parts of the book, and its written and organized in ways that make it very easy to pull out the most salient pieces of information quite quickly.
I gave the book 4 stars and rate it somewhere between good and great!