Jim Collins

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This review was submitted by jhbchina.

In his latest book “How the Mighty Fall”, Jim Collins delves into the dark side of today’s headlines that tout about another company or industry that is “Too Big to Fail”. As today’s global economy tries to confirm that we have reached the bottom of the cycle, Mr. Collins’s new book identifies five stages that a company passes through that brings them to the brink of extinction or recovery. The best part is that he also prescribes actionable steps at each stage to prevent disaster and recover to success.

This book is light and short, only 200 pages, if you choose to read the appendixes too. A quick reader can get through “How the Mighty Fall” within the time one spends in the airport and flying back and forth between cities for a one day business trip. The analysis and anecdotes of how not to run a business is enormous.

Mr. Collins admits that today’s recent economic environment lead him to write this book. Early on he writes that he is not comfortable writing about failure, and he jokes about crossing to the dark side. Though his true objective is to help managers recognize their errors and recover before it is too late.

The five stages of decline highlighted in the book are:

1.      Hubris of Success

2.      Undisciplined Pursuit of More

3.      Denial of Risk and Peril

4.      Grasping for Salvation

5.      Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death


Through out the book Jim uses real cases studies and facts from some of today’s most recent corporate stumbles to bring his concepts to life. Such companies mentioned in the book are: 1) IBM, 2) Xerox, 3) HP, and Enron.

If you enjoyed Mr. Collins previous books such as “Built to Last” or “Good to Great”, then you will also be satisfied with your decision to read his latest compilation. If I add more details you would not need to read the book!