21st Century Learning for All: Closing Opportunity Gaps

Moving the System

**Collins, J. (2001, October). Good to great. Available at http://www.jimcollins.com/article_topics/  articles/good-to-great.html

Summarizing five years of research presented in Jim Collins’ book Good to Great, this article addresses one simple question: Can a good company become a great company, and if so, how? Collins compares the characteristics of companies that made the jump from good to great to those that did not, and argues that such a change can occur.  The great companies under study all share common characteristics: they focus on the “who” before the “what,” confront the brutal facts, eliminate everything not focused on the intended results, and build momentum through steady perseverance.

**Lencioni, P. (2000).  Organizational health: The model. In P. Lencioni, The four obsessions of an extraordinary executive: A leadership fable (pp.137-180). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Available for purchase at http://www.tablegroup.com/books/obsessions/

This book begins with a story that compares the leaders of two technology consulting firms.  Building on the lessons from that story, the final section presents a model for organizational health that comprises four simple, yet difficult to accomplish, disciplines: 1) build and maintain a cohesive leadership team; 2) create organizational clarity; 3) overcommunicate organizational clarity; and 4) reinforce organizational clarity through human systems. The author describes what each discipline looks like in practice, explaining how to achieve and assess each one.

**This document is considered a priority reading.