I've just finished reading Jim Collins's book Good to Great. It's a business book, but the applications for churches are worth chewing on.

Collins, whose previous book Built to Last brought the concept of BHAGs "Big Hairy Audacious Goals" onto the agendas of countless corporate planning meetings, has managed that all too-rare accomplishment for an author: a sequel that's better than the original.

While Built to Last documented the things that make a strong company's greatness endure, Good to Great (HarperBusiness, 2001) describes what it takes to transform a mediocre organization into one that's truly outstanding. Collins and his team researched the entire Fortune 500 to find the companies whose earnings once mirrored the general market but then improved to consistently outperform the stock market. To be considered "great," a company's stock had to earn more than triple the general stock market for 15 consecutive years. And the companies could not be in hot growth industries.

There were only ...

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