Book Reviews,  Organizational Leadership

Jim Collins & Great by Choice

Mark Olson, SpringHill’s former President, was the first to introduce Jim Collins and his work to SpringHill through the book Built to Last.

It was in reading Built to Last that I became a fan of Jim Collins, and it certainly wouldn’t be far off to say, over the years, that I’ve become a disciple of Jim Collin’s research/writing. Since Built to Last, I’ve read all his books, have had our key leaders read his books, then continued the practice Mark started of applying the books’ principles to SpringHill.

After 15 years and 5 books, both Collins’ concepts and terminology have become part of the SpringHill culture. Read our strategic/ministry plan and you’ll see how Collins’ work has impacted and influenced SpringHill.

In an effort to avoid becoming an organization that is always chasing the “flavor of the day” we’ve been intentional about staying consistent in using Collins’s concepts and terminology. We acknowledge there are other good management consultants who use different terminology and have their own twist on strategic and leadership concepts. But we believe it’s counterproductive to switch, mix and change language within a culture, in the name of being cutting edge, when the underlying principles are similar or the same.

Finally we’ve stayed with Collins and his work because, unlike so many other experts and their books, the concepts derive from rigorous research not anecdotal evidence, opinion or folk-lore.

Which brings me to Collins’ new book (written with Morten T. Hansen) – Great by Choice, it’s another “great” work based on “great” research. Many of SpringHill leaders have already read it and a number of our department teams, including my leadership team, have plans to carry out the appropriate concepts into SpringHill.

So once again, Collins provides timely and relevant insight for organizations and leaders looking to stay or become “great”. I highly recommend it.


  • Emily

    I have enjoyed reading your blog. I am excited about the direction you are leading Spring Hill through your “Best Christan workplace” pursuit and your focus on ‘Great by Choice’. I am proud to work in HR at Stryker, a company referenced in his newest book. Let me know if you ever host an open forum to discuss Spring Hill’s organizational development strategy, I would love to attend as SH will only hold a place close to my heart.

    Emily Van Eerden-Wierenga

  • mark izzi

    Thanks Michael. Consistent progress is a wonderful thing…better put Consistent progress are wonderful things. They have to be each and both. Thanks for being each and both.

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