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You will complete the assigned readings and post a 400-word thread answering the Discussion Board question assigned from the readings. Threads require a minimum of 3 properly formatted citations. The thread must be submitted in the Discussion Board Forum’s textbox as well as a properly formatted, current APA Word document.In his 2001 article, “Good to Great”, Jim Collins found 11 companies that went from good to great and metaphorically discussed how each of them did this. Of particular note was how Collins described the transformation of Wells Fargo. Using the Hedgehog Concept, Collins argued that leaders are hedgehogs, not foxes. Foxes are good at many things. Hedgehogs are good at 1 big thing and are able to distill everything down to 1 simple workable idea. Accordingly, to be a great company, the CEO would have to ask: 1) what is the company best at; 2) what economic denominator drives the company; and, 3) what are the employees passionate about? Using this formula, Collins notably claims that Wells Fargo discovered that their economic driver was not profit per loan but profit per employee. Consequently, they pioneered electronic banking with the idea that they would “run a business like they owned it” and ended up turning that employee profit into superior results. Although Collins does not empirically define these results, Wells Fargo’s profit summaries since 2001 reflect as much. In 2016, a former employee revealed that Wells Fargo had been involved in elaborate schemes to defraud customers by using their information to create phony accounts without their knowledge. Still trying to recover from the $1.2 billion housing settlement in February of 2016, this disclosure resulted in yet another $185 million in fines by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Consequently, the CEO resigned and the Department of Justice (DOJ) is now investigating the company. Wells Fargo shares have lost nearly 16% of their value.For your discussion, you must first determine if Collins was incorrect to begin with. Did Collins simply misinterpret how Wells Fargo reported their successes after 2001? Or was it something internal at Wells Fargo that caused the Hedgehog Concept to go awry? If so, how could profit per employee go so wrong? Most importantly, where was the failure in leadership and why?

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U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
“Good to Great”Policing:
Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector
Chuck Wexler
Mary Ann Wycoff
Craig Fischer
This project, conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF),
was supported by Cooperative Agreement # 2004-HS-WX-0003 by the U.S.
Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services. Points
of views or opinions contained in this document are those of the authors and do
not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department
of Justice or the members of PERF.
The opinions expressed are generally those based on the consensus of executive
session attendees; however, not every view or statement presented in this report
can necessarily be attributed to each participant.
Web sites and sources listed provided useful information at the time of this
writing, but the authors do not endorse any information of the sponsor
organization or other information on the web sites.
Published by the Police Executive Research Forum
U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Police Executive Research Forum
Washington, D.C. 20036
June 2007
ISBN: 978-1-934485-02-6
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v
Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . vii
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
PERF’s Interest in Good to Great . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Results of the “Good to Great” Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
(1) Self-Effacing but Fanatically Driven
Level 5 Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
(2) “First Who, Then What,” and Getting
the Right People on the Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
(3) Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
(4) The Hedgehog Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
(5) A Culture of Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
(6) Technology Accelerators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
(7) The Flywheel and the Doom Loop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
When Success Is Not a Matter of Profits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
Application of the Concepts in the Public Sector:
A Case Study from the Public Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
Application of the Good to Great Principles in Policing . . . . . . 17
(1) Level 5 Leaders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
(2) Getting the Right People on the Bus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
(3) Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet Never Lose Faith) . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
(4) The Hedgehog Concept . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
(5) A Culture of Discipline . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
(6) Technology Accelerators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
(7) The Flywheel and the Doom Loop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Achieving a “Culture of Greatness” in Policing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Appendix 1. Attendee List for March 29, 2005
Good to Great Leadership Summit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
n his best-selling book Good to Great, Jim Collins gives business executives advice
about how to push their companies from the “merely good” to the rarefied world
of greatness. This PERF report explores how the principles of Good to Great might
be applied to policing.
It is important to understand that Collins is extremely careful in how he uses the
word “great.” His criteria for greatness in business, based on stock market performance,
are so stringent that he could find only 11 companies that qualified as great. To make a
rough translation of Collins’ principles into the policing environment: A police chief
striving for greatness might set a goal of reducing violent crime in his jurisdiction by,
say, 50 percent. It would not matter to the chief if crime were going up everywhere else
in the country, because great executives do not look for excuses; they look to get things
done. And to be truly great, the chief not only would need to meet his target; he would
need to ensure that the reduction in crime would be sustained even if he retired. In Collins’
view, great executives focus their ambition not on personal glory, but on making the
organization great, and that includes “setting up their successors for success.”
So Collins has set high standards for greatness. And if greatness in policing can
be achieved, it certainly would be a powerful force for good in the world.
Good to Great first came to my attention in 2002. I was shuttling back and forth
from Washington, D.C., to work with the Chicago Police Department (CPD), and
everyone in Chicago seemed to be talking about “getting the right people on the bus,
the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” I asked what that
meant, and the CPD’s Good to Great fans referred me to the book. They explained that
one of Collins’ key findings was that in the companies with the most impressive records
of success, executives began their quest for greatness not by setting goals, but by hiring
the right people, dismissing those who would thwart change, and finding the best positions for everyone who remained. Once the right people were on the bus, then the
leader and his team began deciding where to direct the bus in order to find greatness.
I read Good to Great, was intrigued, and wondered whether the analysis of how to
make a business successful could be applied to policing. I tracked Collins down, and
he was amazingly approachable for a man who had a book on the nonfiction bestseller lists for months. He invited me out to Boulder and before I knew it, I was on a
plane to Colorado. A short time later, I found myself in a Boulder deli with Collins
and Milliken, Colorado Chief of Police Jim Burack. What an amazing day we had!
Collins was intrigued with how his principles might apply to policing and other
parts of government, as well as to nonprofit groups, social service agencies, even
churches. While his research was in the field of business, he already was beginning to
speculate that the ability to overcome obstacles seemed to be the key to greatness for
police executives and other government leaders. (Collins has noted that in some ways,
police executives face more obstacles than do business leaders. For example, throwing
anyone “off the bus” can be far more difficult for police executives than for many business leaders.)
Our meeting with Collins could not have been more insightful, and I invited him
to speak at PERF’s annual meeting in 2004 in San Antonio via webcast. There was a
lot of give-and-take in San Antonio between Collins and our members, and I recall
“Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector
feeling that the session was intriguing from both perspectives: Jim was very taken with
how police chiefs and sheriffs manage competing goals in a very uncertain environment, and the chiefs were taken with Jim’s description of how companies achieve
greatness. Carl Peed, Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), was at the meeting and expressed considerable interest in learning how these principles might apply to policing. That was
the beginning of this project, and in March 2005 we convened an executive session in
Washington, D.C., supported by the COPS Office. More than 30 police chiefs, school
superintendents, and business leaders attended, and many expressed the view that we
should explore this area further.
In comparison to Good to Great, this report only scratches the surface of its topic.
Jim Collins had a team of 20 people who spent 15,000 hours helping him research his
book. This report cannot come close to that level of scholarship. What we have done
is gather anecdotal examples of how Collins’ principles might be applied to policing.
Interested readers looking for more on this subject are advised that Collins recently
published a 35-page supplement entitled Good to Great and the Social Sectors, in which
he offers his latest thinking about how government executives and other nonbusiness
leaders may apply his findings to their work.
While this report mentions some police leaders by name and does not mention others, no one can judge who among us (if anyone) has achieved what Collins calls the
“Level 5” leadership that results in greatness. In fact, calibrating success in policing is
more subjective than in business, Collins has noted, because policing does not have standard “business metrics,” such as using financial returns as a measure of performance.
Nevertheless, Collins says, “all indicators are flawed, whether qualitative or quantitative,” so he encourages police leaders to forge ahead, setting their own audacious
goals and finding an intelligent, consistent method of measuring results against those
goals. And he offers guidance to anyone who wants to work toward Level 5: Start with
good work habits, knowledge, competence, talent, and strong vision, and then do one
simple thing—“Build enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal
humility and professional will.”
One final thought: I am not someone who reads a lot of management books. And
those that I have read, while interesting, tend not to be particularly memorable. But
Good to Great has had an incredible resilience for me and for many police executives I
have talked to. It has become the book from which a number of us have grasped some
very fundamental principles—picking good people, facing brutal facts, developing a
culture of discipline, and relentless follow-through. The original book had not one
word about policing in it, yet as I read it, it was all about policing, especially the
notion of overcoming obstacles that Collins told me about on that fantastic day we
met in Boulder. I hope that as you read this monograph you will see how police leaders and others in the public sector are demonstrating these principles to push ourselves toward greatness.
Chuck Wexler
Police Executive Research Forum
Washington, D.C.
irst and foremost we want to thank Jim Collins for the inspiration
behind this project. The publication of Good to Great and the subsequent release of the monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors
have been the catalyst for this entire effort. In addition to this work, Jim has
given of his own time in helping us understand the important differences
between the private sector and our own world of policing.
We want to thank the many people who have contributed to this project.
This report grew from the information that was shared by an exceptional
group of leaders during an executive session. This group of very busy individuals, from the policing community, the armed forces, the education community, and the private sector, graciously agreed to spend one day discussing how
the principles of Jim Collins’ Good to Great could be applied to the public sector. For their participation and thoughtful insight we thank: Chief William
Bratton (Los Angeles Police Department), Chief Jim Burack (Milliken, Colorado, Police Department), retired Chief Bennie Click (Dallas Police Department), Reverend David Couper (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, retired chief
from Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department), Superintendent Edward Davis
III (Lowell, Massachusetts Police Department), Chief Donald De Lucca
(Miami Beach Police Department), Chief Charlie Deane (Prince William
County, Virginia, Police Department), Director Paul Evans (U.K. Home
Office, Police Standards Unit), Chief Terrance Gainer (U.S. Capitol Police),
Chief Ellen Hanson (Lenexa, Kansas, Police Department), Executive Director
Ron Huberman (Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communication), Chief Gil Kerlikowske (Seattle Police Department), City Manager
Lorne Kramer (City of Colorado Springs), Chief David Kunkle (Dallas Police
Department), Chief Bill Lansdowne (San Diego Police Department), Dr. John
Leathers (Pennsylvania State University), Principal Jody Leleck (Broad Acres
Elementary School, Montgomery County, Maryland), Chief James Lewis
(Pomona, California, Police Department), Robert Lunney (Police and Public
Safety Consultant), Chief Thomas Manger (Montgomery County Police
Department), Barbara McDonald ( former Deputy Superintendent, Chicago
Police Department), Chief Robert McNeilly (Pittsburgh Bureau of Police),
Rick Neal (Vice President, Motorola), Michael Nila (Franklin Covey), Director
Carl Peed (U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services), Chief Charles Ramsey (Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police
Department), Bruce Romer (Office of the County Executive, Montgomery
County, Maryland), Jim Sarallo (Senior Vice President, Motorola), Karen
Rowan (former General Counsel, Chicago Police Department), Superintendent Jerry Weast (Montgomery County, Maryland, Public Schools), Commandant Raymond Geoffroy (U.S. Marine Corps), President Bonnie Cullison
(Montgomery County, Maryland, Education Association), and Chief Kim
Dine (Frederick, Maryland, Police Department).1
1 The titles and agencies of the
participants are those that were
current at the time of the meeting, March 29, 2005. Several
have since changed.
“Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector
Of course, this publication would not have been possible without the
generous support of the COPS Office. Director Carl Peed personally took
an interest in this project and we are grateful for his leadership. The
COPS staff has demonstrated a real commitment to the issue of leadership in policing. We appreciate the vigorous efforts, steadfast guidance,
and profound patience of our project monitor, Amy Schapiro.
A team of PERF staffers and expert consultants deserves special recognition for their hard work. We thank Heather Davies for initially getting
this project off the ground. Rebecca Neuburger deserves considerable
credit for shepherding this project through all the crucial moments. Her
own considerable experience has been invaluable to this project. We also
thank Bruce Taylor for his substantive and critical guidance and Jerry
Murphy for his skill with words. Thanks to Jim Burack for his thoughtful
review and Barbara McDonald for offering her wealth of experience and
considerable insight to make this a more useful document.
hat makes an organization great? What sustains greatness? Why
do some organizations never attain that status? These questions
motivated Jim Collins, the author of Good to Great (Harper Business, 2001) to undertake the search for answers. We’ve all heard Voltaire’s
adage that “the perfect is the enemy of the good,” but Collins turns that on
its head. Instead, he contends that “good is the enemy of great,” and that few
individuals or organizations ever achieve greatness because they settle for
being only good.
Collins’ analysis is not based on his own guesses or opinions, but on an
enormous amount of research. Collins and a team of 20 assistants searched
for companies that made a “leap to greatness,” defined by stock market performance. Specifically, they looked for Fortune 500 companies that experienced 15 years of performance at or below the general stock market, followed
by a transition point, and then by cumulative returns at least three times the
market during the next 15 years—a very rigorous standard. They sifted out
companies that performed well only because they were in a winning industry; they wanted companies that showed great performance independent of
their industry. And they studied the companies’ long-term performance
because “you can’t just be lucky for 15 years.” (p. 6) 2
The Collins team found 11 companies that met its criteria: Abbott,
Circuit City, Fannie Mae, Gillette, Kimberly-Clark, Kroger, Nucor, Philip
Morris, Pitney Bowes, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo. To sharpen the analysis,
each “great” company was paired with a company in the same industry that
had had similar opportunities and resources, but had made no leap to greatness. And the team found another six companies that showed signs of greatness in the short term, but failed to maintain the trajectory.
Collins and his assistants then conducted an in-depth analysis of each of
the 28 companies. They interviewed executives who held key positions during each great company’s transition era. They studied everything they could
imagine about the companies, from layoffs and management turnover statistics to business strategy and corporate culture. They read all the newspaper
and magazine articles they could find about the companies.
The point of the analysis was to see if the team could identify unusual traits
that separated the great companies and their executives from the lesser companies. Collins and his aides were able to identify such traits, and Good to Great
was the result. The book details the often-surprising qualities and patterns
that distinguished the great companies from those that were not great.
In 2005, four years after Good to Great was published, Collins acknowledged the growing interest in his book by nonbusiness entities, including law
enforcement organizations, by publishing a monograph titled Good to Great
2 Unless otherwise stated,
citations refer to Good to
“Good to Great” Policing: Application of Business Management Principles in the Public Sector
and the Social Sectors. In this 35-page document, Collins offers his analysis of how the lessons of Good to Great should be modified to fit government agencies, charities, and other organizations.
hen Chuck Wexler agreed to my suggestion that he read Good to Great, I knew it would
become a window of opportunity for law enforcement. There is one thing I know about
Chuck Wexler: When he recognizes a good thing, he runs with it. Shortly after reading the book,
he called to tell me that he had given his staff copies of the book. That was good news, but not
the great news I had expected. A short time later, he called to tell me that he was meeting with
Jim Collins, and that was great news! Chuck was able to convince Jim to speak at the PERF
conference, and then he organized a meeting of national law enforcement leaders to talk about
the principles of Good to Great.
Why am I so taken with the principles of the book? Because they work. And they work not
just in the business world; they work in law enforcement and in the public school system, as so
ably demonstrated by the success of Ms. Jodi Leleck, principal of Broad Acres Elementary
School in the Montgomery County, Maryland, school district.
The beauty of Good to Great is its simplicity, practicality, and directness. Those three qualities
are almost always present in our police officers, who are the backbone of our departments. There
is no reason those qualities should fade as the police rank gets higher. Embracing the principles
of Good to Great changes the way people at all levels of the organization view their assignments
and their responsibilities to their profession. You don’t need to be a Level 5 leader …
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