Ahmed, M., Raynor, M, & Henderson, A. (2009). A Random Search for Excellence: Why “Great” Company Research Delivers Fables and Not Facts. Deloitte University Press.

Many believe that we can learn how to be great by studying greatness. But what is great performance? It turns out that we typically measure the wrong thing and set the bar far too low. Consequently, researchers who think they are studying successful companies are usually studying the winners of a random walk. What does this mean for the soundness of some of the most popular and influential management research? The bottom line: you can’t trust it.

A good follow on article outlines 3 factors for success. Triple crown companies share the following attributes:

  • Clarity of vision
  • Disciplined resource allocation
  • Excellence in execution

Interestingly, the three factors attributable to company success are paralleled in contemporary models of leadership: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299390198_The_Development_and_Application_of_a_three-factor_Leadership_Model