Michael E. Raynor, Mumtaz Ahmed and Andrew D. Henderson

Because the prescriptions of most success studies lack an empirical foundation, they should not be treated as how-to manuals, but as a source of inspiration and fuel for introspection. In short, their value is not what you read in them, but what you read into them.

How did these researchers create such compelling narratives, then, if their samples are suspect? The human mind being what it … [ Read more ]

Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio? Just What Is Really Great Business Performance

Are all the companies that supposedly go from good to great really that great after all? Or, are they merely one of a pack of pretty average performers? As these authors state, those really great companies may only be putatively great, successful but only in a middling sort of way. The authors studied the popular literature on “great” performing companies and came to their own, … [ Read more ]

Michael E. Raynor, Mumtaz Ahmed and Andrew D. Henderson

Studying even the right tail of a distribution doesn’t tell you how to break free of the distribution. In short, if you want to use inferential methods to get outside the box, you have to look at someone who is outside the box!

To see the importance of this step in the analysis, ask yourself this question: If two firms in the same industry had differences … [ Read more ]