Precision Reads & Reviews: Applying Good To Great to Metrology

Applying Good to Great to Metrology

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't has been on my top 5 must-reads for the last decade. Many in our company have read it, and we have had several meetings referencing the topics Jim Collins seems present effortlessly. This book is likely the book that forever changed Morehouse's strategy. I will discuss why that is and how this book is likely one of the best books on management strategy.

Jim Collins researched hundreds of companies to identify those that went from "good" to "great" and compared them with similar companies that failed. His team tried to discover the secret sauce to what those "great" companies did differently in their respective landscapes.

Collins and his team found that factors such as compensation, mergers and acquisitions, and change management played a relatively minor role in moving from Good to Great. Instead, he found what many of us know: It is all about the right people. Those people were disciplined, and that started with leadership. He dubbed these Leaders "Level 5 Leadership".

The book describes all levels of leadership from Level One, a Highly Capable Individual, to Level Five, who builds enduring greatness through a paradoxical blend of personal humility and professional will. Collins describes the Level Five Leader as having intense determination and profound humility.

After the right leadership, getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats is essential. After that, it comes down to ensuring you have a Hedgehog concept, the right vision, and the right core values.

Good to Great: Having the right People in the Right Seats

"If we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats,
and the wrong people off the bus, then we'll figure out how to take it someplace great."

– Jim Collins, author of Good to Great:
Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't

So, what do the right people look like?

The first sections of the book cover these people in more detail. The right people fit your company's core values and can adapt and perform at high levels no matter what might come next to execute the company's vision. These are very disciplined people.

Everything starts with disciplined people who do not try to make someone something they are not. Disciplined people are needed to confront the brutal fact of reality. These people will help develop the hedgehog concept, leading to disciplined action.

Good to Great:  A Hedgehog Concept

Imagine a fox hunting a hedgehog, coming up with various attacks to enjoy a tasty meal. Not this vegetarian author, though a predator wanting to catch their prey, the hedgehog's response is always the same: curl up in a spiky, unbreachable ball. In Good to Great, Collins examines the companies that transitioned from good to great by examining their one great strategy.

Applying Good to Great to Metrology 










What is the Hedgehog Concept? It's a simple concept of drawing three circles, each with a specific question.

What are you deeply passionate about? – What are you as the leader, and what is your team passionate about?

What can you be the best in the world at? – This is not a goal to be the best. It identifies something you might be good at and can become great at with more effort, focus, or strategy.

What drives your economic engine? This is how you make money. It could be profit per customer, employee, location, square meter, region, or product.

When these three questions are answered, the intersection becomes the "Hedgehog Concept," and every decision in the company should follow it. Collins uses several examples, and one of those companies, as of 2023, is still following this concept. That company is Walgreens, and they decided they would be the best, most convenient drugstore with high profits per consumer visit. The importance here is that anything that does not fit within the Hedgehog Concept is not considered.

I like this concept because it can be used in our metrology world by renaming the hedgehog concept to measurement confidence. Those labs that establish proper metrological traceability have done their measurement uncertainties correctly and can follow established decision rules that consider measurement uncertainty, which can instill confidence in their measurements.

Applying Good to Great to Metrology 












Morehouse Mission, Vision and Core Values

After reading Good to Great, we created our vision, mission, and core values. I wish we did this once and stuck with it, though, like in the examples in the book, these exercises can be done quickly, though they can take years to perfect. Our latest attempts at crafting core values are much stickier than in years past. Our current values refine where we started. Some might be asking what core values are.

Core values are fundamental beliefs held by a person or an organization. These guiding principles dictate behavior among the group and help people understand the difference between right and wrong. Engagement is easier to achieve when the core values are realized instead of just looking good on the wall or acknowledging to exist. "Realization" is when the organization is firing on all cylinders.

Everyone in the organization understands and knows how to apply the core values, which are discussed frequently and found in strategy and tactics.

Though Collins doesn't discuss core values specifically, he does reference creating a culture of truth. He goes through a framework that starts with leadership, disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined actions, leading to the breakthrough transformation from a good company to a great one. Not all companies who attempt to make this leap will make it. If you have not yet read Good to Great, buy a copy to begin the journey. It is a learning experience and can be a challenging and fun ride.

-Henry Zumbrun, Morehouse Instrument Company

About Morehouse Instrument Company

Companies worldwide rely on Morehouse for accuracy and speed. The company turns around equipment in 7-10 business days so customers can return to work quickly and save money.

Morehouse Instrument Company, a trusted and accredited provider of force and torque measurement services for over 100 years, offers measurement uncertainties 10-50 times lower than the competition.

Morehouse helps commercial labs, government labs, and other organizations lower their measurement risk by lowering equipment uncertainties for torque and force measurement. Contact Morehouse at or

More Information about Morehouse

We believe in changing how people think about force and torque calibration in everything we do.

This includes setting expectations on load cell reliability and challenging the "just calibrate it" mentality by educating our customers on what matters and what causes significant errors.

We focus on reducing these errors and making our products simple and user-friendly.

This means your instruments will pass calibration more often and produce more precise measurements, giving you the confidence to focus on your business.

Companies around the globe rely on Morehouse for accuracy and speed.

Our measurement uncertainties are 10-50 times lower than the competition.

We turn around your equipment in 7-10 business days so you can return to work quickly, saving you money.

When you choose Morehouse, you're not just paying for a calibration service or a load cell.

You're investing in peace of mind, knowing your equipment is calibrated accurately and on time.

Contact Morehouse at to learn more about our calibration services and load cell products.

Email us if you ever want to chat or have questions about a blog.

We love talking about this stuff.

Our YouTube channel has videos on various force and torque calibration topics here.



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