Batten Institute

Jim Collins



Bio: Jim Collins is a student of enduring great companies—how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great. Having invested more than a decade of research into the topic, Collins has co-authored four books—including the classic Built to Last, a fixture on the Business Week bestseller list for more than six years. Collins’s New York Times bestseller, Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t, has sold more than two million copies. His work has been featured in Fortune, The Economist, Fast Company, USA Today, Industry Week, Business Week, Newsweek, Inc., and Harvard Business Review.

Driven by a relentless curiosity, Collins began his research and teaching career on the faculty of Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award. After seven years at Stanford, Collins returned to his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, to found his management research laboratory, where he conducts large-scale research projects. He translates his findings into books, articles, and lectures.  In addition to conducting rigorous research, Collins maintains an active teaching schedule with leaders in the corporate and social sectors.

In addition, Jim is an avid rock climber, and has made one-day ascents of the North Face of Half Dome and the Nose route on the South Face of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. He continues to climb at the 5.13 grade.

Expertise: Creating the Good to Great Experience 


Fellowship Focus: During his Batten Fellowship, Jim Collins worked on the design and development of a series of interactive, multimedia learning materials, related to his bestseller Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t and its companion, Good to Great and the Social Sectors. Since its publication in 2001, Good to Great has become a staple of MBA reading lists. It has created an army of followers who speak its language: Level 5 Leader, the Hedgehog Concept, pushing the Flywheel, rinsing the cottage cheese. Most importantly, Good to Great has introduced millions of readers worldwide to the timeless principles of greatness, which stay relevant in a changing world. Collins and his team of 20 researchers derived those principles from a rigorous matched-pair research method, comparing 11 publicly traded companies that became great—producing sustainable, long-term results—with others, operating under the same circumstances that did not. Collins’s “framework of greatness” applies not just to businesses, but also to nonprofits whose success cannot be measured monetarily, and even to personal career development. It is all about disciplined people who engage in disciplined thought and take disciplined action. The focus of Collins’s Batten project was to create an immersive and rich learning experience for undergraduate and graduate students, to be used in a variety of business courses worldwide.

Contact Info

Appointment: 2005

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