Boulder, Co – The sprawling and overpopulated world of self-styled gurus dispensing advice on management and leadership, Jim Collins is in rare company. His last two books — “Built to Last” and “Good to Great” — were breakout hits, selling about seven million copies combined. His new book, “How the Mighty Fall,” grew out of a discussion he led in the fall of 2004 at West Point, with 12 Army generals, 12 chief executives and 12 leaders of nonprofit organizations.  Mr. Collins put this question on the table: “Is America renewing its greatness, or is America dangerously on the cusp of falling from great to good?” At a break, one C.E.O. pulled him aside and asked him a question that boiled down to, “How would you know if your successful company is on a path to decline?” An article trying to answer that question grew into his current book. He looked for useful matched pairs — similar companies whose performance clearly diverged at a certain point.
By Adam Bryant, May 24, 2009, NYT

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