This months HBR has a delightful article about whether some companies - those featured in books like Good to Great and In Search of Excellence - are just ... lucky.
> Professor Rebecca Henderson at MIT’s Sloan School shows how easily we succumb to the temptation to “explain” seemingly significant outcomes that are entirely random. “I begin my course in strategic management by asking all the students in the room to stand up,” she says. “I then ask each of them to toss a coin. If the toss comes up tails, they are to sit down, but if it comes up heads, they are to remain standing. Since there are around 70 students in the class, after six or seven rounds there is only one student left standing. With the appropriate theatrics, I approach the student and say, ‘How did you do that? Seven heads in a row! Can I interview you in Fortune? Is it the T-shirt? Is it the flick of the wrist? Can I write a case study about you?’”