Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras
Groundbreaking research into the development of America’s most enduring and successful corporations that shatters myths, provides new insights, and gives practical guidance for companies that would like to follow in their footsteps.
Jim Collins and Jerry Porrass’, faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, have discovered what makes visionary companies- ones that beat their competitors decade after decade, withstand the vagaries of the marketplace, make a significant impact on the world, and have outperformed the stock market by 15 times since 1926.
They conclude that a visionary company is not contingent on one brilliant CEO, but on elements that transcend any individual leader. Companies such as 3M, Walt Disney, Motorola, Merck, and General Electric share lasting characteristics that distinguish them from less visionary companies, such as: preserving a fixed core ideology, yet having the ability to adapt; going beyond culture to embrace “cultism”; creating what the authors call BHAGs (big, hairy, audacious goals); mimicking the biological evolution of the species; and having a strong sense of purpose beyond making money.