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Built to Last: Successful Habits of…

Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies

by James C. Collins, Jerry I. Porras

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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
A wonderful book. Preserve your organization's core ideology, but stimulate change relentlessly. ( )
  Adewoye | Feb 20, 2014 |
I'd be astonished if this weren't someone's dissertation. ( )
  origprod | Feb 7, 2013 |
Evidence-Based Success
  mdstarr | Sep 11, 2011 |
Very well written and compelling. One of my favorites. There is tremendous credibility with a well documented research study. I hold this book in the same regard as Leading the Revolution by Gary Hamel. The 12 myths about companies are great. Very basic and easy to internalize about your business. You will learn the characteristic of visionary companies. A must read for any CEO or business person. ( )
  markdeo | Apr 3, 2009 |
This is on the reading list I have of best all-time business books. It's thoughtful but not on par with "In Search of Excellence" or Collin's more recent "Good to Great." Their approach is valid for picking up a list of excellent performers and comparison firms that had the same opportunity. I'm not sure these firms will continue to last (Wal-Mart is already faltering), but the authors point out it's a matter of continuing the habits. Regarding the "genius of And" I've observed that certain leaders assume this means they should try to have it all. One former co-CEO of my current firm often spoke about and did this. There is some genius in going down one path or another. Their 5 methods are: 1. Big, Hairy Audacious Goals, 2. Cult-like Cultures, 3. Try a Lot of Stuff and Keep What Works, 4. Home-Grown Management, 5. Good Enough Never Is. Other important points: the value of trying things (bias for action and appreciating the value of failures). Quoting Richard Carlton of 3M: "We must possess a two-fisted generating and testing [process] for ideas... Every idea evolved should have a chance to prove its worth, and this true for two reasons: 1) if it is good, we want it; 2) if it is not good, we will have purchased our insurance and peace of mind when we have proved it impractical." ( )
  jpsnow | May 3, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Collins, James C.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Porras, Jerry I.main authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060566108, Hardcover)

Built to Last became an instant business classic. This audio abridgement is read by the authors, who alternate chapters. Collins is a bit breathlessly enthusiastic, but clear and interesting; Porras, unfortunately, is poorly inflected and wooden. They set out to determine what's special about "visionary" companies--the Disneys, Wal-Marts, and Mercks, companies at the very top of their game that have demonstrated longevity and great brand image. The authors compare 18 "visionary" picks to a control group of "successful-but-second-rank" companies. Thus Disney is compared to Columbia Pictures, Ford to GM, and so on.

A central myth, according to the authors, is that visionary companies start with a great product and are pushed into the future by charismatic leaders. Usually false, Collins and Porras find. Much more important, and a much more telling line of demarcation between a wild success like 3M and an also-ran like Norton, is flexibility. 3M had no master plan, little structure, and no prima donnas. Instead it had an atmosphere in which bright people were not afraid to "try a lot of stuff and keep what works."

If you listen to this audiocassette on your daily commute, you may discover whether you are headed to a "visionary" place of work--and, if so, whether you are the kind of employee who fits your employer's vision. (Running time: two hours, two cassettes) --Richard Farr

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:58:12 -0400)

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Presenting new insight into such companies as 3M, Walt Disney, and General Electric, a study on what makes companies successful examines their flexibility, ideology, and strong purpose.

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