Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies Paperback – January 15, 1997
|New from||Used from|
There is a newer edition of this item:
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
This analysis of what makes great companies great has been hailed everywhere as an instant classic and one of the best business titles since In Search of Excellence. The authors, James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras, spent six years in research, and they freely admit that their own preconceptions about business success were devastated by their actual findings--along with the preconceptions of virtually everyone else.
Built to Last identifies 18 "visionary" companies and sets out to determine what's special about them. To get on the list, a company had to be world famous, have a stellar brand image, and be at least 50 years old. We're talking about companies that even a layperson knows to be, well, different: the Disneys, the Wal-Marts, the Mercks.
Whatever the key to the success of these companies, the key to the success of this book is that the authors don't waste time comparing them to business failures. Instead, they use a control group of "successful-but-second-rank" companies to highlight what's special about their 18 "visionary" picks. Thus Disney is compared to Columbia Pictures, Ford to GM, Hewlett Packard to Texas Instruments, and so on.
The core myth, according to the authors, is that visionary companies must start with a great product and be pushed into the future by charismatic leaders. There are examples of that pattern, they admit: Johnson & Johnson, for one. But there are also just too many counterexamples--in fact, the majority of the "visionary" companies, including giants like 3M, Sony, and TI, don't fit the model. They were characterized by total lack of an initial business plan or key idea and by remarkably self-effacing leaders. Collins and Porras are much more impressed with something else they shared: an almost cult-like devotion to a "core ideology" or identity, and active indoctrination of employees into "ideologically commitment" to the company.
The comparison with the business "B"-team does tend to raise a significant methodological problem: which companies are to be counted as "visionary" in the first place? There's an air of circularity here, as if you achieve "visionary" status by ... achieving visionary status. So many roads lead to Rome that the book is less practical than it might appear. But that's exactly the point of an eloquent chapter on 3M. This wildly successful company had no master plan, little structure, and no prima donnas. Instead it had an atmosphere in which bright people were both keen to see the company succeed and unafraid to "try a lot of stuff and keep what works." --Richard Farr
"Built to Last...is one of the most eye-opening business studies since In Search of Excellence -- -- Kevin Maney, USA Today
"A 'must read' for any CEO who aspires to create a great company." -- -- T.J. Rodgers, President and CEO, Cypress Semiconductor Corp.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
30/Jul/2009 Update: One can not read this book in the right context and perspective without reading The Halo Effect: ... and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers - so far the best business book I've ever read!
a must read for any business savy person or executive
interested in tuning in to some basic and yet essential
precepts on keeping ahead of the inevitable changes
and cycles that consume so many companies and industries.
History both recent and a little more distant examine
what ideologies allowed for companies to flourish
innovate, and prosper as well as as those mindsets
that lead to stasis , complancency , and ultimate
This book is serves simply a repository for fresh idea
and as a warning to this who will not be disposed
One of the things I think _Built to Last_ does particularly well is to not only explain what their ideas are, but to also explain what they aren't. They seem to understand the confusion possible in their ideas and take the time to anticipate, correct, and clarify. This is a rare characteristic in business writing, where the normal problem I encounter with books is that the author assumes that everyone is on the same page in more ways than one.
Must for people in the business of corporate strategy.
Most recent customer reviews
The key points are that:
1. businesses should focus on articulating and living their "core ideology" - their core values...Read more