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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Good to Great, 2) Paperback – October 26, 1994
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About the Author
Jim Collins is a student and teacher of what makes great companies tick, and a Socratic advisor to leaders in the business and social sectors. Having invested more than a quarter-century in rigorous research, he has authored or coauthored six books that have sold in total more than 10 million copies worldwide. They include Good to Great, Built to Last, How the Mighty Fall, and Great by Choice.
Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.
In addition to his work in the business sector, Jim has a passion for learning and teaching in the social sectors, including education, healthcare, government, faith-based organizations, social ventures, and cause-driven nonprofits.
In 2012 and 2013, he had the honor to serve a two-year appointment as the Class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 2017, Forbes selected Jim as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds.
Jim has been an avid rock climber for more than forty years and has completed single-day ascents of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley.
Learn more about Jim and his concepts at his website, where you’ll find articles, videos, and useful tools. jimcollins.com
Jerry I. Porras is the Lane Professor of Organizational Behavior and Change, Emeritus, at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he served as an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and frequent executive education teacher. He studies ways of aligning companies around their purpose and core values to produce lasting high performance.
- Publisher : Harper Business; 3rd ed. edition (October 26, 1994)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 368 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060516402
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060516406
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.31 x 0.83 x 8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #6,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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The first few chapters try to sell you on the book. The premise is that they picked companies that outperform and that from similarities between these companies they found in their research, and the differences they found from less successful companies, we can discover the secret recipe to being a great company that is built to last!
So what type of research do we get to see? Just stories and anecdotes. No data, no statistics, nothing objective. They pick a principal to highlight, they go find stories of their successful companies exhibiting that principal, and that's the chapter.
I can only believe that people rate this book well because they like business stories? But please don't think these are entertaining or good business stories, they are hyperbole.
Summarizing the basic themes:
* Be an architect and clock builder and design and develop a vision that stand the test of time
* Embrace the "Genius of AND." - do not accept difficult trade-offs and strive for the near impossible
* Preserve the core/stimulate progress - Develop, hone and ruthlessly protect core values, and innovate around that core
* Seek consistent alignment - Align all stakeholders to the vision of the organization and continue to insure alignment
Unlike some of the challenges faced by the companies chosen by Tom Peters in "In Search of Excellence", a 25 year run on Collins book finds many of his study subjects still in the forefront of their industries. Collins is definitely onto something, and is one of the more engaging writers of the genre. Definitely worth the read.
"Managers at visionary companies simply do not accept the proposition that they must choose between short-term performance or long-term success. They build first and foremost for the long term while simultaneously holding themselves to highly demanding short-term standards". p182 - one of my my favorite quotes in this book.
By Stephane Budge on October 20, 2021
Top reviews from other countries
Based on scientific research on “visionary” companies, a lot of interesting findings are formulated. I several times felt like reading thoughts which I have been (subconsciously) thinking for years, and applied professionally. What a relief the see them so nicely formulated ! Why haven’t I read this book before?
Ideas I liked most:
- Preserve the Core and Stimulate Progress: you should separate the Core Ideology (which shouldn’t change) from the drive for Progress (which can change and should never be satisfied)
- No tyranny of the OR: instead of having to choose between Continuity OR Change (for example), you should choose Continuity AND Change. The authors put it like this: “The ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain ability to function”
- Good enough never is: visionary companies always go for better, good enough (or the 80/20 rule) is not enough.