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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies (Harper Business Essentials) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 20, 2002
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About the Author
Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies -- how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies.Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has co-authored three books, including the classic Built to Last, a fixture on the Business Week bestseller list for more than five years, generating over 70 printings and translations into 16 languages.His work has been featured in Fortune, The Economist, Business Week, USA Today, Industry Week, Inc., Harvard Business Review and Fast Company.
Driven by a relentless curiosity, Jim began his research and teaching career on the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992.In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, where he now conducts multi-year research projects and works with executives from the private, public, and social sectors.
Jim has served as a teacher to senior executives and CEOs at corporations that include: Starbucks Coffee, Merck, Patagonia, American General, W.L. Gore, and hundreds more.He has also worked with the non-corporate sector such as the Leadership Network of Churches, Johns Hopkins Medical School, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and The Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Non-Profit Management.
Jim invests a significant portion of his energy in large-scale research projects -- often five or more years in duration -- to develop fundamental insights and then translate those findings into books, articles and lectures.He uses his management laboratory to work directly with executives and to develop practical tools for applying the concepts that flow from his research.
In addition, Jim is an avid rock climber and has made free ascents of the West Face of El Capitan and the East Face of Washington Column in Yosemite Valley.
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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.
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!
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