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Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies


James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras



0887307396
Retail Price: $17.95
LS Price: $12.57
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Format: Paperback, 368pp.
ISBN: 9780060516406
Publisher: Harper Business
Pub. Date: August 2002

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

This is not a book about charismatic visionary leaders. It is not about visionary product concepts or visionary products or visionary market insights. Nor even is it about just having a corporate vision. This is a book about something far more important, enduring, and substantial. This is a book about visionary companies.

So write James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras in this groundbreaking book that shatters myths, provides new insights, and gives practical guidance to those who would like to build landmark companies that stand the test of time. Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins and Porras took eighteen truly exceptional and long-lasting companies -- they have an average age of nearly one hundred years and have outperformed the general stock market by a factor of fifteen since 1926 -- and studied each company in direct comparison to one of its top competitors. They examined the companies from their very beginnings to the present day -- as start-ups, as midsize companies, and as large corporations. Throughout, the authors asked: "What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other companies?" By answering such questions, Collins and Porras go beyond the incessant barrage of management buzzwords and fads of the day to discover timeless qualities that have consistently distinguished outstanding companies. They also provide inspiration to all executives and entrepreneurs by destroying the false but widely accepted idea that only charismatic visionary leaders can build visionary companies.

Filled with hundreds of specific examples and organized into a coherent framework of practical concepts that can be applied by managers and entrepreneurs at all levels, Built to Last provides a master blueprint for building organizations that will prosper long into the twenty-first century and beyond.

What makes a visionary company? This book, written by a team from Stanford's Graduate School of Business, compares what the authors have identified as "visionary" companies with selected companies in the same industry.

The authors juxtapose Disney and Columbia Pictures, Ford and General Motors, Motorola and Zenith, and Hewlett-Packard and Texas Instruments, to name a few. The visionary companies, the authors found out, had a number of common characteristics; for instance, almost all had some type of core ideology that guided the company in times of upheaval and served as a constant bench mark. Not all the visionary companies were founded by visionary leaders, however.

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Reviews

On the whole, this is an intriguing book that occasionally provides rare and interesting glimpses into the inner workings and philosophical foundations of successful businesses. Recommended for all libraries.
—Randy L. Abbott, University of Evansville Library, Indiana


 

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About the Authors

James C. Collins operates a management education and consulting practice based in Palo Alto, California. He is the co-author of Beyond Entrepreneurship and a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, whose faculty he joined in 1988. Previously he held positions at McKinsey Company and Hewlett-Packard.



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Table of Contents

 
Acknowledgments
Introduction to the Paperback Edition
Preface
 
Chapter 1The Best of the Best
Chapter 2Clock Building, Not Time Telling
 
InterludeNo "Tyranny of the OR"
 
Chapter 3More Than Profits
Chapter 4Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress
Chapter 5Big Hairy Audacious Goals
Chapter 6Cult-Like Cultures
Chapter 7Try a Lot of Stuff and Keep What Works
Chapter 8Home-Grown Management
Chapter 9Good Enough Never Is
Chapter 10The End of the Beginning
Chapter 11Building the Vision
 
EpilogueFrequently Asked Questions
Appendix 1: Research Issues
Appendix 2: Founding Roots of Visionary Companies and Comparison Companies
Appendix 3: Tables
Appendix 4: Chapter Notes
Index



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