Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
by James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras
From time to time, we review a classic for those of you who may have missed it for some reason or another. This book first appeared in 1994 but can be found today in most any book store. The reasons are quite obvious. It still offers great value. It’s filled with time-tested fundamentals and common sense rather than the latest management theory of the month. It’s a high-energy, deeply researched book that opens a whole new window on what it takes to create and achieve long-lasting greatness for any organization. It’s now available in paperback with a new introduction and a new chapter.
The liner notes say it best: “Built to Last explores the deep reasons behind American long-term corporate success stories. In it, authors James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras provide new insights into the workings of 18 visionary corporations, including 3M, Wal-Mart, Disney, Boeing, Sony, and Hewlett-Packard. Drawing upon a six-year research project at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Collins and Porras studied each exceptional and long-lasting company in direct comparison with one of its competitors. Throughout, the authors asked: ‘What makes the truly exceptional companies different from other 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 21st century and beyond.
You’ll have a difficult time putting this book down. It’ll get you thinking and, more important, itching to apply these great ideas in your own organization.
(This book review was originally published in 2001 as one of the Top 10 Books – Edition 8.)