Built to Last examines 18 exceptional and long-lasting companies, including General Electric, Boeing, Disney, Hewlett-Packard and Proctor & Gamble, and compared each with one of its closest but less successful competitors, in order to discover exactly what has given it the edge over its rivals.Companies need two basic things to beat the competition: a guiding philosophy and a challenging mission. Built to Last provides a blueprint for success for companies around the world, who can learn how to succeed in a ruthlessly competitive environment. The new chapter takes a much-needed look at what the future may hold for Internet companies.
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Built to Last became an instant business classic. This audio abridgement is read by the authors, who alternate chapters. Collins is a bit breathlessly enthusiastic, but clear and interesting; Porras, unfortunately, is poorly inflected and wooden. They set out to determine what's special about "visionary" companies--the Disneys, Wal-Marts, and Mercks, companies at the very top of their game that have demonstrated longevity and great brand image. The authors compare 18 "visionary" picks to a control group of "successful-but-second-rank" companies. Thus Disney is compared to Columbia Pictures, Ford to GM, and so on.
A central myth, according to the authors, is that visionary companies start with a great product and are pushed into the future by charismatic leaders. Usually false, Collins and Porras find. Much more important, and a much more telling line of demarcation between a wild success like 3M and an also-ran like Norton, is flexibility. 3M had no master plan, little structure, and no prima donnas. Instead it had an atmosphere in which bright people were not afraid to "try a lot of stuff and keep what works."
If you listen to this audiocassette on your daily commute, you may discover whether you are headed to a "visionary" place of work--and, if so, whether you are the kind of employee who fits your employer's vision. (Running time: two hours, two cassettes) --Richard FarrAbout 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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