Essay on Book Review Built to Last

4068 Words Dec 5th, 2008 17 Pages
Book Summary: Built To Last
Built To Last by James Collins & Jerry Porras
What has enabled some corporations to last so long, while other competitors in the same markets either struggle to get by, or fade away after a short period of time? This is the major question that Mr's Collins and Porras try to answer. They took a look at 18 well known, well established and healthy companies ('visionaries'), and compared them to a counterpart in their specific area of business. They analyzed all the information they could get their hands on, compiled it, and looked at it to try to find patterns both between the visionary companies and their counterparts, as well as among the visionary companies themselves. The result of all of this is a set of
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A good example of this is GE, where current CEO Jack Welch started with the company and worked up to CEO. And with GE's management development processes, his retirement should not create a succession problem.

• Constantly Innovate- Without this, the company's products/services become obsolete and lead to a decline. You must constantly keep ahead of the pack, innovating your products to try and keep ahead of the competition. And this involves an investment in innovation that can't be eliminated. The of the examples given in the text is Boeing. They have consistently created innovative airliners, while McDonnell Douglas had simple tried to keep pace. And in the end Boeing Swallowed up McDonnell Douglas.

• Make the Core Ideology/Values a Reality - It is not enough to simple craft vision and mission statements, they must be put in place so that all persons/divisions of the company known what they are and work together toward those vales and ideals. In other words, get everything aligned on the same plain. One example of how this focus was achieved was in Hewlett-Packard. Both Hewlett and Packard initially avoided any outside corporate debt so it's entrepreneurial discipline would not be compromised by the need to maximize profits.
In addition to the things Collins and Porras found that made the visionary company, they also found a few things that these companies did NOT

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