Book Review Built to Last

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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 guidelines and principles that all companies, large or growing, can use to keep themselves growing, strong, and ahead of the competition.

These are outlined below:
• Be a Clock Builder, not a Timekeeper - All the successful corporations focused on building the organization and company so it would run 'as smooth as a clock.' The visionary companies didn't simply follow others in their fields (watching the clock), but tended to lead the way.

• Your Company must have a set of 'Core Values' - Each of the visionary companies had established a set of core values in its infancy that still survive today. If it ever came upon hard times, the values would still be retained. They would only be modified in the most extreme cases.

• Preserve Your 'Core Ideology' - While the core values stay the same, the core ideology can be modified. The ideology of a company is the stimulus that keeps the company evolving over time. This change usually takes place slowly, one piece at a time, but is fast enough to keep ahead of the competition. Without this constant evolution of products, the company will eventually be left behind and disappear.

• BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) - In addition to the day-to-day ideology changes listed above, you

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