Essay on Built To Last

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To be successful in today's global marketplace, an organization must learn to adapt in order to stay one step ahead of the competition. Mission statements, goal setting, and planning methods alone are simply not enough anymore. Management fads have given way to time-tested management principles that distinguish good companies from truly great companies. Many organizations have found success by utilizing a technique of balancing their core ideology, stimulating progress, and seeking support by aligning company objectives, strategies, and policies. These companies are what Jim Collins and Jerry Porras call "visionary". Built to Last seeks to discover these timeless management principles that make a company truly "visionary" (Collins & …show more content…

In this type of organization, the company itself is its own greatest product. Collins and Porras conclude, "The continual stream of great products and services from highly visionary companies stems from them being outstanding organizations, not the other way around" (Collins & Porras, 2002). For example, to many people, William McKnight is not a household name. However, Mr. McKnight was a top executive of the visionary 3M Corporation for over fifty years.
At the heart of every visionary company lie its core ideology, or those values and beliefs that form the foundation of a company's existence. Seeing how the visionary companies evolved over most of the last century let the authors observe that while the companies were continually changing in response to the market and to their customers, they had an overall set of core values to which they held constant. The comparison companies often lost ground when they changed their focus, swayed by the desire to maximize shareholder wealth. This idea is illustrated by a quote from David Packard, "Profit is not the proper end and aim of management - it is what makes all of the proper ends and aims possible" (Collins & Porras). The visionary companies stood for something more than profits, more than maximizing shareholder wealth. Core ideologies drive visionary companies, not profit alone. This common balancing act among visionary companies is

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