Built to Last: Visionary Companies
A few key characteristics of visionary companies, from the book: Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
- They sought to be clock builders, not time tellers
- The crucial variable is no the content of a company’s ideology, but how deeply it believes its ideology and how consistently it lives, breathes and expresses it in all that it does
- Visionary companies may appear straight laced and conservative to outsiders, but they’re not afraid to make bold commitments to BHAGS (Big Hairy Audacious Goals)
- If you work at a visionary company, you will either fit and flourish OR you will likely be expunged like a virus. It’s binary.
- Visionary companies make some sense of their best moves by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism and accident. What looks in retrospect like brilliant foresight and preplanning was often the result of “Let’s just try a lot of stuff and keep what works”
- Success and beating competitors comes to the visionary companies not so much as the end goal, but as a result of relentlessly asking the questions “How can we improve ourselves to do better tomorrow than we did today? And they have asked this questions day in and day out… as a disciplined way of like…No matter how much they achieve — no matter how far in front of their competitors they pull — they never think they’ve done good enough.
- Do not brutalize yourself over the “Tyranny of OR” — embrace the “Genius of AND” – the paradoxical view that allows the visionary company to pursue both goal A and B at the same time
- Creating a statement can be helpful in building a visionary company , but it is only one of the thousands of steps in a never-ending process of expressing the fundamental characteristics we identified across the visionary companies