Built to Last

By: Johnathon Wright on: January 07, 2007

I'm reading a book called "Built to Last":http://www.amazon.com/Built-Last-Successful-Visionary-Companies/dp/0887307396 . The book details a several-year-long research process into why some of the best companies in the country are what they are. It's a fascinating read.

One of the primary factors they point to is that the best companies often have a strong sense of purpose or values.

There are some companies with "purpose statements" (that look great on the wall) and other companies with a Sense of Purpose . The book describes the latter group as "visionary". Visionary companies find ways to indoctrinate new employees. Instead of carefully crafting policies to enforce the company's vision, the vision drives everything from policies to the direction of new products. Everything the company does inherently follows from the vision.

This really speaks to the idealist in me. Although the book provided plenty of real-world examples of how very old companies like 3M and Ford act in visionary ways, the idea of having a company where every member of the organization is drenched in a shared vision seems like a real challenge. Still, it's a fantastic ideal for which to strive.





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