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Friday, January 04, 2008


The latest addition to my small collection of business books is “Built to Last” by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras...a relatively old management classic.

This book , though full of jargons, proved to be a good read. Even its content-list is a collection of jargons….Clock building not time telling….No “tyranny of the Or” …more than profits…preserve the core…BHAGs….cult-like cultures….try a lot of stuff and keep what works…home grown management….good enough never is….the end of the beginning…building the vision…core ideologies….core competencies…etc.

The amount of research backing this book is stupendous and evident. The methodology followed is simple… “How are visionary companies different from comparison companies” …the definition of visionary and comparison are defined in the first chapter itself. Lots and lots of companies well-described…from the day one of their birth.

Jim Collins has beautifully described a visionary company as follows...just loved it...

Visionary company…A visionary company is like a great work of Art…Think of Michelangelo’s scenes from Genesis on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel or his statue of David. Think of a great and enduring novel, like Huckleberry Finn or Crime and Punishment. Think of Beethovan’s Ninth Symphony or Shakespeare’s Henry V. Think of a beautifully designed building like the masterpieces of Frank Lloyd Wright or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. You cannot point to any one single item that makes the whole thing work; it’s the entire work – all the pieces working together to create an overall effect – that leads to enduring greatness. And it’s not just the big pieces, but also the itty-bitty details – the turn of phrase, the change of pace at just the right moment, the perfect offcenter placement of a window, a subtle expression sculpted into the eyes.


Anonymous said...

Could you provide a list of the management books you've read so far? Which ones were recommended at ISB?

Kiran Kumar Aalla said...


If you've liked Built to Last, you must read Good to Great by Jim Collins too.

Kiran ISB Co 08