Built to Last by Jim Collins
  • Title: Built to Last
  • Subtitle: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
  • Author(s): Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • Year: 2011-08-30
  • ISBN-10: 0062119087
  • ISBN-13: 9780062119087


“Built to Last” by Jim Collins is a compelling and comprehensive examination of the defining qualities that distinguish truly exceptional companies from their peers. Through extensive research and analysis, Collins and his co-author Jerry I. Porras identify a set of core principles that these successful companies embrace and consistently adhere to, allowing them to thrive and endure over the long term. The book presents a wealth of case studies and interviews with leaders from companies such as 3M, Hewlett-Packard, and Procter & Gamble, highlighting their exceptional abilities to innovate, adapt, and maintain a strong organizational culture. By dissecting these exemplary companies, Collins provides readers with invaluable insights and actionable strategies to cultivate greatness in their own organizations.

One of the standout features of “Built to Last” is Collins’ emphasis on the importance of having a visionary and identity-driven purpose. The book explores the idea that truly exceptional companies have inherent, unwavering beliefs and values at their core, which act as guiding principles that transcend economic fluctuations and leadership transitions. Collins argues that these companies are able to achieve sustainable success by aligning their strategies and decisions around their core purpose, rather than chasing short-term goals or fleeting trends. Additionally, the authors introduce the concept of “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAGs) to illustrate how organizations can set ambitious and inspiring goals that galvanize their workforce and fuel innovation. All in all, “Built to Last” is a thought-provoking and practical guide for leaders and managers striving to build enduring and extraordinary companies in an ever-changing business landscape.

Book Review

In “Built to Last,” Jim Collins presents a captivating and deeply insightful examination of what it takes for companies to transcend mediocrity and endure as exceptional entities in the long run. Backed by meticulous research and riveting case studies, this book provides an invaluable roadmap for aspiring leaders and entrepreneurs striving to build organizations that are destined for greatness.

Collins and co-author Jerry I. Porras’s work stands out for its ability to distill the essence of successful companies. By dissecting the practices of iconic corporations like 3M, Hewlett-Packard, and Procter & Gamble, the authors uncover a set of core principles that distinguish these visionary organizations from mere average performers. Their focus on both the tangible and intangible aspects of sustainable success, such as innovation, adaptability, and a strong cultural foundation, sets a solid framework that readers can follow to drive their own companies towards remarkable achievements.

One of the book’s greatest strengths lies in Collins’ exploration of the all-important concept of a company’s purpose. He convincingly argues that exceptional organizations are not solely driven by profit motives but are guided by a deeper, identity-driven purpose that remains unshaken amidst external turbulence. By aligning strategies and decisions around a core purpose, companies are not only able to navigate through challenging times but also inspire their employees to go above and beyond to achieve outstanding outcomes.

Throughout “Built to Last,” Collins weaves together real-world examples and relatable anecdotes, making the book accessible to both aspiring leaders and seasoned executives. The concept of “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” also serves as a powerful tool for goal setting, encouraging companies to put forward ambitious, audacious objectives that drive innovation and motivate individuals to reach their full potential.

In conclusion, “Built to Last” is an exceptional guide for anyone seeking to lead an organization towards long-term success. A must-read for entrepreneurs, executives, and anyone interested in building enduring businesses, this book provides a wealth of insights and practical strategies derived from years of rigorous research. Jim Collins’ work remains highly relevant and instrumental for navigating the complexities of the modern corporate world and building companies that are truly built to last.

Word Count: 355

Target Audience

The book’s content makes it particularly appealing to the following audiences:

  • Entrepreneurs and Founders “Built to Last” is highly recommended reading for entrepreneurs and founders looking to build successful and enduring companies. The book provides invaluable insights into the traits and strategies employed by exceptional organizations, guiding entrepreneurs through the challenges they may face in a rapidly changing business environment. From fostering a strong company culture to setting audacious goals, Jim Collins equips entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge necessary to lay a solid foundation for their startups and increase their chances of long-term success.

  • Business Leaders and Executives Business leaders and executives will find “Built to Last” to be an essential resource for guiding their organizations towards sustainable success. Collins’ research-backed analysis offers a fresh perspective on what sets exceptional companies apart from the average ones. By studying case studies on companies such as 3M and Procter & Gamble, leaders gain insights into the importance of visionary leadership and cultivating core values that drive their organization’s purpose. The book encourages leaders to focus on long-term goals, fostering innovation, and building resilient cultures within their companies.

  • Managers and Team Leaders “Built to Last” is a valuable read for managers and team leaders who aspire to create high-performing teams and drive organizational success. Collins emphasizes the significance of aligning team goals with the overarching purpose of the company. Managers will gain practical guidance on leading by example, nurturing a culture of innovation, and fostering employee engagement. The book’s emphasis on the importance of long-term thinking and setting audacious goals will motivate managers to inspire their teams and unlock their full potential.

  • Students and Academics Students pursuing business or management studies, as well as academics specializing in organizational behavior, will find “Built to Last” to be an insightful and thought-provoking resource. The book paves the way for understanding the factors that contribute to an organization’s long-term success, challenging conventional management theories with empirical evidence. By exploring the enduring qualities of exceptional companies, students and academics gain a deep understanding of the principles and practices that can shape the success of future organizations.

In summary, “Built to Last” appeals to a wide range of readers, including entrepreneurs, business leaders, managers, and students. The book’s practical insights and research-driven approach make it a recommended read for anyone interested in building enduring organizations, understanding the core elements of exceptional companies, and navigating the ever-changing business landscape with resilience and purpose.