Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Built to Last by Jim Collins

This has been on my reading list ever since a book distributor recommended this book but never got around to read it. Yesterday, Rama Krishna, a member of EveningHour library said every business must read this book! That gave the final push and got down to reading the book.


I had a different sort of writer's block for the last several minutes trying to decide the salient points I should concentrate upon. The book has such invaluable information that everyone  must read every single line of the book. Meanwhile, I will try to summarize the important points.

Book starts with describing twelve myths and shattered them. Two points that stuck to me are that it is perfectly okay and in fact preferable to have the core values and ideologies decided and written even before you start a business. The second point is the proverb that we get to hear often "You can't have the cake and eat it too!". Big companies like Sony have embraced the "Genius of the 'AND'" and said NO to the "Tyranny of the OR".

Thus, it is not

"You can have change OR stability"

BUT

"You can have change AND stability"

It is not

"You can invest for the future OR do well in the short-term"

BUT

"You can invest in the future AND do well in the short term".

And when we talk about balancing, it is not 50-50% but basically achieving 100% in both the aspects.

The book describes in detail the several methodologies adopted by various legendary and successful companies and compares with other companies in the same industry.

The book inspires, gives direction and clarity on various aspects that are absolutely necessary in running a business, for a successful career or just for our personal lives. Must read!

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