Learn what makes the world's most successful companies tick. In this audiobook summary, explore the habits that distinguish visionary companies from their competitors—and keep them thriving for decades.
- [Announcer] Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras built to Last successful habits of visionary companies. Like number one, visionary companies can teach us through their enduring success. So called visionary companies have a lot to teach us. They are companies with long track records for success and widely admired as the crown jewels of their industries. What's more, their success is enduring, they prosper even as great leaders retire and individual hit products become obsolete.
To properly study and learn from these companies, the author's first had to identify them by surveying 100s of prominent CEOs for the names of companies they considered visionary. The 18 most commonly mentioned firms including such venerable names as the Walt Disney Company, Marriott hotels and Merck were included in the study. The visionary companies were then paired up with comparison companies. Firms that shared similar products and markets but which while not being outright poor performers were called visionary far less often in the CEO survey.
Both groups of companies were then examined across their considerable lifespans, the average founding date lay in the 1890s for both groups. Based on massive amounts of data from interviews annual reports, financial statements, news articles and many other sources, all aspects of these corporations were studied ranging from their ownership structures to their cultures. To understand the extraordinary success of the visionary companies, consider this fact: If you had invested a dollar in their shares in 1926, that dollar would have been worth a $6,356 by 1990.
Compare that to 955 if you had invested in the comparison companies. And only $415 if you had invested in the general market. And you'll see just how impressive the visionary company's performance is. No wonder that all manner of fortune 500 companies have been fascinated by the findings of this study.