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Built to Last by Jim Collins by Mind Map: Built to Last by Jim Collins
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Built to Last by Jim Collins

Clock Building not time telling

“builders of visionary companies tend to be clock builders, not time tellers” (23)

Time Telling

Clock Building



What is a Visionary Company?



no "Tyranny of the OR" embrace the "Genius of the AND"

“Tyranny of the OR” – the rational view that cannot easily accept paradox, that cannot live with two seemingly contradictory forces or ideas at the same time. “The ‘Tyranny of the OR’ pushes people to believe that things must be either A OR B, but not both” (43).

“Genius of the AND” – the ability to embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A OR B, [visionary companies] figure out a way to have both A AND B” (44).

More than Profits

“A fundamental element in the ‘ticking clock’ of a visionary company is a core ideology – core values and sense of purpose beyond just making money – that guides and inspires people throughout the organization and remains relatively fixed for long periods of time” (48).


[The] research indicates that the authenticity of the ideology and the extent to which a company attains consistent alignment with the ideology counts more than the content of the ideology” (87).

Core Ideology = Core values + Purpose

Core Ideology


“[Porras and Collins] found that most companies benefit from articulating both core values and purpose in their core ideology” (78).

Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress

“A visionary company carefully preserves and protects its core ideology, yet all the specific manifestations of its core ideology must be open for change and evolution” (81).

“It is absolutely essential to not confuse core ideology with culture, strategy, tactics, operations, policies, or other noncore practices” (82).

Drive for Progress

Conceptual Framework

BHAG: Big Hairy Audacious Goal

“a true BHAG is clear and compelling and serves as a unifying focal point of effort…” (94).

Does it stimulate forward progress?

Does it get people's juices flowing?

It should fall outside your comfort zone

consistent with company's core ideology

Hubris Factor

The Goal, Not the Leader

Cult-Like Culture

Visionary companies are more demanding


creating an environment that reinforces dedication to an enduring core ideology is clock building


concrete items

“visionary companies were significantly more decentralized and granted greater operational autonomy…” (137)

Try a lot of stuff and keep what works


Darwin's Theory of Evolution

5 Lessons

Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress


Home Grown Management

“visionary companies develop, promote, and carefully select managerial talent grown from inside the company” (173).

“it is not the quality of leadership that most separates the visionary companies from the comparison companies. It is the continuity of quality leadership that matters – continuity that preserves the core” (173).

“Absence of any of these elements can lead to management discontinuities that force a company to search outside for a chief executive – and therefore pull the company away from its core ideology” (175).

Leadership Continuity Loop

Leadership Dis-Continuity Loop

Good Enough Never Is

‘How can we do better tomorrow than we did today?’” (185).

“Superb execution and performance naturally come to the visionary companies not so much as an end goal, but as the residual result of a never-ending cycle of self-stimulated improvement and investment for the future” (185).

“There is no ultimate finish line in a highly visionary company. There is no ‘having made it’” (186).

“Visionary companies…attain their extraordinary position not so much because of superior insight or special ‘secrets’ of success, but largely because of the simple fact that they are terribly demanding of themselves” (188).

“research findings clearly support the concept of continuous improvement, but not as a program or management fad. ... it is an institutionalized habit – a disciplined way of life – ingrained into the fabric of the organization and reinforced by tangible mechanisms that create discontent with the status quo” (186).

“Comfort is not the objective in a visionary company. Indeed, visionary companies install powerful mechanisms to create discomfort – to obliterate complacency – and thereby stimulate change and improvement before the external world demands it” (187).

Build for the Future (and Do Well Today)

Building the Vision

Waht would we love to see the company look like in 20 years?

The task is to create the future not predict it

envisioning helps to create the BHAG

building the organization as their primary means of creating the future

The End of the Beginning

“Just because a company has a ‘vision statement’ (or something like it) in no way guarantees that it will become a visionary company!” (201)

“The essence of a visionary company comes in the translation of its core ideology and its own unique drive for progress into the very fabric of the organization – into goals, strategies, tactics, policies, processes, cultural practices, management behaviors, building layouts…into everything that the company does” (201).

Seek Consistent Alignment