Time Telling is “having a great idea or being a charismatic visionary leader” (23)
Clock Building is “building a company that can prosper far beyond the presence of any single leader and through multiple product life cycles” (23)
1. It takes a great idea to start a great company (7)
2. Visionary companies require great and charismatic visionary leaders (7)
“See the success of visionary companies…as coming from underlying processes and fundamental dynamics embedded in the organization and not primarily the results of a single great idea or some great, all-knowing, godlike visionary who made great decisions, had great charisma and led with great authority” (41).
at least 50 years old
made an idelible mark on the world
premier leader in their industry
It takes a great idea to start a great company
Great companies require charismatic leaders.
The most successful companies exist to maximize profits.
They share a common ("right") set of core values.
The only constant is change.
The companies are conservative
These companies are comfortable places to work.
Visionary Companies make their best moves by high level successful strategic planning.
Companies should hire outsiders as CEO's to breath new life into the organization.
Visionary Companies focus on beating the competition.
You can't have your cake and eat it to.
Visionary Companies become visionary by writing vision statement.
1. The most successful companies exist first and foremost to maximize profits (8), “A detailed pair-by-pair analysis showed that the visionary companies have generally been more ideologically driven and less purely profit-driven than the comparison companies in seventeen out of eighteen pairs” (55)., “Profitability is a necessary condition for existence and a means to more important ends, but it is not the end in itself for many of the visionary companies. Profit is like oxygen, food, water, and blood for the body; they are not the point of life, but without them, there is no life” (55).
you do not create or set ... you discover it!
you get it by looking inside
do not ask What core values should we hold.
do ask What core values do we hold?
do not confuse a statement for an ideology
purpose is broad, fundamental and enduring
“Core ideology in a visionary company works hand in hand with a relentless drive for progress that impels change and forward movement in all that is not part of the core ideology” (82).
“Like core ideology, the drive for progress is an internal force. The drive for progress doesn’t wait for the external world to say ‘It’s time to change’ or ‘It’s time to improve’ or ‘It’s time to invent something new.’…In a visionary company, the drive to go further, to do better, to create new possibilities needs no external justification ” (84).
“Through the drive for progress, a highly visionary company displays a powerful mix of self-confidence combined with self-criticism” (84).
Genius of AND
Drive for Progress
Tangible mechanisms aligning core and progress
Hubris is overbearing pride
high self confidence
BHAG more audacious to outsiders than insiders
The goal is the motivation mechanism
it acts as stimulus through multi-generations of leaders
fervently held ideology
tightness of fit
internal university, ongoing training programs, orientation
rigorous up-through-the-ranks policies
unique language and terms, corporate songs, cheers, pledges
awards and contests
constant verbal and written emphasis on values
“visionary companies..often…made some of their best moves not by detailed strategic planning, but rather by experimentation, trial and error, opportunism, and – quite literally – accident” (141).
“[Visionary companies] use BHAGs to define a mountain to climb, and uses evolution to invent a way to the top” (147).
“If you add enough branches to a tree (variation) and intelligently prune the deadwood (selection), then you’ll likely evolve into a collection of healthy branches well positioned to prosper in an ever-changing environment” (146).
“visionary companies…stimulate evolutionary progress toward desired ends within the context of a core ideology – purposeful evolution” (148).
Give it a try -- quickly, Untitled
Accept that mistakes will be made
Take small steps
Give people the room they need
Mechanisms - build that ticking clock
“Never forget to preserve the core while stimulating evolutionary progress” (167).
“Core ideology serves as a bonding glue and guiding force that holds a visionary company together while it mutates and evolves” (168).
Evolution = variation + selection
Selection, Does it work?, Does it fit with our core ideology?
J&J, Baby Powder
Marriott, Airplane food
3M, Sandpaper, Masking Tape
Managment Development & Succession planning
Continuity of Leadership Excellence from Within`
Strong Internal Candidates
Preserve the Core and Stimualte Progress
Poor Managment Development & Inadequeate Succession planning
Dearth of Strong Internal Leadership Candidates
Preserve the Core and Stimualte Progress
Search for a Saviour
“Managers at visionary companies simply do not accept the proposition that they must choose between short-term performance or long-term success. They build first and foremost for the long term while simultaneously holding themselves to highly demanding short-term standards” (192).
“visionary companies consistently invest more heavily in new property, plant, and equipment as a percentage of annual sales than the comparison companies” (192-193).
"The visionary companies also invested much more aggressively in human capital via extensive recruiting, employee training, and professional development programs” (193).
“visionary companies invest earlier and more aggressively than the comparison companies in such aspects as technical knowhow, new technologies, new management methods, and innovative industry practices” (193).
Paint the Whole Picture, it is no one beach rather the whole
Sweat the Small Stuff, it is lots of little things that make a difference, Walmart shares department P&L
Cluster, Don't Shotgun, Don’t put in place any random set of mechanisms or processes, but put in place pieces that reinforce each other, clustered together to deliver a powerful combined punch (214)
swim in your own current, even if you swim against the tide, your company’s own self-defined ideology and ambitions should guide all of its dealings with reality” (214).
obliterate misalignments, Attaining alignment is not just a process of adding new things; it is also a never-ending process of identifying and doggedly correcting misalignments that push a company away from its core ideology or impede progress” (215).
Keep the universal requirements while inventing new methods, the specific methods visionary companies use to preserve the core and stimulate progress will undoubtedly change and improve. BHAGs, cult-like cultures, evolution through experimentation… – these are all proven methods of preserving the core and stimulating progress. But they are not the only effective methods that can be invented ” (216).