Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1 Down. 11 More to Go. "Built to Last"

In January, I set a goal to read 12 books this year - basically 1 book a month. I set out to read 12 because I'm not exactly the fastest reader. I read like I spell and if you know me, you know I can’t spell! So, I thought this was an achievable goal and so far I'm on task. My first book was “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies,” by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Poras.

“Built to Last” looks at visionary companies like Disney, Wal-Mart and Merck. These companies are at the very top of the business world and demonstrate longevity and great brand image. After reading this book, I definitely want to buy from these companies. In the book, these companies are compared to their counterparts - who are not as successful, but well-known. For example: Disney is compared to Columbia Pictures; Ford to GM; Merck to Pfizer; and GE to Westinghouse.

My favorite company is the 3M Company (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing.) 3M really fosters a culture of creativity from their employees and allows them to spend time researching ideas. They started as a defunct mining operation and soon realized they had to do something different. With the by-products from their mining operations they developed water-proof sandpaper. This kept the company afloat until they developed Scotch Tape in 1925. The Post-it Note was invented by of one of their employees as well. How cool is that? This is why the 3M Company is one of my favorite companies.

I also found things in this book I tried to carry over into my experiences with church operation. There are some business principals the church as a whole, can learn from such as organizational structure, laser-like focus for purpose, and the possibility for new ideas and creativity.

I really liked this book and would recommend it. But, if you're just not that into business-related stuff, you mind find this book a bit boring.

1 comment:

James Hasty said...

Hey Donnie,
Check out "Good to Great" by Jim Collins as well. He wrote this book after "Built to Last" and it dives into what makes a company go from good to great. The first characterist of a good to great company is humility from the CEO!