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Some good stuff, but mostly hack work
am 31. Dezember 1999
I found the one chapter in the book on Cults and Culture to be compelling, but overall this was an unbelievably boring and repetitive work, with little or no substantive research on the control groups used to compare visionary and non-visionary companies. I think I got their point of clock building, not time telling the first time they used the metaphor. I found myself getting extremely frustrated with the repetitive reference to simple observations through out their study: Preserve the core, stimulate progress, blah, blah, blah...
A MUCH better book on which type of companies will succeed in the new age of the service based economy is The Profit Zone. It takes many of the same companies mentioned in Built to Last and does much better job of describing why some succeed and some fail. The chapter on GE is especially illuminating. The Profit Zone is a methodology based book; Built to Last is more of an excercise in aphorisms with the exception of one remarkable chapter on organizational cultures (chapter six, Cult-Like Cultures). I guess having one original observation is a BHAG for just about any business book.