Built to last – successful habits of visionary companies

Even the visionary companies studied in Built to Last
need to continually remind themselves of the crucial distinction between core and noncore, between what should never change and what should be open for change, between what is truly sacred and what is not. Hewlett-Packard executives, for example, speak frequently about this crucial distinction, helping HP people see that “change” in operating practices, cultural norms, and business strategies does not mean losing the spirit of the HP Way.


On March 14, 1994, we shipped the nal manuscriptfor Built to Last to our publisher. Like all authors, we had hopes and dreams for the book, but never dared allow these hopes to become predictions. We knew that for every successful book, ten or twenty equally good (or better) works languish in obscurity. Two years later, as we write this introduction to the paperback edition, we nd ourselves somewhat astonished by the success of the book: more than forty printings worldwide, translation into thirteen languages, and best-seller status in North America, Japan, South America, and parts of Europe.


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