Grow Bigger, Better, Faster: 6 Lessons

**Great article we found on**

Grow Bigger, Better, Faster: 6 Lessons

In rereading Built to Last by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, it’s surprising how many great lessons the book has for CEOs of growing companies.

Dimitri Vervitsiotis

One of our partners, Greg Stoklosa, asked us to reread the classic business book, Built to Last, by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, in preparation for our recent leadership meeting.  Collins, of course, is the author of Good to Great and a number of other business classics, and we were inspired by his recent interview in Inc.

We had both read Built to Last when it was first published in the 1990s, and we remembered it as having some great lessons for leaders of established companies who wanted to build lasting organizations. So we were surprised when Greg asked us to read this in preparation for a discussion about values, goals, and strategy for Avondale. We’re a small company with 26 employees, not like the large companies such as Ford, HP, Merck, and Disney that were profiled in the book.

But now that we’ve spent the last eight years building Avondale, we were surprised at how many great insights this book has for growing companies like ours. In fact, it seems to be more useful for organizations that want to set a BHAG (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal) and align on core values. Growing companies have the opportunity to aim big and build a lasting organization–the book’s core theme. There are also some great lessons for what growing companies like ours can do in the short term to maintain rapid, profitable growth.

Buried deep in Chapter 10, we found the key lessons for growing companies:

1. Paint the Whole Picture

Don’t rely on any one thing to preserve the core and stimulate progress. As Collins says, “It’s the whole ball of wax that counts.”

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