jim collins
jim collins articles


(Listed Alphabetically)

Aligning Action and Values

The Forum (originally published in the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management's Leader to Leader, Premier Issue Summer 1996)
Executives spend too much time wordsmithing vision statements, mission statements, values statements, purpose statements, and aspiration statements—and nowhere near enough time trying to align their organizations with the values and visions already in place.

And the Walls Came Tumbling Down

Leading Beyond the Walls, a book edited and produced by the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management and published by Jossey-Bass
The most productive relationships are partnerships rooted in a freedom of choice vested in both parties to participate only in that which is mutually beneficial and uplifting.

Best Beats First

Of all the new economy's supposed "rules," the notion that nothing is as important as being first to reach scale may be the most widely accepted. It's also wrong.

Bigger, Better, Faster

Fast Company
If current growth rates hold up, the company that Sam Walton built will become the world's first trillion-dollar business within a decade. Far-fetched? Perhaps. But if you understand how Wal-Mart keeps growing, you'll know what it takes to keep your company moving in the right direction.

Building Companies to Last

Inc. Special Issue—The State of Small Business
In a world of constant change, the fundamentals are more important than ever.

Building Your Company's Vision (not available online)

Harvard Business Review (with Jerry I. Porras)
This HBR cover story explains how companies that enjoy enduring success have core values and a core purpose that remain fixed, while their business strategies and practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. For the full text of this article, please contact Harvard Business Review.

Change Is Good—But First, Know What Should Never Change

Reengineering and other prevailing management fads that urge dramatic change and fundamental transformation on all fronts are not only wrong, they are dangerous.

Forget Strategy, Build Mechanisms Instead

This article is part of Inc.'s cover story, "What Comes Next?" Jim Collins says that to put your core purpose to work, you need mechanisms—the practices that bring what you stand for to life and stimulate change.

Good to Great

Fast Company
Start with 1,435 good companies. Examine their performance over 40 years. Find the 11 companies that became great. Now, here's how you can do it, too. Lessons on eggs, flywheels, hedgehogs, buses, and other essentials of business that can help you transform your company.

The HP Way

by David Packard (Foreword to the book by David Packard)
Most entrepreneurs pursue the question "How can I succeed?" From Day One, Packard and Hewlett pursued a different question: "What can we contribute?"

It's not What You Make, it's What You Stand For

This article is part of Inc.'s cover story, "What Comes Next?" Jim Collins says that concentrating on products—or services, if that's what you sell—is a trap.

The Maverick and His Machine

by Kevin Maney (Foreword to the book by Kevin Maney)
Leaders like Thomas J. Watson Sr. are like forces of nature—almost terrifying in their release of energy and unpredictable volatility—but underneath they still adhere to certain patterns and principles.

Turning Goals into Results: The Power of Catalytic Mechanisms (not available online)

Harvard Business Review
Catalytic mechanisms are the most promising devices executives can use toachieve their Big Hairy Audacious Goals. For the full text of this article, please contact Harvard Business Review.

The Wizard, King, and Hobbit of Business

Fast Company
The story of a father who builds an empire, a reluctant son who battles against his father before inheriting the empire and taking it to greatness, and a stranger who shows up in the nick of time to save all that the father and son built.