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.

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.

The Death of the Charismatic Leader (and the Birth of an Architect)

This article is part of Inc.'s cover story, "What Comes Next?" Jim Collins points out that an enduring great company has to be built not to depend on an individual leader, because individuals die or retire or move on.

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?"

Why do some companies fall from greatness? By understanding the Five Stages of Decline and avoiding their pitfalls, leaders can better sustain—or regain—great results.

The Most Creative Product Ever

The next wave of enduring great companies will be built not by technical or product visionaries, but by social visionaries—those who see their company and how it operates as their ultimate creation, and who invent entirely new ways of organizing human effort and creativity.

The Timeless Physics of Great Companies

Businessweek (published as "Perspectives: Don't Rewrite the Rules of the Road")
The Internet is a big deal, but electricity was bigger. Building a great company requires adherence to principles predating both.

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.