From Jim Collins’ Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies:
A company must have a core ideology [core purpose plus core values] to become a visionary company. It must also have an unrelenting drive for progress. And finally, it must be well designed as an organization to preserve the core and stimulate progress, with all the key pieces working in alignment.
These are universal requirements for visionary companies. They distinguished visionary companies a hundred years ago. They distinguish visionary companies today. And they will distinguish visionary companies int he twenty-first century.
However, the specific methods visionary companies use to preserve the core and stimulate progress will undoubtedly change and improve. BHAGs [huge, audacious goals], cult-like cultures, evolution through experimentation, home-grown management, and continuous self-improvement — these are all proven methods of preserving the core and stimulating progress. But they are not the only effective methods that can be invented.
Companies will invent new methods to complement these time-tested ones. The visionary companies of tomorrow are already out there today experimenting with new and better methods. They’re undoubtedly already doing things that their competitors might find odd or unusual, but that will someday become common practice.
And that’s exactly what you should be doing in the corporations [and organizations] you work with — that is, if you want them to enter the elite league of visionary companies. It doesn’t matter whether you are an entrepreneur, manager, CEO, board member, or consultant. You should be working to implement as many methods as you can think of to preserve a cherished core ideology that guides and inspires people at all levels. And you should be working to create mechanisms that create dissatisfaction with the status quo and stimulate change, improvement, innovation, and renewal — mechanisms, in short, that infect people with the spirit of progress…. Use the proven methods and create new methods. Do both.