Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Importance at the Core

Reading James C. Collins & Jerry I. Porras, "Building Your Company's Vision," allowed me to realize just how important the core ideology of a company is. Initially, the concept of core ideology may come off as self explanatory and simple, but it is truly what separates great companies from those considered mediocre. In the reading(s), the authors touched on several companies that have been able to hold true to their core ideology for many years, allowing them to remain successful. What became obvious is the fact that holding true to this "core" is inextricably linked to those companies abilities to move forward in an ever changing world.

Collins and Porras proclaim that,
Core ideology defines the enduring character of an organization--a consistent identity that transcends product or market life cycles, technological breakthroughs, managements fads, and individual leaders


As we develop a better understanding of strategy, this definition of core ideology sheds light on how a company could define their strategy and also maintain/refine/expand it as time passes. Core ideology was broken up into core values and core purpose--both contributing meat and substance to the core ideology.

The core purpose of Nike -- "To experience the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors," is one that has held true since the companies founding in 1978. Though they carry a variety of products, this core ideology is one that provides guidance in the development, advertising and distribution of all products.

To see how the core ideology of Nike has kept the company consistent and successful--even with new competition and changing markets--look at how they have portrayed themselves throughout time. Consistency is indisputable and I'd argue that that is a large reason for their continued profitability.

1995- Nike

2008 - Nike

What links these products/athletes/advertisements is the same core--"To experience the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors." This has been, and will continue to be a driving force for Nike, Inc.

Reading these articles leads me to believe that it is the core ideology that is of most importance when figuring out how to lead a company. From the core ideology comes strategy and focus. Though strategy evolves over time, core ideology should always remain somewhat grounded so that it can provide the foundation for a company or organization. As long as the core ideology holds true, employee turnover, new management, and varieties of change can all be met because a lingering motivation still remains. It sounds cliché, but "it's all in the core."

Am I placing too much emphasis on the core of the business and it's impact(s) on the success of that business?

i. Building Your Company's Vision. James C. Collins and Jerry I. Porras. Harvard Business School Publishing Coorporation. 2000
ii. http://www.nike.com/nikeos/p/nike/en_US/?ref=

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