Here is an excerpt from Reading the Markets on Lawrence Cunningham’s Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values followed by a little something on the book.
Warren Buffett is now 84 years old. Although he is still tap dancing to work practically every day—at least when he’s not galavanting around the country, people can’t help wondering how the company will fare once he is no longer at the helm. Lawrence A. Cunningham addresses this question and, as the subtitle suggests, gives a fairly upbeat answer in Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values (Columbia Business School Publishing, 2014).
Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) is a sprawling conglomerate comprising nearly 600 business units. (GE has 300.) Its subsidiaries include insurance operations, most notably GEICO, GenRe, and National Indemnity, and a range of other businesses big and small—for instance, BNSF, Fruit of the Loom, H. J. Heinz (50% owned), HomeServices of America, Dairy Queen, Johns Manville, Lubrizol, Berkshire Hathaway Energy Co (OTCMKTS:MWPSL) (formerly MidAmerican Energy), McLane, NetJets, Shaw Industries, The Pampered Chef, and the Omaha World Herald.
Warren Buffett once famously said that “Diversification is protection against ignorance. It makes little sense if you know what you are doing.” And, along the same lines, “I can’t be involved in 50 or 75 things. That’s a Noah’s Ark way of investing—you end up with a zoo that way. I like to put meaningful amounts of money in a few things.”
Buffett may believe in concentrating his stock portfolio holdings, but the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) family of companies is not only large but is also quite diverse. Granted, it’s short on high tech and health care companies so it’s not quite a Noah’s Ark, but it still spans numerous sectors of the economy.
See full article via Reading the Markets
Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values – Description
Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values by Lawrence Cunningham
Berkshire Hathaway, the $300+ billion conglomerate that Warren Buffett built, is among the world’s largest and most famous corporations. Yet, for all its power and celebrity, few people understand Berkshire, and many assume it cannot survive without Buffett. This book proves that assumption wrong.
In a comprehensive portrait of the distinct corporate culture that unites and sustains Berkshire’s fifty direct subsidiaries, Lawrence A. Cunningham unearths the traits that promote the conglomerate’s perpetual prosperity.
Riveting stories recount each subsidiary’s origins, triumphs, and journey to Berkshire and reveal the strategies managers use to generate economic value from intangible values, such as thrift, integrity, entrepreneurship, autonomy, and a sense of permanence.
Rich with lessons for those wishing to profit from the Berkshire model, this engaging book is a valuable read for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and investors, and it makes an important resource for scholars of corporate stewardship.
Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values explores not only what will happen to Berkshire after Buffett, but presents all of Berkshire behind Buffett, the inspiring managerial luminaries, innovative entrepreneurs, and devotees of deep values that define this esteemed organization.
General readers will enjoy learning how an iconoclastic businessman transformed a struggling textile company into a corporate fortress destined to be his lasting legacy.
Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values – Review
“Berkshire’s trajectory has been so seamless that Warren’s professional transition has gone almost unnoticed. The man who began business life as a precocious “stock picker” has morphed into chief executive of one of the largest collections of businesses in the world. Larry’s book astutely chronicles this development.”
(From the Foreword by Tom Murphy, former CEO, Capital Cities/ABC, and current director, Berkshire Hathaway)
Lawrence Cunningham is well known to the Berkshire Hathaway faithful, and was Warren Buffett’s pick for cataloging and organizing Buffett’s famous annual letters. Now Cunningham takes us in a new direction, directly into Berkshire’s subsidiaries. An insightful and important book, Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values.
(Robert Hagstrom, author of The Warren Buffett Way)
How did Warren Buffett build such a great firm? To unravel this mystery, Lawrence Cunningham takes a deep dive inside the cultures of Berkshire Hathaway’s subsidiaries, highlighting the value of integrity, kinship, and autonomy — and revealing how building moats around the castles may help the firm outlast its visionary founder.
(Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take)
“Fascinating look at Berkshire as an institution.”
(Liz Claman, Fox Business News)
“Fascinating . . . biography of both Buffett and Berkshire.”
(Don Dion, Seeking Alpha)
“An extraordinary portrait of the fifty direct subsidiaries of Berkshire Hathaway, investment guru Warren Buffett’s $300 billion conglomerate, told through the companies’ distinct stories and the vital values like integrity, autonomy, entrepreneurship and a sense of permanence that they, and Buffett, share.”
(David Slocum, Forbes)