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怎样成为财富500强公司

Geoff Colvin 2013年05月29日

今年财富美国500强的营收门槛是48亿美元,大多数企业也许永远也达不到这个数字。不过,这份榜单上却有一批“钉子户”,常年稳居财富美国500强。它们都具备五个共同的重要特质。也许正是这5个因素决定了一家公司的命运。

    每个企业家都想跻身财富美国500强俱乐部,但要做到这一点并不容易。公司需要有着远超初创年代的成熟,才能达到营收门槛。今年,财富美国500强榜单的门槛是48.25亿美元。当然,大多数公司都无法达到这个标准。少数有幸名列榜单的公司有着下面五个共同的重要特质:

适应能力

    没有什么产品、服务或战略是永垂不朽的。改变很难,但500强榜单中的常客愿意、并且能够改变,只要环境的变化要求他们必须如此。IBM公司(财富美国500强排名第20位)曾经是绞肉机和奶酪切片机制造商。通用电气(General Electric,财富美国500强排名第8位)曾经制造电脑和大炮。如果不能不断适应,就无法做大,始终屹立不倒,进而挺进500强榜单之中。

长期专注

    管理大师彼得•德鲁克曾问一些企业家:是否真正想要创建一个比自己存活得更久的企业。如果你对这项事业仍处于观望态度,就不用以500强为目标(许多企业家正是如此),只有目光长远的决策才能让你进入这份榜单。山姆•沃尔顿一直为沃尔玛(Wal-Mart,财富美国500强排名第1)进行长远规划。也不要害怕“投资者会惩罚你”这样的说法。亚马逊(Amazon,财富美国500强排名第49)的盈利一贯很少,甚至没有,然而投资者把它的股价推得更高,因为他们知道,CEO杰夫•贝佐斯正在为将来的回报投资。

以人为本

    所有公司都承诺以人为本,但是很少有公司真正做到。最好的公司知道,只有人力资本才是他们可持续竞争优势的唯一源泉。上市不足九年的谷歌(Google,财富美国500强排名第55),便以录用员工时的严格而闻名。通用磨坊(General Mills,财富美国500强排名第169)1955年首次上榜,至今从未缺席。它有着全美最好的领导力培养计划。这两家公司都知道商业领域中的稀缺资源究竟是什么。

金融资本之上的强大理念

    这种观点不一定总是正确,但在如今的社会中,如果你有500强级别的优秀理念,那么你只需花上很少的金融资本,就能建立500强级别的公司。最突出的例子就是苹果(Apple,财富美国500强排名第6),它几乎不制造任何产品,而只受想象力和创造力的驱动。这个规律在各行业都适用。是什么让3M(财富美国500强排名第101)、迪斯尼(Walt Disney,财富美国500强排名第66)和可口可乐(Coca-Cola,财富美国500强排名第57)一直榜上有名?那就是年复一年、层出不穷的绝佳创意。

永不止步的发展

    财富美国500强榜单自1955年公布起,营收门槛的真实增长率是4.3%(修正了通胀因素)。当然,那些巨型公司即便达不到这样的增长率,依然能够榜上有名,只不过名次会有所下跌。1955年财富美国500强排名第3、今年排名第147的美国钢铁公司(U.S. Steel)就是这样的例子。更引人注目的,则是那些保持了榜单的位置、名次甚至有所提高的小公司。德事隆集团(Textron)在最初的榜单上位列第292,今年升到了第225。雅培实验室(Abbott Labs)曾排名第320,今年则攀升至第70位。(财富中文网)

    译者:严匡正

    It's the club every entrepreneur wants to join, but getting into the Fortune 500 isn't easy. A company has to mature well beyond its start-up years to reach the revenue threshold, $4.825 billion for this year's list. Of course, most never make it. The few companies that do make the list share five crucial traits:

Adaptability

    No product, service, or strategy is sacred. Change is hard, but the regulars in the 500 are willing and able to change all those things as a shifting environment demands. IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) (No. 20) used to make meat choppers and cheese slicers. General Electric (GE, Fortune 500) (No. 8) made computers and cannons. You can't get and stay big enough for the 500 without adapting continually.

Long-term focus

    Peter Drucker asked entrepreneurs if they really wanted to build an institution that would outlive them. Don't aim for the 500 if you are on the fence on this issue (and many entrepreneurs are), because only long-term-oriented decisions will get you there. Sam Walton always managed Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) (No. 1) for the long term. And don't fear the myth that investors will punish you. Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) (No. 49) consistently reports little or no profit, yet investors push the stock higher because they know CEO Jeff Bezos is investing for a payoff years from now.

People priority

    Every company swears they have it, but few really do. The best ones know that human capital is their only source of sustainable competitive advantage. Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), No. 55 less than nine years after going public, is famous for the rigor with which it makes hiring decisions. General Mills (GIS, Fortune 500) (No. 169), which has been in the 500 every year since the list first appeared in 1955, runs one of America's best leadership development programs. Both companies know what the scarce resource in business really is.

Strong ideas over financial capital

    It wasn't always true, but in today's world you can build a 500-sized company with little financial capital -- if you have 500-sized ideas. Exhibit A is Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) (No. 6), which manufactures nothing but is powered by imagination and creativity. The principle applies in every industry. What keeps 3M (MMM, Fortune 500) (No. 101), Walt Disney (DIS, Fortune 500) (No. 66), and Coca-Cola (KO, Fortune 500) (No. 57) in the 500? Superior ideas, year after year.

Non-stop growth

    The revenue threshold of the Fortune 500 has increased at a 4.3% real (inflation-adjusted) rate since the list started in 1955. Of course, giant companies could stay in the 500 without achieving such growth; they'd just fall in the ranking. Example: U.S. Steel, No. 3 in 1955, No. 147 today. Far more impressive are the smaller companies that have maintained or even advanced their positions. Textron (TXT, Fortune 500) was No. 292 on the original list; it's No. 225 today. Abbott Labs (ABT, Fortune 500) was No. 320; today it's No. 70.

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