The Australian - The Deal - - News - Lawrence A. Cun­ning­ham Columbia Busi­ness School Pub­lish­ing Cris­tiane Cor­rea Primeira Pes­soa Mikkel Svane Jossey-BASS

Glenda Korporaal on the latest anal­y­sis of life af­ter War­ren Buf­fett

Berk­shire Be­yond Buf­fett: The En­dur­ing

Value of Val­ues

Berk­shire Hath­away, the $30 bil­lion con­glom­er­ate that War­ren

Buf­fett built, con­tin­ues to in­spire in­vestors. Buf­fett’s suc­cess in build­ing a com­pany that started with a dis­as­trous in­vest­ment in tex­tiles some 50 years ago, but has gone on to make mil­lion­aires out of many in­vestors, has been dis­sected by many au­thors. Books sport­ing the Buf­fett name are ea­gerly snapped up by wannabe bil­lion­aires. But what hap­pens when the 84-year-old Buf­fett is gone? Can a suc­cess­ful busi­ness out­live its high-pro­file founder, par­tic­u­larly one as di­verse as his com­pany? In analysing the story of the house that War­ren built, Cun­ning­ham con­cludes that there are nine dif­fer­ent traits ev­i­dent in the busi­nesses Buf­fett has bought into that un­der­write the group’s con­tin­ued suc­cess. They in­clude

be­ing bud­get con­scious, en­tre­pre­neur­ial, trust­wor­thy and con­cerned about the com­pany’s rep­u­ta­tion and a de­ter­mi­na­tion to run the busi­nesses for the long term. Cun­ning­ham con­cludes that Berk­shire Hath­away will keep on keep­ing on long af­ter Buf­fett is gone be­cause of his em­pha­sis on driv­ing his own per­sonal cor­po­rate

cul­ture through­out his busi­nesses. The fact is that no one re­ally knows what will hap­pen to the group af­ter Buf­fett dies. Over time, com­pa­nies can change af­ter the founder or a strong CEO moves on. But more fun­da­men­tal is the im­por­tance of cor­po­rate cul­ture for any­one in busi­ness – ex­ec­u­tive or in­vestor. Suc­cess­ful busi­ness

peo­ple build a strong cor­po­rate cul­ture through­out their or­gan­i­sa­tion, and suc­cess­ful in­vestors learn to judge a com­pany by its cul­ture. The book is full of lessons for peo­ple in busi­ness who think long term like Buf­fett. Cun­ning­ham urges his read­ers to

think hard about how they can adapt his ideas to their own busi­nesses and lives. One tip about Buf­fett him­self – he reads a lot.

Dream Big

Read­ers will need to jump on the in­ter­net to buy this book about three Brazil­ian ex­ec­u­tives mak­ing their mark on cor­po­rate Amer­ica. It tells the story of Jorge Paulo Le­mann, Mar­cel Tel­lus and Beto Sicu­pira, the play­ers be­hind in­vest­ment com­pany 3G Cap­i­tal, which has bought into house­hold US food busi­nesses in­clud­ing An­heuser Busch, Burger King and Heinz. They are part­ner­ing with War­ren Buf­fett, who is us­ing 3G to shake up com­pa­nies that have great in­ter­na­tional brand names but have

not been as ef­fi­ciently run as they could be. The book starts with an in­tro­duc­tion by Built to Last and Good to Great au­thor Jim Collins who be­friended Le­mann in the 1990s when they met at Stan­ford Busi­ness School. The fact that the boys from Brazil have come from nowhere to run the world’s largest beer com­pany makes their story worth read­ing.


Star­tu­p­land gives an out­sider’s view of suc­ceed­ing in Sil­i­con Val­ley. Soft­ware de­vel­op­ment com­pany Zen­desk was founded in Copenhagen in

2007 by en­trepreneurs Mikkel Svane, Alexan­der Aghas­sipour and Morten Prim­dahl. They moved to San Fran­cisco in 2009, built up the com­pany with ven­ture cap­i­tal money and listed on the New York Stock Ex­change last year. The com­pany has more than 50,000 cus­tomers and oper­a­tions in more than 150 coun­tries. Un­for­tu­nately, the vol­ume lacks

the depth and re­search of other books about start-ups or the US tech in­dus­try, but it shows an en­er­getic, driven group of out­siders with a good

idea can suc­ceed in the unique north­ern Cal­i­for­nia cor­po­rate cul­ture.

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