The 12 Habits of Great, Enduring Organisations


Start-ups rarely survive their second birthday. Even established firms in the UK and the US average a life of only fifteen years. So how can your company build and sustain success for decades to come?

Professor Alex Hill has conducted thirteen years of groundbreaking research into a clutch of organisations that have outperformed their peers for over 100 years - from NASA to the New Zealand All Blacks, from Eton College and the Royal College of Art to the Royal Marines and the Royal Shakespeare Company. And what he has found is that these very different organisations all share remarkably similar strategies when it comes to building and maintaining excellence and success - strategies that frequently fly in the face of conventional business wisdom.

Here Professor Hill shares the twelve traits that have set these organisations apart for over a century, from the way they analyse success and failure to their approach to finding the best people and the brightest new ideas. In so doing, he identifies the strategies and habits that you can employ in your company to create a strong and stable core and to ensure the same long-term prosperity. In short, he shows you how to build a promising enterprise into an enduring, great organisation.
'An instant classic.' Charles Handy, author of 'The Empty Raincoat' and 'The Second Curve'

'Every CEO should be given a copy with their morning coffee.' Robin Dunbar, Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Oxford

'If you want to learn what it takes to achieve truly sustainable success in an organisation, then this is a book for you.' Shaun Fitzgerald, OBE, Director of the Centre for Climate Repair at the University of Cambridge


  • A rigorous, readable and practical addition to the genre . . . Hill offers detailed and diverse observations . . . [that will] appeal to managers looking for a prescription as they wonder how to outlast the competition.
    Financial Times

About the author

Professor Alex Hill

Professor Alex Hill is the co-founder and Director of The Centre for High Performance – a collaboration between the University of Kingston, Duke Corporate Education, London Business School and Green Templeton College, Oxford – which is dedicated to helping high-performing organizations develop a stronger and more robust economy, society and environment. The Centre has worked with organizations in sectors ranging from the arts and education to sport, technology and the military.

He is also a Professor at Kingston University (UK), Educator at Duke Corporate Education (US), and Visiting Professor at Cass Business School (UK), Gordon Institute of Business Science (South Africa), The Academy of National Economy (Russia) and KEDGE Management School (France).

He has written a number of books, published articles in leading academic journals such as the Harvard Business Review, advised the UK Government on educational policy, appeared on BBC Newsnight, presented at the Global Economics and Skills Forum and has written for The Times and Schools Week.
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