Just as the name implies, a visionary company has vision. They will trudge ahead despite the doubters and aren’t known for giving up. With every new product release is a plan for the next improved version. They never stop reinventing but their brand never changes.

A visionary company can easily be defined as a leading innovator in their industry that consistently improves upon their market share, increases their profit share and shows stakeholder concern over that of the company as a whole.

According to research conducted by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras; authors of “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”, there were companies on the verge of a visionary structure that have excelled in their industries over the years.

Some of the companies they found to have characteristics of being a visionary company included Wal-Mart, American Express, Disney, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Proctor & Gamble, Motorola and Ford just to name a few of the eighteen found on the list. These companies were found to have created innovative products or services, pricing techniques and anything else that they could do to set themselves apart from their competitors.

Visionary managers are often entwined within the business structure of a visionary company. These managers and upper-level executives have characteristics similar to those of the business model. Those main characteristics include Flexibility, Forward Thinking and Organization.

In order for a visionary company to remain successful they must be flexible enough to change with the times; realizing that not everything stays the same as the day they opened their doors.

Without forward thinking members of management or even employees, the company’s business model can become stale and lackluster. Managers should always be looking for a way to increase profits, productivity and their overall customer base.

A visionary company realizes its weaknesses and turns them into strengths. By constantly and consistently identifying areas of improvement the company is able to move in the direction needed to maintain their visionary status and to maintain their leading edge.

Visionary companies stand apart from the more traditional business structures. These companies found that changing with the times benefits not only the company but their customers as well. While there are critics of these leaders they must be given credit. They seemed to have paved the way for future innovations in business structures.