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Berkshire Beyond BuffettThe Enduring Value of Values$
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Lawrence Cunningham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780231170048

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231170048.001.0001

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(p.221) 16 B.E.R.K.S.H.I.R.E.
Berkshire Beyond Buffett

Lawrence A. Cunningham

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the lessons that others take away from Berkshire and its subsidiaries. The stories of these subsidiaries animate a few fundamentals. First among these is to be budget conscious, especially by cost minimization that underlies the business model at GEICO and the furniture and jewelry stores, where low prices multiply volume and profits. Second is to reinvest profits in promising businesses; this is the central bastion of Berkshire culture driving its acquisitions. Third is to nurture entrepreneurship, where rewards can be great, as illustrated by the multiple revenue streams. Fourth is to offer autonomy to business teammates, as they are likely to thrive on it. Fifth is that family businesses must address inherent vexing challenges by promoting the values of family identity and legacy. Sixth is to make lots of money without losing sight of the long term. Seventh is to stress integrity, as seen in many Berkshire stories, including how Clayton Homes watches out for its customers and how NICO provides ironclad insurance promise.

Keywords:   Berkshire Hathaway, subsidiaries, budget conscious, cost minimization, investment, entrepreneurship, business, autonomy, family business

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