Margin of Trust: The Berkshire Business Model

Margin of Trust: The Berkshire Business Model

by Lawrence Cunningham, Stephanie Cuba

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Warren Buffett and his company, Berkshire Hathaway, are legendary for their distinctive investing approach. Yet many equally unconventional but less well known aspects of Berkshire’s managerial practices and organizational structure are rich with lessons for those seeking to follow in Buffett’s footsteps. Margin of Trust is the first book to distill Buffett’s approach to management and corporate life. It provides a definitive analysis of the tenets of the Berkshire system, its costs and benefits, and how it can be adapted for other organizations.

Lawrence A. Cunningham and Stephanie Cuba develop a new account of how Berkshire Hathaway works, showing that the key to its success is trust. Profiling partnership practices and business methods, they contend that Berkshire’s distinguishing feature is a culture in which autonomy and decentralization are core management principles. Cunningham and Cuba provide instructive examples of how this model has been successfully adapted by other companies that share a faith in trust as an organizing principle. They also offer candid commentary on the risks of a trust-based approach and how to mitigate them. Margin of Trust features illuminating analysis of Buffett’s take on the role trust plays in business agreements, what Buffett looks for in great corporate boards, and what lies ahead for Berkshire after its iconic leader leaves the scene.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231550567
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 01/14/2020
Series: Columbia Business School Publishing
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 721,324
File size: 633 KB

About the Author

Lawrence A. Cunningham and Stephanie Cuba are authors, investors, consultants, and board members. Their previous work includes The Warren Buffett Shareholder: Stories from Inside the Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting (2017). Cunningham, editor and publisher since 1997 of The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, is the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor at George Washington University and author of Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values (Columbia, 2014). Cuba is president of CC Strategies, a real estate consulting firm specializing in project management, investment analysis, and public-private partnerships. The two are married and live in New York City with their two daughters.
Lawrence A. Cunningham is the Henry St. George Tucker III Research Professor of Law at George Washington University. He is the author of many corporate governance and investing books, including Berkshire Beyond Buffett: The Enduring Value of Values (Columbia University Press, 2014).

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Carrot of Trust
Part I. Pillars
1. The Players
2. Partnership Practices
3. Business Methods
Part II. Perspectives
4. Deals
5. Boards
6. Internal Affairs
Part III. Alternatives
7. Contrasts
8. Comparisons
Part IV. Challenges
9. Judgment
10. Public Perception
11. Scale
12. Succession
Epilogue: The Stick of Ruthlessness

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