Visionary companies preserve their core ideologies while relentlessly stimulating progress and improvement.
The real heart of what makes visionary companies so successful is that while they jealously guard the permanence of their core ideologies, the manifestations of that core ideology are always open for change and progress.
For example, Wal-Mart's drive to “exceed customer expectations” is a stable element of its core ideology, but the customer-greeters at the entrance to their stores are a practice that can change.
Similarly, Boeing's core ideology is to be a pioneer in the field of aviation, but building jumbo jets is a manifestation of that ideology that can change.
Just like their core ideologies, this drive for progress is innate and unquestioned in visionary companies.
Progress is stimulated both by setting bold goals and by creating concrete mechanisms that encourage people to innovate and improve.