Geoff Colvin and Jessica Shambora at Fortune have an article about J&J's secrets to success. They point out that J&J has a remarkable record over more than 100 years as a corporation, and they try to identify five key factors that contribute to their success. Such exercises are often futile or counteproductive, but in this case, the rules are simple, but nevertheless valuable to consider:
1. Diversify within a single industry.
2. Focus on the future.
3. Let the experts run the business.
4. Stay financially disciplined - always.
5. Have a purpose beyond profits.