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  • “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, Pt.2

    Hedgehog concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at.

    This is the second installment to, “Good to Great,” the management and organizational effectiveness book by Jim Collins. Collins is known for distilling the company focus to become a leader in doing one or two things better than anyone else.

    Good to Great Pt. 2

    1.      Understand the three key dimensions; what can you be the best in the world at; what drives your economic engine; what are your deeply passionate about-three circles of hedgehog concept.

    2.      Warrant Buffett stated “They stick with what they understand and let their abilities, not the egos determine what they attempt.”

    3.      Hedgehog concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best, a plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at.

    4.      Getting the hedgehog concept; autopsies and analysis, guided by the three circles; ask questions by the three circles; dialogue and debate guided by the three circles; executive decisions.

    5.      If you realize that you’re not the best at anything, therein lies the most exciting part of the entire study.

    6.      Good-to-great companies built a consistent system with clear constraints, but they also gave people freedom and responsibility within the framework of that system. They hired self-disciplined people who didn’t need to be managed, and then managed the system, not the people.

    7.      Disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.

    8.      Good-to-great companies follow the mantra; anything that doesn’t fit with our hedgehog concept, we will not do. We will not launch unrelated businesses. We will not make unrelated acquisitions. We will not do unrelated joint ventures. If it doesn’t fit, we don’t do it. Period.

    9.      It takes discipline to say “no thank you” to big opportunities. The fact that something is a “once in a lifetime opportunity” is irrelevant if it doesn’t fit within the three circles.

    10.   Start a “stop doing” list.

    11.  Good-to-great companies had no name for their transformations. There was no launch event, no tag line, and no programmatic feel whatsoever. Some executives said that they weren’t even aware that a major transformation was under way until they were well into it. It was more obvious to them after the fact than at the time.

    12.  The flywheel effect; hedgehog concept, accumulation of visible results, people line up, energized by results, flywheel builds momentum.

    13.  The Doom Loop; no buildup; no buildup, no accumulated momentum, disappointing results, reaction, without understanding, new direction program, leader, fad, or acquisition.

    14.  Signs that you’re on the flywheel; follow a pattern of buildup and breakthrough; confront the brutal facts; attain consistency; disciplined people, disciplined though and actions; harness appropriate technologies; make acquisitions after breakthrough to accelerate momentum; spend little time trying to motivate or align people, the momentum of the flywheel is infectious.

    15.  Enduring great companies preserve their core values and purpose while their business strategies and operating practices endlessly adapt to a changing world. This is the magical combination of “preserve the core and stimulate progress.”

    16.  Preserve; core values and core purpose-Change; cultural and operating procedures and specific goals and strategies.

    17.  Build an organization that can endure and adapt through multiple generations of leaders and multiple life cycles; the exact opposite of being built around a single great leader or a single great idea.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Management


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