Have you ever been in a position where you are frustrated? You know you have some great products and services. However, you’re in a position where management, your employees, or even you and your vendors are frustrated with you. In Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, there is a chapter where Jim uses the metaphor of how a hedgehog protects itself from animals that are much bigger than him. In the business world, animals that are much bigger are competitors that are 10 to 100 times our size. Through six years of homework, Jim proved that one of the fastest ways for a company to get through frustrating times is pulling a hedgehog where it rolls up into a ball and become an expert and the best in that one thing, one product, or one service.
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This is episode three of three of a mini book report of what many considered the greatest business book of all time, Good to Great by Jim Collins. In Episode 241, I discussed the necessity, in my opinion, of reading the summaries of this book and then even finding some audio summaries because this book is not for everybody. It’s thick, long, deep and it’s why many consider this book to be the greatest business accelerator ever written. Is it for everybody? No. Is it someday for everybody that wants a larger forever growing company? Yes, it’s mandatory.
Get rid of all your products but one, and master that one product. Click To Tweet
Have you ever been in a position where you are frustrated? You know you have some good products. As a matter of fact, you think you have some great products or great services. Have you ever been in a position where maybe management, your employees or it’s just you and your vendors they are frustrated with you? Have you ever been in a position where your customers might be a bit frustrated with you? There is a chapter in Good to Great, I call The Hedgehog Chapter. It’s the chapter where Jim Collins uses the metaphor of how does a hedgehog protects itself from animals much bigger than him.
In the business world, animals that are much bigger than any business are competitors 10 to 100 times their size. How about all of the 240 major competitors that Groupon had to purchase for $2.8 billion? Some of them were much bigger than Groupon, but Groupon had to raise more capital to go buy them out. I refer to this topic as entropy, things that are constantly against you. Jim Collins, through his six years of homework on his book, proved that one of the fastest ways for a company to get through frustrating times, which he defines as potentially lack of growth, profit, current leadership on your team, and satisfied customers, he calls it a version of pulling a hedgehog. He says, “Why don’t you roll up into a ball and become an expert at one thing? Get rid of all your products but one and master that one product. Be the best in the world at that one product.”
Jeff Hoffman, who often speaks at our Digital Footprint Conference, the Co-Founder of the $64 billion Priceline.com, in almost every talk Jeff gives, he says, “What area are you getting a gold medal in? What is your gold metal piece? What is your gold metal talk? What is your gold metal product?” What he’s saying is, for you to win a gold medal in the Olympics, you’ve got to train for years, you’ve got to polish your technique, and you’ve got to humble yourself and listen to a coach. There are so many things that go into winning a gold medal. In the book, Good to Great, Jim Collins goes out of his way to shine a magnifying glass and a spotlight on some of the greatest companies that have ever existed in history. He says, “You can physically find, there is someone to three-year period in these companies that have been around forever where they literally went hedgehog. They fired divisions, they fired management. They slimmed down and got a gold medal in something and then they were no longer frustrated.” They were incredibly profitable and they grew and grew. Many companies did it again. They became a hedgehog again.
This is the final piece I’m going to do on the book, Good to Great. I don’t want to do every chapter. It defeats the point of reading Jim’s incredible work. For those of you that do appreciate some of the nuggets I drop, I urge you and implore you to please go to Amazon, buy the book and then also get the audio. I would prefer you do the book by reading it with a yellow highlighter the first time. You may not pick it up again for two years, use an orange highlighter. You are going to be blown away the second time you read it because of how much you did not catch the first time. You caught it the second time because your business grew because of what you learned from the book the first time.
There are so many things that go into winning a gold medal. Click To Tweet
I would love any and every feedback you guys can give me after even getting through three chapters of what I believe is a magnificent book. If you’d like to discuss it or if there’s any topics that you want me to cover that relate to business growth in any way, shape or form that you have not yet heard me talk on, email me at Ken@IncomeStore.com and I would be happy to do a podcast on that. If there’s anybody out there that appreciates what I’m podcasting, but I would appreciate it if you went into iTunes and threw me an honest review. That helps the podcast show up in the new and noteworthy section. If you think of it, I appreciate it. Other than that, I will see you later on Episode 244. Take care.