On Focus and Vision
There is a lot coming at business leaders today.
- New technologies
- New industries
- New tools
- New emerging markets
- On and on...
It is easy to get distracted. We can find ourselves pulled in too many directions to maintain excellence in all areas.
Vision planning is an important facilitation process that can help groups establish direction for the future. This is an excellent endeavor. Vision that is embraced throughout an organization has a powerful way of helping us stay on track and to measure the quality of our decisions that we make.
Before charging off to set the new vision – where you want to go, it can be useful to concentrate some energy on the question of “where are we now?”
Jim Collins and his team wrote a popular business book – Good to Great. In addressing the challenge of focus, he encouraged companies to consider a Hedgehog Concept.
Collins defined the “hedgehog concept.”
1. What you can be the best at—you should:
- Determine what should be attempted by ability, not ego
- Determine what you cannot be best at
- Keep it simple and straightforward
- You may not be doing it now. Your core business may not be the thing you could be the best in the world at
2. What drives your economic engine—strive to:
- Determine your organization’s single economic denominator
- Understand what the key economic drivers are
- Build your system according to that understanding
3. What you are deeply passionate about—seek to discover:
- What ignites your passion and the passion of those that work with you
- The passion can be found in the mechanics of the work or can be focused on what the company stands for
Collins compared the discovery/definition of these three arenas to moving out of a fog into a clear understanding. That is pretty huge when it comes to knowing what to focus on.
When you can determine where these three areas overlap, you have an excellent idea of where you should be focusing, as a function of where you are now. This can be very useful as you then chart a course towards the future.