Hedgehogs, Flywheels, and SMaC Recipes…Curious?

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Just finished reading Great by Choice, Jim Collin’s newest.  As much as we talk about clarifying the win, I caught something that I just needed to point out to you.

If you read Good to Great (Collins’ 2001 best-seller), you recognize the terms hedgehog concept and flywheel effect.  If you need a refresher, here’s the basic info:

“The Hedgehog Concept is a simple, crystalline concept that flows from a deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles:

  • What you are passionate about
  • What can you be the best in the world at
  • What drives your resource or economic engine”
The Flywheel Effect is simply building momentum “by making a series of decisions relentlessly consistent with that concept (Hedgehog), like turning a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn (p. 186, Great by Choice).”
A SMaC Recipe is the code for translating a high-level Hedgehog Concept in to specific action and for keeping an organization focused in the same direction, thereby building flywheel momentum (p. 186, Great by Choice).”  What does SMaC stand for?  Specific, methodical, and consistent practices.
Why is this important stuff?  Understanding the hedgehog concept is a very helpful way of determining what a win should be for your organization.  An appreciation of the flywheel effect will give you an appreciation for the long run, daily effort that becoming a great organization requires.  And developing your own SMaC recipe will help you sustain momentum.
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