|Jim Collins: Certainly, one them anyway. One of them. Ok, so let's, this was a great question that got me thinking. So first of all, let's just kind of review the essence of what it is.
Thomas D. Gorman: Right.
Jim Collins: When we looked at the companies that made this inflection, and then sustained it long enough that they earned a position in the analysis. They had a dynasty era. They got very clear on how to channel their energy right into the middle of these three intersecting circles.
One thing is they had great passion. Second is, things that they could truly be the best in the world at. And third is, what truly was the key value the drives the economic engine.
Now, if you think about that, I don't know if this would translate into Chinese well.
If you think about it on an individual level, right?
If you do something that you really love to do and you're passionate about, and you're really good at it. And you add value for what people will pay you, that's a good place to be. And it doesn't strike me that this is something that would go away over time. 200 years ago, 200 years from now, in different part of the world, in the United States, doing things for which you have great passion, because nothing great happens without passion, doing something in which you have a distinctive ability to be exceptional and doing something that you add value that the world will compensate you for so you can actually turn the flywheel, seems to me to likely to apply.
Now, look at this particularly with companies and I'm going to come to a second point, though, about in today's world or in different parts of the world, how this might morph.
I still absolutely believe in the passion and the best sense in the economic circle. I would argue they are even more important.
The world is going to be uncertain, unstable and out of our control and increasingly exhausting. So, if you don't actually have a deep reservoir of passion for what you're doing, an incredible sense of it, no matter how hard this is, I still really believe in it and I really like it, you're going to get destroyed. Because you simply won't have the endurance. Or, you'll quit when you can.
The second is the notion of, doing what you can be the best at, and I very much agree with Michael Porter, you have to define that very clearly and terms of where you have a distinctive and unique capability.
And in today's increasingly brutal world, if you don't have a distinctive and unique capability that really makes you stand out, in some way,that you can't be exchanged for some other alternative; then you're going to get beat. And I believe that's even more true today, so the irony is actually that the Hedgehog's going to be more important.
The third is, adding value that drives your economic engine. It's increasingly difficult to build an economic engine. And it changes in so many different ways and it gets ripped away by growth, or global forces, or technology changes, or whatever it happens to be. And yet, you have to be able to go back and find the real economic engine or at some point you'll perish.
So, you look at what's the challenge immediately today, you can't just have two or three circles, you can have passion and what you can be best at, but if you don't have the economics, (then it's not enough), right?
So you got to find all three, one way or another. So, those I think will be more important.
How I started thinking about, and I don't know if this is true, but I'm wondering if you went into other cultures whether you might see an addition in the Hedgehog Concept.
And this is speculative, but I wonder if what happens as you go from culture to culture that the three circles go across all of them? But, that you might have a cultural specific fourth circle, that is very relevant to that particular environment. So perhaps, it might be that you go into a given country and the fourth circle is your relationship to government. Or the fourth circle might be, relationships, right? And what you have is not only passion and "best at" and the key set of economics, but relationships.
Cause I know, my friends from India have described for me about, relationships that may go back 15 generations, which will trump economics. So in India, what you might have is, you got to have passion and "best at", and the set of economics and then relationships may really have something to do with that fourth circle.
As I stand back and think about this across different cultures, I would not be surprised to discover that there is a culture-specific, a national-specific fourth circle, wherever you might go. And then I started thinking about, well what might that fourth circle be for the United States, it's sort of invisible to us?
But, if we would actually look across multiple cultures, you would see it for the United States. And I think for the United States it's quite possibly our fundamental relationship to the ethic of our entrepreneurship as uniquely ours perhaps. And how that ties into building companies. But, I have to think about it.
But, I think that we may not see the fourth circle, because we're just looking at American companies in contrast to other American ones. Across cultures, I would not be surprised to see a variable fourth circle.
Thomas D. Gorman: That's fascinating.
Jim Collins: I don't know if that makes any sense...
Thomas D. Gorman: I think it does. I think it does. I think you may very well be on to something. I hadn't thought about it before.
Jim Collins: Well you had, because you asked me the question.
Thomas D. Gorman: That's true.
Jim Collins: I hadn't thought about it, till you asked the question.