The Living Stones Church staff is reading through Jim Collin’s Good to Great. It is a fantastic book that I chose based on the influence of so many other churches reading and working through its concepts. This past week we discussed the chapter that deals with what Collins refers to as a “Hedgehog Concept.” He contrasts a fox (who knows a lot/or does a lot of different things) and a Hedgehog (who knows and does one thing really really well). As they analyzed companies who went from “good” to “great” (based on stock market value) one of the things they noted was that every great company followed the Hedgehog concept of singular focus in one thing. Collins offers questions in the form of ”three circles” (link to greater explanation) as a prism to evaluate and discern an organization’s hedgehog concept (but I found this concept helpful with life in general):
- What can you be the best at in the world? (not that you are currently that best at it, but that you have the potential to be the best).
- What is driving your economic engine? (harder to quantify for churches, but still very relevant).
- What are you most passionate about?
Out of that begins the long process of determining what it is that “we do.” Rather than 100 good ministries and programs that we could adopt as a church, we focus on the one thing that we do with greatness. And out of that comes growth.
What was interesting was his assessment that companies obsessed with growth frequently failed to achieve it. Growth was the by-product of doing what you do out of the Hedgehog concept. Very important for churches to remember. Growth is very important, but it isn’t the focus. It is the by-product of something else!
I found this morning another very interesting article on the idea of a lot of activities vs. true outcomes (what a temptation for churches) is not the same thing. Check it out here. Click Here.