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Simplicity as a formula for success

What makes companies take their projects to a level beyond what is right? There are many companies that have positive, even very good, income statements. But how many companies have achieved sustainable and prolonged growth over time and have brought their business models to excellence? What elements do they have in common? 

These questions were asked by Jim Collins over twenty years ago and, although market circumstances have changed, many of the answers are entirely valid today. When we ask ourselves why certain companies achieve structured, solidly based, long-term growth, we cannot only attribute it to factors such as luck or strategy, as these are also present in most companies. 

Collins believed that in the simplicity of strategic formulation observed in many of the companies he could find a few common factors that would materialise the success achieved over time. In fact, Collins put it through the concept of the hedgehog, an animal that embodies the simplicity of a complex world in a single thought or vision, as opposed to the fox, a scattered animal that has many objectives and is unable to achieve this simplicity.  

The concept of the hedgehog is the result of the intersection of three circles: 



  1. What can you be the best in the world at? 

Companies must look for those activities or core competences that generate a sufficiently attractive economic strength to be better than others. Only by seeking excellence in day-to-day operations can companies achieve it. It is also important to know what companies the best is not at. 

  1. What is our engine of economic growth?

What do companies make money from, and what activities enable them to achieve economic progress? It will be key to be aware of the most productive activities for the company. 

  1. What is our true passion?

This question is fundamental to understanding the success of many businesses. What makes thousands of businesses get up every day and get on with their work? What motivates them? Is it the fact of making money? I don't think so. There must be a purpose, a cause that goes beyond economic motivation. 

What do we find in the current context? Many companies are looking for secret formulas, new paths, new models, new opportunities to survive and adapt to the new paradigm. But let us not forget that despite the complexity of the situation in which we find ourselves, only those companies that can unify their value proposition from a simple and clear vision will be able to successfully manage current business, always focusing on exploring future business.