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Home » Leadership, Talent

From Good to Great

Submitted by on Wednesday, 16 June 2010No Comment

It is now eight years since Jim Collins penned the results of his research into what causes ‘mediocre’ companies to make the leap from Good to Great.

Taking over five years to complete, the research project behind Good to Great is perhaps one of the most in-depth ever conducted in business. It has profound implications for engagement at work and of course leadership.

One of the most interesting findings of the study is that the key difference between ‘Great’ companies and their ‘Good’ counterparts lay in ‘intangible’ factors – areas such as ‘talent’, ‘leadership’ and ‘discipline’: areas that companies in Asia typically struggle with.

How Good to Great relates to you

The conclusions drawn are not only relevant to companies, but can also be used by people in their careers. Take the Hedgehog Concept, for example.


‘Great’ organisations are those able to engage their employees ‘bottom up’, with a keen awareness of their talents and natural abilities:


Whether someone is the ‘right person’ has more to do with character traits and innate capabilities than with specific knowledge, background or skills.

(First Who, then What)


Working with his research group of over a thousand multinational companies, Jim Collins discovered that the ‘Great’ companies attached huge significance to an individual’s natural abilities (as opposed, say, to the unnatural demands and expectations many companies make, for example through competencies).

Leadership Training Thailand

On an individual level, this makes sense. To be effective, it’s essential for us to be clear on:

  • What we are most deeply passionate about
  • What we can be best in the world at
  • What drives (or can drive) our economic engine

Where these three intercept, lies our ‘Hedgehog Concept’.

Discovering your ‘Hedgehog Concept’

Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation


There are many ways (including by experience!) that you can discover your ‘Hedgehog Concept’. But by far the quickest, and arguably the most effective way, is through the world’s ‘gold standard’ talent assessment: the Highlands Ability Battery.

The Highlands Ability Battery helps you identify your talents (natural abilities) objectively through a ‘battery’ of worksamples. Over 90 years of research by the Johnson O’Connor Institute using MRI machines have shown these to link to the ‘hardwired’ synaptic connections that identify our talents and the Hedgehog factors such as ‘what we can be best in the world at’ and ‘what we might be deeply passionate about’.

In other words, the Highlands Ability Battery helps us identify our strengths – the number one factor, as discovered by huge surveys incorporating hundreds of thousands of employees in different companies and countries, that drives our engagement at work.

Good to Great starts with you!

If you would like to find out more about the Highlands Ability Battery, and how it can help you make the leap, feel free to contact us here!


*Talent Technologies :: Management Training Programmes in Thailand and South-East Asia

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