The Hedgehog Concept

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*The Hedgehog Concept*

The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable that states, “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.”

In the parable, the fox uses many strategies to try to catch the hedgehog. It sneaks, pounces, races, and plays dead. And yet, every time, it walks away defeated, its tender nose pricked by spines.

The fox never learns that the hedgehog knows how to do one big thing perfectly: defend itself.

Philosopher Isaiah Berlin took this parable and applied it to the modern world in his 1953 essay, “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” Berlin divided people into two groups: foxes and hedgehogs.

He argued that the foxes pursue many goals and interests at the same time. As a result, their thinking is scattered and unfocused, and ultimately they achieve very little.

Hedgehogs, however, simplify the world and focus on a single, overarching vision, which they then achieve.

Business researcher and consultant, Jim Collins, developed the idea in his classic 2001 book, “Good to Great.”

Collins argued that organizations will more likely succeed if they can identify the one thing that they do best – their “Hedgehog Concept.”

When an organization has identified its Hedgehog Concept, its leaders should devote all of their energy and resources to pursuing it.

Collins argues that when the going gets tough, it’s the organizations that focus on what they’re good at that survive and thrive.

Various studies have also shown that when we focus on developing our strengths, we grow faster than when trying to improve our weaknesses.

Plus, people who use their strengths are happier, less stressed, and more confident.

This too shall pass, focus on your strengths and stay blessed forever.