Aug. 23, 2022

The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept

I first read Good to Great by Jim Collins over 10 years ago. I recently revised it for a presentation I will be giving to group of entrepreneurs that are looking to Level Up their businesses and professional skills. The book is full of examples of companies that have moved from good to great by way of strong leadership. He outlines the critical components needed to propel a company forward and a big part of it revolves around what he calls the "Hedgehog Concept."


A simple, crystalline concept that flows from deep understanding about the intersection of three circles: 1) what you are deeply passionate about, 2) what you can be the best in the world at, and 3) what best drives your economic or resource engine. Transformations from good to great come about by a series of good decisions made consistently with a Hedgehog Concept, supremely well executed, accumulating one upon another, over a long period of time.


In his famous essay“The Hedgehog and the Fox,” Isaiah Berlin divided the world into hedgehogs and foxes, based upon an ancient Greek parable: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” 


It comes down to a matter of simplicity, clarity and focus. Simple is hard but the power it delivers can transform a team and a business.  As a leader it is your job to make sure that the vision, mission, and message that you deliver to your team, and to the outside world, is simple, concise and can be easily understood.


Ask yourself this: Are you a Hedgehog or a Fox?