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Familiarity with the concept of hedgehog in strategy

Strategy in life

If you could choose between being a fox or a hedgehog, which one would you prefer? Many people would rather be a fox than a hedgehog.

Familiarity with the concept of hedgehog in strategy.

The fox has a more beautiful appearance and is an attractive and shrewd creature. Hedgehogs are small, razor-sharp creatures that, on the contrary, are calm and quiet.

You may be wondering what foxes and hedgehogs have to do with the success of your organization ??! It must be said that they are completely related to this issue. In this article, we will take a look at the concept of hedgehog and see why we should be a hedgehog in our business!

About the model.

The concept of the hedgehog is based on an ancient Greek allegory. The parable says that “the fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows only one thing but one very important thing!”

The allegory points out that the fox uses a variety of strategies to hunt a hedgehog; He ambushes, attacks, chases hedgehogs, kills himself, does many things to grab the hedgehog, but each time he fails. The fox never realizes that the hedgehog knows one thing well: self-defense.

A philosopher named Isaiah Berlin used this allegory in his 1953 article entitled Hedgehog and Fox to interpret the modern world. Berlin believes that humans are divided into two groups: foxes and hedgehogs.

In his article, he says that foxes are intelligent creatures that pursue many interests and goals at the same time. Their thinking is scattered and decentralized, and they are limited in their long-term achievements.

But hedgehogs are calm and steady, and people usually ignore them because they are quiet, simple, and unassuming. But unlike foxes, hedgehogs are able to simplify the world and just an overall perspective, focusing not. This is the principle behind all their work, and it helps them to overcome inequalities and potential dangers.

Jim Collins came up with the idea in his 2001 book Good to Great. According to Collins, organizations are more likely to succeed if they focus on one thing. By doing so, they can beat their competitors and excel in their businesses.


Organizations can come up with the concept of a hedgehog in their organization with three separate evaluation models. First, identify and understand what the people in the organization are really excited about and get the enthusiasm they need.

Second, identify the tasks and tasks that make them perform better than others. Third, determine in which cases they have a good ability to generate revenue. The right way to choose a route is where the answers to these questions are shared, and this situation is a fulcrum for strategy development. This point is shown in the figure below.

When an organization succeeds in recognizing the concept of the hedgehog within itself, its leaders must devote all their energy and resources to pursuing what is best for them. Collins says that when things get tough, growth and survival will be for an organization that focuses on what works best instead of looking for alternative strategies.

Model implementation.

We will now look in more detail at these three circles and look at how you can implement this concept in your organization.

Step 1: Identify and understand your passions: Think about what excites you at work. What makes you wake up early in the morning and stay up late at night with everyone back home?

What are the people in your organization excited about? What inspires them to achieve the goal of the organization? What values ​​and motivations are you looking for when you take on the responsibility of a new team?

Then look at your organization’s mission statements and vision document. What are the core values ​​of the organization and how do people adhere to these values?

Step 2: Identify and understand what you are best at doing:

At this stage, the goal is to identify and understand what your organization is doing better than other companies. Understanding what your organization can (in the future) be best at will be crucial. If you can not be the best in your field in any field, you can not form a hedgehog concept and benefit from it.

You also need to know what you can never do best. When examining your weaknesses, be honest with yourself and remember that you are not the best in a particular area, which is natural and understandable.

Use SWOT analysis to find out what your organization’s core talent is. These tools will show you what you are doing well right now and in what areas you can be the best.

Step 3: Identify your economic engine (ways to earn the most money).

To have a sustainable economic engine, your organization must be fully aware of how it can achieve profitability and sustainable cash flow. This understanding must be expressed on a specific and individual economic scale in order to have the greatest and most lasting impact on the long-term success of the organization.

For example, in the 1970s, the vision of an American chain store called Walgreens was to become the world’s best-selling drug retailer (in terms of providing convenient services and facilities for the convenience of customers).

The organization believed that it could achieve this vision and, through this vision and aspiration, achieve the necessary passion to move forward and progress. To measure the progress of this strategy, the company shifted its focus from calculating profit per store to profit per customer, as it found that this was more in line with the organization’s overall goals and vision.


Focusing on providing facilities to customers, Walgreen opened many new stores, which meant increasing the number of customers and visitors and bringing more profit to the company as a whole. Instead of focusing on the profitability of each store, which was achieved by reducing the number of stores, the company increased the number of stores to achieve success by implementing the concept it intended (ie, increasing customer service).

Step 4: Search to find the overlap points of the previous three steps.

Look at the three circles of the model and look at where they overlap. Where these three circles intersect, you can find the concept of your hedgehog: the main vision that drives your organization’s strategy.

For example, suppose people in your organization have a strong passion for innovation and helping the vulnerable. You recognize that you have the ability to produce and supply cost-effective water treatment systems and water containers better than any other company. You have a great charitable network and you have experience selling in large volumes.

So a possible hedgehog concept for you could be to produce and supply a portable water treatment system that people in poor or developing countries can use to treat river water. You can sell this product in large numbers to charities.

Do not worry if the concept of your hedgehog is not entirely clear. You may need to do more analysis to look at the different combinations to find your original perspective to get the best results.

Step 5: Review and review the strategy.

Once you have found the best area of ​​overlap between the circles, take a look at your existing strategy. Based on what you have just learned, will your organization benefit from developing a modified strategy?

You also need to keep your people informed about the new strategy. Explain to them what the concept of the hedgehog is and why it is important for an organization to adapt its strategy to something that it is passionate about and has economic talent and capabilities in that area. This new strategy, in line with the above, will make you focus on your team members, salespeople, and customers in the long run.

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