By Power Hour – Mentor
The hedgehog concept is based upon an ancient Greek parable where the fox knows many things, but is scattered and inconsistent and therefore unsuccessful (at least in terms of catching the hedgehog). In contrast, the hedgehog knows only one big thing but this is enough to make the hedgehog focused, consistent and successful.
When applying the hedgehog concept in business, we see that people should focus on their strengths. Society teaches us to focus on our weaknesses and to try and improve in those areas. However, putting effort in areas of weaknesses will only make a person average. To be truly great, a person should focus on doing one thing great rather than doing 100 things mediocre. It has been said that a business professional should decide what is the greatest contribution he can make to his company and then do that one thing all day long and delegate the rest.
A similar principle should be applied when hiring an employee. In order to hire the right person for the right position, it is recommended that you use personality profiles at the interview stage. Someone may interview great, but if the job is not the right fit, they will not excel. Again, they should do the few tasks that they are great at and then redistribute the rest.
The hedgehog concept reminds us that life is about balance. We can’t do everything great. By narrowing in on our strength, we can set bigger goals and deadlines and reach greatness.
The books, Good to Great and Built to Last, by Jim Collins explain the hedgehog concept in depth.