The hedgehog concept

Years ago we read a book called “Good to Great” by Jim Collins, and in this book he talks about knowing the hedgehog concept.  It can be best diagrammed in a Venn Diargam:

the hedgehog theory venn diagram, taken from the book "Good to Great"
the hedgehog theory venn diagram, taken from the book “Good to Great”

1.  Find what you are deeply passionate about.

2. Understand what you can be best at and what you can never be best at.

3. Determine what your economic driver is… what will make you more profitable, or drive your busienss to the next place..

The intersection of these three circles is the sweet spot, known as the hedgehog… the place where everything comes together.  You are following your passion, being the best in the world at doing this, and know what drives your economic engine.  

At the heart of the hedgehog concept is your willingness to get totally honest with yourself, with the goal of making your business be successful, growing, and sustained because it is based on your strengths, your passion and your economic comfort level. 

Homework:  Take a few moments alone with a notebook, and a pen… and ask yourself tough questions:

1.  What is the passion of your heart?  What do you, above all else, love to do and become energized doing it?

2.  What are you absolutely the best at… validated by others, validated by yourself?

3.  What do you know you can never achieve?  Be realistic here… what is beyond your capacities or exposure.  I can say i am good at driving, but i will never drive a formula one race car – i have no access to it, and no ability to know what to do if i get there.

Assuming you have answered the first questions, and have a business, what can you do to mke your business more profitable?  reduce cost? increase income? increase profit?

Write the answers down, keep the notebook handy, and revisit these questions as ideas come up.  Write them down.  

By documenting, and processing these thoughts you will begin to see where that intersection of the three ideas meet… and where you need to be.


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