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The Hedgehog Model is a corporate leadership concept outlined in Jim Collins’ 2001 book called Good to Great. The idea stems from an ancient Greek poem in which a cunning fox tries and continually fails to eat a hedgehog who is always able to escape at the last moment by rolling into a ball. Collins describes how companies who are more like the hedgehog are more likely to succeed, because they focus on one thing and do that one thing well.
Description of Hedgehog Model
The Hedgehog Model asserts that the best strategists and corporate leaders are successful because they have maximized their company’s unique hedgehog concept. Collins makes a crucial distinction in the strategy, by clarifying that the Hedgehog Concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, or a plan to be the best. Rather, it is an understanding of what you can be the best at. There are three separate assessments that need to be completed in determining a company’s Hedgehog Strategy, and each is represented by a circle. Where these circles overlap is the Hedgehog Strategy itself.
- What are you deeply passionate about? Great companies focus on what ignites their passion. Ultimately this will keep leadership engaged and inspired.
- What can you be the best in the world at? And equally important is the question, “What can we not be the best in the world at?” If you cannot be the best in the world at your core business, then your core business cannot form the basis of your Hedgehog Concept. It is important to pursue this assessment with an open mind, as what you can be the best at might not even be an area in which you currently conduct business.
- What drives your economic engine? This assessment concerns the identification of the relevant profit structure and where it is rooted.
A corporation’s “one big thing” can be found in the intersection of these three assessments. Business leaders who follow the results of this concept are successful at pursuing that one thing and doing it well, rather than continually searching around for new strategies and solutions.
Praxie's Online Hedgehog Model Tools & Templates
Teams can use the new online Hedgehog Model template from Praxie to provide insights, data and additional support for their strategy efforts. The idea stems from an ancient Greek poem in which a cunning fox tries and continually fails to eat a hedgehog who is always able to escape at the last moment by rolling into a ball. Collins describes how companies who are more like the hedgehog are more likely to succeed, because they focus on one thing and do that one thing well. Get started with our Hedgehog Model template.
How to use it:
- Complete answers to the three questions in the model.
- Based on your answers, identify your “one big thing” to focus on based on the intersection of your three responses.
- Create an action plan for completing the Hedgehog template, including obtaining input from key stakeholders on the three questions and the Hedgehog statement.
Unlike most traditional strategy techniques, Praxie’s online Hedgehog Model tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.