What is the Hedgehog Concept? - Peter Boolkah

This concept is a business strategy framework developed by Jim Collins, the author of the book “Good to Great.” It is based on three key factors: pursuing your passion, focusing on your core strengths, and creating something unique. Businesses can set themselves up for long-term success and growth by thinking strategically about these three factors. Whether you are an entrepreneur looking to start your own company or a manager working within an established organization, understanding this concept can help you achieve greater success in your field.

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How is the Hedgehog Concept Used?

The Hedgehog Concept is a framework that can be used to make strategic decisions. It was introduced in the 1990s by Jim Collins, who wrote about it in his book “Good to Great.” The concept involves identifying and focusing on the one thing you do best (your “hedgehog concept”) while avoiding things that aren’t important or outside your area of expertise. Doing this lets you focus your energy on what’s most important. This makes it easier for you to achieve your business goals and see success over time.

This concept can be used in many ways when making strategic decisions for your business. For example, using the concept might help you identify new product ideas that align well with your strengths and focus on those ideas. Additionally, when considering new business opportunities, you can use the concept to evaluate whether or not it’s a good fit for your company. By doing this, you’ll be able to make decisions that align with what you know will work best for your business. Overall, using the Hedgehog Concept can help you achieve success by allowing you to focus on what matters most.

There are many benefits to using this framework when making strategic decisions for your business. Using the concept can help you focus on what’s most important to success over time. Additionally, it can help you identify new opportunities that align well with your strengths and avoid things that aren’t a good fit for your company. By following these best practices when making decisions, you’re more likely to see success in the long run—considering ways to improve your business strategy and decision-making process, consider using the Hedgehog Concept as a framework. This will help you make better decisions and set yourself up for success!​

Origins of the Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept is a greek parable that dates back to ancient Greece. According to this concept, the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one important truth – that it must protect itself and stay close to its core values to be successful. This idea has been applied across various fields, from business and marketing to politics and philosophy. Whether you are starting your own business or trying to succeed in a particular area, understanding the principles of the Hedgehog Concept can help you stay focused and achieve your goals.

The Three Circles of the Hedgehog Concept

The Three Circles of the Hedgehog Concept comprise a strategic framework that has helped businesses become successful by focusing their energy and resources on what they do best. The three circles are Core Competency, the intersection of self-relevance and cost-efficiency, which is what a company does best. Industry Attractiveness, which is the demand for a company’s products within its industry, and Strategic Execution Capability, which is a company’s ability to execute. The Three Circles has been used by businesses such as Amazon, Starbucks and Google, which all started as small businesses and, over the years, have become global brands.

Hedgehog concept - Peter Boolkah

1. What are you deeply passionate about?

As it turns out, finding your passion is vital to finding your hedgehog concept. When you’re passionate about something, it usually means that you possess a deep interest in that subject and a strong desire to learn more about it. This passion becomes a driving force and motivates you to explore the subject in greater depth, which then helps you identify the qualities and skills you need to succeed in that area.

2. What can you be the best in the world at?

When asked about the best way to achieve success, many people might say that you need to work hard, work smart, and stay focused on achieving a goal. But for those who understand the hedgehog concept, the answer is much more straightforward: find one thing you can be the best in the world. The term hedgehog concept refers to the idea that, just as hedgehogs have a few spines to mask their soft bodies, you should have a few strengths to mask your weaknesses. This means focusing on one area that matters to you, finding every way possible to do it well, and being the best in the world. Working towards this goal will help you find a fulfilling career and a source of wealth.

Becoming the best in the world at one thing is easier said than done. You can choose from any area to focus on, from running a business or creating art to helping others using your expertise. Start by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. Think about what you enjoy doing and what you are good at. What are your areas of expertise? What do people come to you for help with? Consider leveraging your unique skill set to achieve optimal success, and then work on constantly improving or expanding that area.

3. What drives your economic engine?

The economic engine is the driving force behind economic growth and prosperity. It can take many forms, depending on the industry or sector in which it operates. For example, innovation and new product development may drive the technological industry’s economic engine. At the same time, one in the financial sector may be powered primarily by investment activity and speculation.

At its core, an economic engine is fueled by factors contributing to economic growth and development. These include natural resources, labour, innovation, and infrastructure. For an economic engine to be successful over the long term, it must also respond quickly to changes in market conditions, be adaptable and flexible to remain competitive, and generate economic value for businesses and consumers alike.

There is no one “right” economic engine that will work for every industry or sector. As such, it is essential for businesses to carefully assess the factors that drive economic growth in their particular market to identify the best economic engine strategy for their organization. By doing so, they can help ensure that their economic engine remains strong and continues to drive economic prosperity for years to come.

Applying the Hedgehog Concept

Applying the Hedgehog Concept is essential to create a successful product or service. This involves evaluating your target audience, identifying your area of expertise, and creating products that combine these elements effectively. It can be difficult to know where to start when you’re just starting with a new product, but following the steps of the Hedgehog Concept will ensure that you’re on the right track.

The first step in applying the Hedgehog Concept is evaluating your target audience. To create an effective product, it’s crucial to understand who you are creating it for clarity and their needs. This can involve market research and exploring your competitors to determine what products are already out there and who is using them. Once you have a better idea of who you’re creating the product for, you can begin identifying your area of expertise.

The second step in applying the Hedgehog Concept involves identifying your area of expertise. Your area of expertise will be the crucial element of your product and will make it stand out from the competition. This could be a specific skill or knowledge set that you have, such as programming or data analysis, or it could be a particular approach to solving problems. It’s essential to think carefully about what makes your product unique and how best to translate it into your product.

The final step in applying the Hedgehog Concept is creating products that combine your target audience with your area of expertise in an effective way. Once you’ve identified these two key elements, it’s time to put them together so that you can create a product that meets your customer’s needs and provides value to them. This may involve changing your original idea based on what you’ve learned during the previous steps or taking a different approach than you originally planned. Whatever your final product turns out, it must incorporate both elements to be successful.

By following the steps of the Hedgehog Concept, you can create a product that stands out from the competition and provides value to your target audience. Whether you’re just starting with a new project or looking to improve an existing one, applying this concept will help ensure that you are on the right track.

Finding your Hedgehog Concept

Finding your Hedgehog Concept is an essential part of defining your business strategy. When you know your HgC, you’ll be able to focus on what truly matters in the long run and avoid wasting time working on things that could hurt your company instead of helping it grow. This can be a difficult task, but by following these steps, you’ll be able to identify your HgC in no time!

One of the first things you’ll want to do is research your strengths and weaknesses. A clear understanding of where you currently stand will help you figure out what areas to improve and give you insight into things that could potentially set your company apart from the competition. To do this, ask yourself these questions:

  • What unique skills do you have that your competitors don’t?
  • What differentiates your product or service from those of your competitors?
  • Are there any weaknesses you need to work on in terms of sales or marketing techniques or the product itself?

After you’ve assessed your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to focus on opportunities. You need to figure out how to make the most of your current situation by identifying trends or market changes that could positively affect your business. To do this, consider these questions:

  • How are customers responding to your product or service?
  • How is the industry changing, and what impact could that have on your business?
  • Are there any new opportunities in terms of partnerships, trends, or market changes that you can take advantage of?

Once you’ve evaluated your strengths and weaknesses and identified possible opportunities, it’s time to consider threats. Take a look at what your competitors are doing and consider what challenges they could pose to you if you don’t take the proper steps now. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How can your competitors hurt your business?
  • What risks could threaten you in the future?
  • What challenges could you face regarding your industry, market changes, or competition?

By answering these questions, you’ll get a clear picture of what makes your business unique and how to capitalize on that. Once you’ve identified your Hedgehog Concept, the intersection between what you’re best at (your strengths), what you love doing (your passions), and what your customers want or need (your opportunities), you’ll be able to focus on the areas that truly matter and avoid getting caught up in things that could hurt your business instead of helping it grow.

Steps to apply Hedgehog concept - Peter Boolkah

5 Steps to Applying the Hedgehog Concept

1. Find Your Passion

You need to find your passion if you’re looking to build a better career or start your own business. This is an essential first step in achieving success. After all, if you don’t have a burning desire for what you do each day, it will be difficult to succeed when times get tough. Here are some tips for finding your passion.

1. Reflect on your past interests and achievements. Think back to your childhood, or even just a few years ago, when you had free time for hobbies and other passions. What about those activities made them fun for you? Your passion might be easy for you to do or could prove to be challenging uniquely.

2. Ask your friends and family members what they see as your strengths. Perhaps you’re a natural leader or have a particular skill that others compliment you on often. Think about times when you’ve helped someone, either in your personal life or at work, and consider whether those actions gave you satisfaction and enjoyment.

3. Consider your current lifestyle and schedule. Many people find a passion while pursuing another goal, like starting a business or finishing school. Look over your calendar and try to determine where you have time for an activity outside of the ordinary routine you follow each day.

4. Use self-assessment tools if you need help. Many personalities and career tests available online can help you analyze your skills, interests, and values. Remember that these assessments aren’t perfect, and it’s ultimately up to you to decide what you want to do with your life.

5. Try out new activities if necessary. Sometimes the best way to find our passion is to try new things and see what interests us. This could mean taking a class in something you’ve always been curious about or signing up for an exercise program at the gym.

No matter your passion, pursuing it wholeheartedly and giving it your best effort is essential. Whether you’re looking to start a business or land a better job, your passion will help you succeed in the long run.

2. Understand What You Do Best

If you’re struggling with what your company or business is good at, there’s a simple way to figure it out. The first step is understanding and determining your core value proposition.

Developing the Hedgehog Concept starts with identifying and understanding what you’re great at and what you can be the best in the world. This is easier said than done, but it’s not impossible if you put some thought and research into answering these questions:

What are your business and product offerings? What are your core competencies — what do you do better than anyone else in the industry or market?

What needs or problems are you solving? What do your customers need and value the most?

Once you narrow down exactly what you’re good at, this will give you a better idea of how to turn that knowledge into growth opportunities. You can then begin developing strategies to take advantage of the areas where you excel, either by expanding to new markets or developing new products that capitalize on what you already do well.

3. Discover Your Economic Engine

If you’re struggling to get your business off the ground, it may be because you haven’t yet discovered your “economic engine.” An economic engine drives your business forward, much like a car needs an engine to function correctly. It can be anything from providing low-cost goods and services to your target audience to offering one-of-a-kind products and services in high demand. The unique value proposition makes your business stand out from the crowd. Your economic engine is the driving force behind your business—so if you haven’t yet figured it out, you need to do some research to discover what it is. Here are a few tips for finding your economic engine:

  • Define your target market. To find out what makes your business tick, you first need to know whom you’re trying to serve and why. Once you have that information down, you can figure out how best to reach them and what value you can provide them.
  • Study your competitors. Once you have a good idea of your target market, you should start looking into what products and services they’re interested in. How are those products and services being marketed? What differentiates them from the competition? Studying your competitors can help you determine what aspects of your business are worth emphasizing and which ones aren’t.
  • Identify what makes you unique. There is no “one size fits all” approach when running a business. Every company has a unique value proposition that sets it apart from the competition, whether it’s the way you do business or the quality of your products and services. Once you know how your business differs, you can focus on that to truly impact your industry.
  • Focus on what matters most. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in all the details of running a business—but it’s important to remember that your economic engine is what matters. If you get too focused on the little stuff, you can quickly lose track of what’s truly important to your business and its success.

By identifying your economic engine and focusing on it, you can ensure your business stays successful for years.

4. Look for the Overlap

In today’s market, it can be difficult for businesses to stand out from their competitors. With so many people trying to reach the same audience and grab their attention, you must know who your customers are and what they want.

To find the overlap between what you do and what your customers need, follow these steps:

1. Look for the overlap between your core business and customer needs – This is usually pretty easy to figure out because it’s right there in front of you. For example, let’s say you’re a real estate agent, and your typical customer is looking to buy or sell a house. That would be your core business. The overlapping needs of these customers could include finding the right neighbourhood, searching for homes in their price range, or getting help with financing negotiations.

2. Look for the overlap between what your competitors are doing and what your customers want. In most markets, you’ll find that there are several competing businesses, all trying to reach the same audience. That means it’s likely that some of their things overlap with your customers’ needs or wants. A great way to spot this is by paying attention to customer reviews or comments on social media. For example, if a customer mentions that they struggled to find property listings in their area or had trouble getting financing from an outside party, you could highlight these areas as your competitive edge.

3. Identify how you’re different by carving out your niche – Even though there may be some overlap with what your competitors are doing, you need to focus on what makes your business unique. In the real estate example, this may mean being an expert in a particular neighbourhood, having access to exclusive listings, or having more experience in financing negotiations than other agencies.

When you know your customers and what they want, creating a marketing strategy to help you stand out in the crowd becomes much easier. By finding the overlap between what you do and what your customers need, you can build a business that will thrive in today’s competitive market.

5. Review and Communicate Your Strategy

Once you’ve developed a Hedgehog Concept for your business, you’ll want to communicate it to others. This can be done in various ways, depending on your audience and the message you want to get across. Here are some tips to help you review and communicate your strategy:

1. Get feedback from others – Get feedback on your strategy and any changes you may make. Talk with employees and other stakeholders in your business, and ask them what they think of the concept and how it might work for them.

2. Present your strategy to management – Work with upper-level management to present your strategy. Discuss the reasons behind it and how it can be implemented in a way that works best for everyone involved, as well as any potential risks or areas of concern that could arise.

3. Share your concept with clients – Inform them about your strategy and ask them for their thoughts. They may have input and ideas you hadn’t thought of, and overall feedback can help improve your strategy.

4. Communicate the goals for your strategy – Make sure everyone knows your ultimate business goals and talk about how you will implement the Hedgehog Concept to achieve them. This can include setting specific objectives or milestones to keep track of progress and developing any processes or systems for success.

5. Evaluate your strategy over time – Once you’ve implemented the Hedgehog Concept, you’ll want to monitor its progress and evaluate if it is working as expected. This can include meeting regularly with employees and clients to discuss how things are going, reviewing any performance data, and making adjustments as necessary.

By following these tips, you can communicate your Hedgehog Concept more effectively and increase the chances of success for your business.

Final Thoughts

Creating your Hedgehog Concept is no easy task, but any high-growth business must undertake it. Start trying to work it out yourself, but if you are struggling, as many do, reach out to a professional who can facilitate a session to help you discover your HgC.


What do you mean by the hedgehog concept?

The hedgehog concept is a business strategy that involves focusing on one key area of your business and doing it well. To implement a hedgehog concept, you must first identify your core competency or competitive advantage and then develop a strategy for using this strength to your advantage.

There are several different ways to implement a hedgehog concept. First, you can create your product or service by identifying an unmet need in the market and developing a solution for it. For example, if you notice that there aren’t many companies offering personalized nutritional plans, you could start your nutrition consulting business to meet this need.

Second, you can strengthen your existing products or services by identifying your core competency and finding ways to use it to improve the quality of what you already offer. For example, if you are a software company specialising in developing data analysis programs, one way to utilize your hedgehog concept would be to focus on improving the speed and accuracy of these programs.

Overall, a hedgehog concept is a powerful way to gain a competitive edge in the market and improve your bottom line. You can develop effective and sustainable strategies over time by focusing on what you do best and using it to your advantage.

How is the hedgehog concept different for a nonprofit organization?

A nonprofit organization is different from a for-profit organization in that it is focused on achieving social good rather than generating profits. This can be accomplished through various approaches, such as fundraising or providing services to the community. The hedgehog concept is one framework that can help nonprofit organizations achieve their goals by focusing on what they are best at and what they can most likely achieve. By clearly understanding their core mission and strategy, organizations can make effective decisions that will benefit the community they serve while also contributing to society’s overall well-being.

As nonprofit organizations increasingly focus on making a social impact, they need to understand how they can best utilize their resources to maximize their impact. The hedgehog concept is one framework that can help organizations achieve this goal by identifying their core mission and applying it to the decisions they make. This involves focusing on what customers value most, what the organization does best and what opportunities exist for achieving success in these areas.

By clearly understanding how they can best serve their customers and achieve their core mission, organizations can make strategic decisions that will allow them to succeed while also contributing to overall social progress. Ultimately, this framework can help nonprofit organizations create more positive change in the world by aligning their actions with the interests of those they serve.

What is the one big thing the hedgehog knows?

The hedgehog knows something fundamental about life – it knows that the best way to live is by focusing on one big thing and keeping your eye on the prize. This may sound simple, but it can be pretty challenging to put into practice.

Many people try to do too many things at once or have a long list of goals that seem impossible to achieve. However, if you take a step back and think about your one big thing – the one goal that is most important to you and that you want to focus on achieving above everything else – then you can more easily prioritize your time and work towards accomplishing it.

This is not to say that you should ignore everything else and focus only on your big thing, but instead that you should make it a priority in your life. By setting aside time to pursue your goal, you can progress towards achieving it – and once this happens, the feeling of accomplishment will be hugely rewarding!

So, if you’re struggling with feeling overwhelmed by everything you have to do, take a step back and figure out your one big thing. Then, make it a priority and start working towards achieving it.

How is the hedgehog concept illustrated in great companies?

One critical trait that differentiates great companies from their competitors is their ability to apply the hedgehog concept. This concept, popularized by business strategist and author Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, refers to a three-pronged approach to achieving success through focus, simplicity, and sustainability.

At its core, the hedgehog concept is based on a set of fundamental questions that every organization should ask itself to determine its greatest strengths and most viable avenues for growth. These questions revolve around three basic concepts: what you can be best at, what drives your economic engine, and what you are deeply passionate about. By focusing on these areas, companies can achieve their goals more effectively and continue to be successful over the long term.

One of the best ways to illustrate this concept is through examples from companies that have implemented it successfully. For example, Southwest Airlines is known for its commitment to customer service and affordable fares, which has helped it become one of the US’s largest and most profitable airlines. Similarly, Apple is renowned for its innovative products and user-friendly interfaces, allowing it to expand from a niche computer manufacturer into one of the most profitable companies in the world.

The hedgehog concept provides a valuable framework for businesses seeking sustained growth and success. By focusing on the three key areas outlined above, companies can set themselves apart from their competitors and continue to thrive in the long term.

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