Picture two animals: a fox and a hedgehog. Which are you?
An ancient Greek parable distinguishes between foxes, which know many small things, and hedgehogs, which know one big thing. All good-to-great leaders, it turns out, are hedgehogs. They know how to simplify a complex world into a single, organizing idea—the kind of basic principle that unifies, organizes, and guides all decisions.
That’s not to say hedgehogs are simplistic. Like great thinkers, who take complexities and boil them down into simple, yet profound, ideas (Adam Smith and the invisible hand, Darwin and evolution), leaders of good-to-great companies develop a Hedgehog Concept that is simple but that reflects penetrating insight and deep understanding.
Jim Collins: Good to Great
Wouldn’t we all want to take what we like doing, do it well and be paid to do it?
Step 1: Be Strategic: See the whole picture.
Jim Collins introduced the “hedgehog concept” in his book Good to Great. Read more by Jim Collins
Visit Bud Cadell’s Site and the Happiness in Business Hedgehog Poster
Thanks to @ungard for making the connections.
JW Blanchard says
I am not sure that I agree only the strategic architects are the able to define the good architects. I know there are many good architects who, without knowing what they think, choose to focus only on the details of the here and now. These architects are just as good as the strategic architects.
I will concur that it is important to focus on your strengths in what ever you choose to do in your career, while at the same time accepting there are weakness you should ask for help with completing. This is how I interpret Bud Cadell’s graphic, unfortunately we cannot all be strategic or we will never accomplish anything.
Thanks for your considered response.
I guess I was thinking of “Architects” as in “Practice of Architects” in this case.
When it comes to individuals I have worked with many more ‘detail focused’ individual architects than ‘strategy focused’ ones. The stereotype would be the individual buried in a pile of papers, head in the drawing board/computer, unable to step back and see the bigger picture.
If one tends to get buried in the detail, running a practice as a business venture can be difficult, especially if one wants to change it – grow, become more profitable, enter more markets etc. Then stepping back is essential (if you can find someone to help you do it).
I guess Step 2 should be:
Step 2: Don’t confuse strategy with tactics.
As in Seth Godin’s blog post today:
When tactics drown out strategy
Does it sound like you?
Thanks to @nextmoon for this one