Are you a Road Runner or Wiley Coyote?
Many of us came across the Hedgehog Concept in Jim Collins’ “Good to Great.”
I had no idea what a hedgehog was.
Collins was talking about a porcupine with quills.
The Mind Tools team in their monthly newsletter reminded me of this.
They urged me to be a hedgehog in business and embrace simplicity.
If you could choose to be a fox or a hedgehog, which would you rather be?
Many people would choose to be a fox. They are beautiful, sleek and cunning.
Hedgehogs are small, prickly creatures. Slow, quiet and plodding.
What do foxes and hedgehogs have to do with your success?
In short, everything.
It’s about the art of simplicity and creating a clear focus for yourself.
What the Greeks knew
The Hedgehog Concept is based on an ancient Greek parable:
“The fox knows many things. The hedgehog knows one big thing.”
In the parable, the fox uses many strategies to catch the hedgehog.
It sneaks, pounces, races and plays dead. Yet every time it loses, its tender nose pricked by spines.
The fox never learns that the hedgehog knows how to do one big thing perfectly: defend itself.
Think Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner.
Foxes pursue many goals and interests at the same time. Their thinking is scattered.
Hedgehogs simplify their goals and go after a single vision they can achieve.
Jim Collins wrote that we are more likely succeed if we identify the one thing that we do best.
In newspapers we need to do two things well: Attract readers and aid advertisers.
It’s just that simple – and just that challenging.
What you can do
1. Identify what you and your people are passionate about and where they excel.
Ask, where are we the best at generating revenue and growing our bottom line?
2. Identify from where most of your revenue comes.
Unfortunately, it’s not from subscribers
It comes from niche businesses who want to sell to your subscribers.
Dig in and find out what your profit is per advertiser and per subscriber.
What is your profit per employee and profit per zip code.
For example, if your readership is older, businesses who cater to them may be your best advertisers.
Don’t waste sales time trying to sell those who cater to young singles.
Your Leadership Challenge
1. What are my people best at delivering and feel most passionate about?
2. Where are our greatest revenue building and cost-cutting opportunities?
3. How can we reach, close and retain them with minimum loss of time and cost?
The above is in “Lead People, Manage Things: Volume 1.” Would you like to order autographed copies of the book for your people as a discussion guide on leadership this year? For special bulk order rates, email me at JerryBellune@yahoo.com
Jerry Bellune and his family own and operate online and print book, magazine, newspaper and newsletter publishing companies in South Carolina.