What kind of person or company are you? A fox or a hedgehog?

In the past I’ve already blogged about the “Fox or Hedgehog” story. Today I want to do it once again.. Simply because there are still a lot of people who aren’t familiar with the story yet.

A fox and a hedgehog were strolling through a country path. Periodically, they were threatened by hungry wolves. The fox —being blessed with smarts, speed and agility — would lead packs of wolves on a wild chase through the fields, up and down trees, and over hill and dale. Eventually the fox would return to the path, breathless but having lost the wolves, and continue walking. The hedgehog, being endowed with a coat of spikes, simply hunkered down on its haunches when menaced by the wolves and fended them off without moving. When they gave up, he would return to his stroll unperturbed.

The Fox

  • Complex Thinkers, who account for a variety of circumstances & experiences
  • More cautious, centrist, likely to adjust their views, pragmatic, prone to self-doubt, inclined to see complexity & nuances

The Hedgehoge

  • Keen ability to focus & drive a single path
  • Focused world view, ideological leaning & strong convictions

So what is the best type? Like with every consultancy answer… It depends!

Hedgehogs have the benefit of focus and ability to keep their heads out of trouble during though times. They avoid substantial risk and will try to conserve their current state. The disadvantage is that this conservatism holds them back and markets move past them. They cannot release their defense mechanism of focusing on that one thing.

Foxes have the benefit of broad vision and ability to oversee complex situations. They succeed because they have the ability to step outside of the market path. The disadvantage is that their vision can exceed the market or that they have a difficulty maintaining focus to see things through.

So in the end, you will need both… Just like nature tried to balance everything out. Envision Steve Jobs as the Fox, and Wozniak as the hedgehog. Apple wouldn’t have been the apple we know today if it wasn’t for BOTH of them!

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