The Hedgehog Concept

Moderator: Zeph

Locked
User avatar
spacefem
member
member
Posts: 8074
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 1:37 2002
Location: Kansas
Contact:

The Hedgehog Concept

Post by spacefem » Mon Apr 18, 5:34 2016

I keep running into people who haven't heard of this at work, so I figure I'll bring it up here to fill in you all.

There's this bit in "Good to Great" about how to decide what a business should do, but I think it applies to individuals also. See, hedgehogs aren't sleek or glamorous or inventive, they don't know a million tricks, but they're successful because they're very good at one thing: getting away from animals trying to eat them. Foxes are glamorous and inventive but they always get outwitted by hedgehogs.

So the idea is - find out something
1) important - "drives your economic engine" - something that the world needs
2) that you do well
3) that you like doing

and do that.

Image

what do you think, does your job fit?
bork can eat steak with a spoon.

User avatar
Aum
member
member
Posts: 3068
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 23:35 2007
Location: Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by Aum » Mon Apr 18, 13:59 2016

I like the idea but I don't think everyone has the luxury of always doing what they're passionate about. That takes privilege, opportunity, and luck. There also has to be a market for your passion or you won't make money. So sometimes, what drives your economic engine has to come first, because survival.

I really love that venn diagram because if you *can* do it, it really simplifies the ingredients.
The artist's job is not to succumb to despair, but to find an antidote to the emptiness of existence. -W.A.

User avatar
melsbells
member
member
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 6:45 2014
Location: Finland

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by melsbells » Mon Apr 18, 15:23 2016

I have a hard time figuring out my "What you can be best in the world at". The things I come up with don't seem to intersect the other two. This is really similar to Joseph Campbell's "follow your bliss" and trying to find where you passion and talents intersect, just adding the area of marketability. I like hedgehogs, but I also like Joseph Campbell.

User avatar
octarineoboe
member
member
Posts: 975
Joined: Mon May 28, 21:25 2012
Location: Midwestern US

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by octarineoboe » Mon Apr 18, 17:13 2016

I am hugely skeptical of and frustrated with the idea of "passion" as career advice (I know you didn't say that in your original post but it's in the graphic). First of all, as Aum pointed out, it's a luxury. Second, people kept telling me to "find my passion" when I was graduating from college, but of course what they really meant was "find your passion within what your education prepared you for (or within what employers think it prepared you for). So the only way that works is if we actually give kids that advice when they're deciding what to study, not once graduation is in sight. And I think many 18-year-olds don't know what their passion is, and I think that's fine until it becomes a Career Commandment. Third, I think the idea that we all work out of love for whatever it is we're doing is a bullshit tactic that's often used to suggest that compensation isn't important. For one thing, I'm just tired of the charade that at every job interview you're supposed to sound like you're SO EXCITED for THIS job at THIS company....no, you're looking for a job, you need money! And yes, there's some reason you applied to this job specifically out of all the potential jobs in the universe - but it's not necessarily because you have big starry-eyed love for it.

But also? When I've talked to people about their career path I've never heard "I decided I was passionate about x and then I got a job in x and here we are!" No, they're like "I started in y and then a position opened in z, which was sort of like x, so I decided to pursue x further because I liked it."

tl;dr: Everyone told me "find my passion" when I was graduating, but that didn't help me actually get a job.

User avatar
rowan
member
member
Posts: 9567
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 11:01 2004
Location: US

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by rowan » Mon Apr 18, 17:34 2016

octarineoboe wrote:the idea that we all work out of love for whatever it is we're doing is a bullshit tactic that's often used to suggest that compensation isn't important.
Yes this so much!
spacefem wrote:All your logical argue are belong to us!

User avatar
monk
member
member
Posts: 8152
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 23:46 2003
Contact:

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by monk » Mon Apr 18, 17:35 2016

I also think this completely discounts the lazy factor. I make little money, but I help 6 guys with mental disabilities be more functional than they are by themselves. I could stop this, take on a full time job, make a bunch more money, live as frugally as I do now, and spend the excess money on doing things for these six guys that they would enjoy and profit from. I would also be so busy that I wouldn't get to play on the internet several hours a day as I do now. What am I passionate about? making a difference and having time to read, internet, game... I think it's great if you have one overwhelming passion, but I have several mediocre passions.

Also,I will take your hedgehog and your fox and make soup.
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage? - Pink Floyd.
Sonic# wrote:If these opinions don't matter to you at all, then you are unfit for conversation

User avatar
Sonic#
member
member
Posts: 5159
Joined: Sat Nov 7, 9:37 2009
Location: Georgia, US

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by Sonic# » Mon Apr 18, 20:12 2016

Teaching does. I'm good at it, I really like it, and I get paid for it. Of course, "teaching" may have some basic pay associated with it, but it isn't exactly lucrative either. It makes me wonder if there's a point where I love it but the pay just isn't enough. Do I try to find a rarer but sweet teaching gig with a lot more pay? Do I become the expensive presentation coach? Someone who does "instructional design?" Can I do all this and also advocate for teachers to be paid more and valued more? That's tricky because I don't necessary love canvasing.

I've also sometimes pondered going back and becoming an engineer or computer scientist. I really love problem solving.

Isabella357

Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2:15 2014
Contact:

Re: The Hedgehog Concept

Post by Isabella357 » Tue Apr 19, 13:45 2016

monk wrote:...I have several mediocre passions.

Also,I will take your hedgehog and your fox and make soup.
I feel like that sums it up nicely. Also, have you ever met somebody that has one passion/purpose/love or whatever you'd like to call it? They are usually very dull. I prefer people who have lived in another country, want to learn a third or fourth language, trained horse for a living when they were young, have experienced child birth, and would like to help save the elephants and rhinos while writing a novel and learning about gemology. A great pianist is enjoyable during a recital, but the daily hours of practicing their whole life leave very little time to develop much of an opinion or perspective about things outside of that one passion.

Locked