Topics: Strategic management, Management, Idea Pages: 1 (291 words) Published: February 12, 2012
In his famous essay “ The Hedgehog and the Fox,” Isaiah Berlin/>/> divided the world into two groups, based on an ancient Greek proverb, which pitted the two natural enemies against each other. Foxes pursue many ends at the same time and see the world in all its complexity; they are scattered or diffused, moving on many levels, never integrating their thinking into one overall concept or unifying vision. Hedgehogs, on the other hand, simplify a complex world into a single idea (mission) that unifies and guides everything. Regardless of the world’s complexity, the hedgehog reduces all challenges and dilemmas to simple ideas (missions and related goals) — anything that does not somehow relate to the hedgehog ideas holds little if any relevance. When foxes and hedgehogs are pitted against one another, the hedgehog generally wins. See the grading guideline in the syllabus. Discussion 2 - Hedgehog thinking - business vision and mission.  This Week's readings relate to last Week's Discussion.  Environmental assessment is an executive leader's role.  Bringing external environment awareness into organization thinking and decision-making is necessary for success.  The integration of new information with existing organization position and direction generates or continues the strategy development process.  Here the focus is creating or reestablishing advantage through strategy and business model, designed to position the organization apart from its competitors.  Last Week's Discussion concentrated on value (external market factor) and competency (internal capability) as keys to achieving advantage.  External environment insights (value being one) complement internal awareness which a leader combines to frame strategy development.

Discuss how this plays out in reality. How useful are concepts like SWOT analysis and Value Chain Analysis?  Offer examples/observations that depict effective leadership or less-than-effective leadership.  
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