8 years, 8 months ago

2020 Vision – Winning Strategies for the Next Decade

The Fujitsu Executive Discussion Evening (EDE) on the 15th of July 2010 in London certainly lived up to and to a great extent exceeded my expectations. The agenda of 2020 vision focussed on the effects of globalisation, concerns over sustainability and…

8 years, 8 months ago

Want Successful Enterprise Architecture? Define “Enterprise” First.

A couple of recent conversations have really caused this theme to spike in my head. In my experience, I’ve seen successful enterprise architecture and I’ve seen unsuccessful enterprise architecture. While many may put the blame on a failure to define what architecture is, I think that’s wrong. I think a recipe of failure is a […]

8 years, 8 months ago


Do you ever find yourself in the situation where you can be of help in several very different efforts that, although seem valuable at the time, randomize your brand…not to mention stretch your time and affect your work/life balance? I certainly do. I think this happens as a result of having a broad set of skill sets, with broad visibility in the organization, a hunger to serve and lead others, and a depth of skills honed from an engineering background to help decompose problems and derive solutions.

Anyway, if you’re like me, you may also value a simple technique I use to help filter what efforts to commit to addressing. I call it ‘Be GREAT!’ and it is a derivative of Jim Collins’ Hedgehog concept but instead of applying it to identify business strategy, I also use it to identify services I can offer to my team and to the company at large.

First, let me briefly describe the Hedgehog concept. Essentially, Collins asserts that great companies have products that have an association to three important characters; Passion, Position, and Value. If a company’s products lack one of these three characters, then they will likely be good or mediocre at best. If, however, your company is passionate, well-positioned and has perceived customer value, the company can be great.


I think this concept is very interesting and I apply it to my career, my team, and my organization. That is, I use the Hedgehog concept to rapidly guide decisions to help identify which skills I deliberately improve and grow, what efforts I guide my team to commit to, and to which services my organization commits to.

So there are three essential Hedgehogs to consciously manage; My Hedgehog, my Team’s Hedgehog, my Organization’s Hedgehog. When I’m able to directly connect all three, you, your team, and your organization can be great.

My Hedgehog: My Hedgehog refers to my skills. If the situation arises where an effort I commit to leverages my skills that I’m passionate about, where I’m well-positioned to leverage these skills in the effort, and my skills are perceived as valuable by the team, I consider committing to the effort.

Team’s Hedgehog: Team’s Hedgehog refers to the services or outputs of the effort. If the effort directly delivers value to the organization, if the effort is well-positioned in the organization, and the team driving the effort is passionate about the output, the team can be great.

Organization’s Hedgehog: Organization’s Hedgehog refers to the services the organization delivers to it’s customers. I think of organization synonymously as company – no differently to how Jim Collins describes it but extending it to Organizations within a company as necessary.

Here is a simple diagram illustrating the synergy that can be achieved when all three hedgehogs are intentionally connected.

Hedgehog Synergy

In the above diagram, I added the dimension of Time to only recognize that if this concept is deliberately managed, there is a sequence to determining how an Organization’s Hedgehog relates to a Team’s Hedgehog, to My Hedgehog.

The “Be GREAT!” method quickly helps me intentionally avoid being mediocre and deliver on being great, guide my team to be great, and directly support the organization and company be great. Way cool. 🙂

8 years, 8 months ago

What Notation for Enterprise Architecture Modeling?

I’ve been a huge fan of architecture modeling for over a decade now. I feel there is no better way to get stakeholders on the same page so quickly. It is true what they say…a picture is worth a thousand…

8 years, 8 months ago

Some of the Things EA’s Can Focus On

I was just thinking a bit about some of the tasks that an EA can “time slice” between to help ensure success.  So, this is just some thinking-out-loud thoughts I had: Make a list of contacts in your organization that you have not spent time wi…

8 years, 8 months ago

Using VPEC-T and ArchiMate

I have recently finished reading the book ‘Lost on Translation’ by Nigel Green and Carl Bate and found it a very useful and insightful. I recommend it for the shelf of any Enterprise Architect. See http://www.lithandbook.com/ The book describes the VPEC-T ‘thinking framework’ and a focus on understanding the Values, Policies, Events, Content and Trust perspectives […]