The size of government

April 29, 2009

One of my greatest concerns about the current economic malaise has been that various levels of government will use our fear and uncertainty to ‘temporarily’ increase their spending.  Canada has been described as a beacon of fiscal management when compared with other developed nations.  I hope that we are able to maintain this moniker.

I append below a piece which appears in the Financial Post and challenges the assertion that more government spending is effective tonic for difficult economic times.


My Hedgehog

April 21, 2009

Jim Collins writes about the “Hedgehog Concept” in his book titled Good to Great.  I’m over simplifying it, but he concludes that great organizations focus only on their Hedgehog and nothing else.

So, what is the Hedgehog Concept?  It suggests that individuals and organizations alike can succeed beyond their wildest expectations if they maintain laser focus only on where the following intersect

(1) Their passions.

(2) Their skills.

(3) Things that can make money.

I’m fortunate to belong a private monthly supper club comprised of what has become a personal board of directors for each of our members.  I asked our group to tell me what they thought my passions, skills and money making opportunities included.  It was a great exercise and, frankly, one that I think everyone should go through.  This is what they concluded:

My passions


  • Looking at the big picture
  • Advising
  • Seeing things work
  • Executing on my own dream as opposed to fulfilling someone else’s
  • Politics
  • Management
  • Setting goals and measuring success against them
  • Financial independence/flexibility
  • Independence


My skills


  • Managing and motivating people
  • Developing strategy
  • Relationship building
  • Process
  • Developing goals and driving to them
  • Execution


Things I could make money doing


  • Acting in an advisory capacity
  • Starting a new business
  • Buying a business
  • Running a business 


Some of these are going to be correct and some are going to be incorrect.  But going through the exercise with impartial third parties who know me well was fascinating.  However, it doesn’t end here.  I plan on taking this back to the group and refining it into more specifics.  Running/buying/starting a new business could mean anything.  What kind of business?  How big?  Start up or part of the first management team?  In what area: technology, seniors care, tourism, the boat business (all areas that intrigue me)?  It’s a fun and fruitful exercise.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Hedgehog Concept then drop me a line.  I’m becoming a bit of an expert in it!

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