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ebdex is a hippo!

Stephen Berry, an alum of Manchester Business School made the following request today.

I have just released a book ‘Strategies of the Serengeti’ which examines the successful strategies used by the giraffe, zebra, crocodile etc (13 in all) and shows how the same strategies can be applied in modern business. On there is a assessment / questionnaire which takes about 2 minutes to fill in. It allows me to conclude (for example) that UK businesses are more like the zebra than US businesses, but the warthog is more successful in Europe than the cheetah etc (whatever the data shows).

Please help Stephen complete above research.

As a good sport, I completed the questionnaire. And the result is…ebdex is a hippo. And this was the conclusion…

Your organisation is most like a hippo – it rules a niche…. This huge aquatic mammal is king of the river and fiercely territorial. Their fat reserves protect them from hypothermia and give a specific gravity that enables them to walk underwater on the riverbed. A large mouth with huge canine teeth means that no other river resident, even the giant Serengeti crocodiles, would trouble an adult hippo.  However, out of the water, the same factors that generate their success in the river, become weaknesses outside of it. They are slow moving, clumsy and the broad mouth makes for inefficient grazing. On land they are vulnerable. They are fiercely territorial and will attack any intruder to their domain.

Organisations following the strategies of the hippopotamus tend to have strong advantages within a niche. They are well advised to stay within their specialty rather than seek to expand beyond their ‘river’ onto the grasslands of other markets, where they are likely to be vulnerable and unsuccessful. They should defend their niche fiercely.

This reminds me of a project I completed during my MBA at Manchester Business School. I concluded, Parsons Brinckerhoff, my employer at the time was a blue whale based on the feedback I received. Or was it a white elephant? Sorry, memory is bit of a blurrrr.

While it is all good fun completing the questionnaire, I do not think I would become one of the owners/buyers of your book. However, I do wish all the best. 

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