The BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is a concept originally from Jim Collins’ book ‘Good to Great‘, and is taught in our Scaling Up workshops.
Many organisations do not know where they want to be in 10 – 20 years. The result of this is not knowing whether the actions you are executing are right for the long term. Are you being reactionary? Are you putting energy and cash into actions that are taking you in the right direction or off course? Having a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is one of the elements that gives a business its long-term direction.
When looking at a BHAG it is not about you personally, it is about the business. You may not be part of the company in 30 years, and your personal purpose is different to that of the business.
What to think about when setting your BHAG:
We’re sitting here in 20 years…
- What would we love to see?
- What should this company look like?
- What should it feel like to employees?
- What should it have achieved?
- If someone writes an article for a major business magazine about this company in 20 years, what will it say?
The 5 criteria of a good BHAG are:
- Set with understanding, not bravado
- Fits squarely in the three circles of your Hedgehog Concept (also in Jim Collins’ book ‘Good to Great‘)
- Has a long time frame—10 to 30 years
- It is clear, compelling and easy to grasp
- Directly reflects your core values and core purpose
Once you have set your BHAG, you can then determine what actions you took to get there and these actions will help keep the company on track going forward.
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