“A Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG, is a clear and compelling target for an organization to strive for.”
~Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, ‘Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies
What Is A BHAG?
One of the most powerful examples of a BHAG—pronounced “bee-hag”—is President Kennedy’s 1961 famous declaration: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” The result, the historic moon landing in 1969.
A BHAG is a long-term goal that everyone in an organization works towards together. It’s meant to inspire people in a way that quarterly targets and lengthy mission statements often fail to. To motivate you towards something bigger than yourself.
Today, we’re going to be discussing tips on how to develop your own business BHAG!
What Makes A Great BHAG?
The creators of the BHAG, James Collins and Jerry Porras, laid out four qualities that every BHAG needs.
- The goal presents an achievable challenge. The perfect BHAG has a balance of an achievable challenge while not being too easy or impossible.
- The idea is articulate. The target should be clear, and concise, and require no additional details.
- The BHAG embodies the ‘A’ in its name: it’s audacious. People’s first reaction should be “That’s impossible.” It should demand that people envision a different future and change their thinking.
- Finally, a BHAG must be aligned with your existing goals. Companies need to design their BHAG around what is already most important to them.
Starting with this in mind, let’s look at how this applies to your business.
How to Develop Your Business BHAG
Creating your business BHAG requires careful consideration and planning. Like core values, your BHAG is another North Star to keep your WHY at the forefront of your mind. Here are 3 steps of developing your BHAG:
- Ideation: This is where your imagination gets to run wild. Be ambitious, fearless, and reach for the unattainable. Think about what your industry needs and how it could be improved. Remember, a BHAG is long-term, between 10-30 years. Make sure it compels and excites you to get into action.
- Feasibility: Making the impossible possible takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and you want to make sure your BHAG is worth it and attainable. Think about whether it will change things in the long term in a measurable and meaningful way. Then ask yourself if it’s realistic. Before declaring it impossible, think of the roadblocks that you may have to overcome. Are they feasible?
- Share and Dissect: After you’ve figured out how to articulate it, share your vision with your team. If you are a team of one, then share it with someone who can give you honest feedback and help you grow your BHAG. Share your vision for what this could look like when completed and ask for help breaking it down into smaller goals. With a united, emotionally invested team behind you, anything is possible!
Take some time to analyze your BHAG. If you have one already, does it stimulate forward progress? Does your team find it exciting and adventurous? Are people willing to throw their creative talents and human energies into it? If you are finding ‘yes’ answers, you’re well on your way of having a successful BHAG.
If you would like to learn more about BHAGs or get feedback about your BHAG, schedule a free consultation call HERE!
Let’s achieve your highest potential together!