What’s your BHAG?

April 13th, 2016

The value of Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals



Today’s post is by Michael Figueroa, Project Manager at SafeSourcing

A BHAG (pronounced bee-hag) is a statement regarding your company’s strategy that may be too extreme for an external audience, but inspiring and directional for those conducting everyday business. The term was originally coined by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last[1], as a tool for achieving long term strategic goals. Used properly, a BHAG can be a powerful way to communicate the ambition of the company, and align the efforts of a team. But what make up the components of this statement?

A BHAG must be:

  • Inspiring: Emotionally compelling, motivational to the team
  • Attainable: Difficult enough to be audacious, but not so impossible that no one will attempt it. “Out of reach but not out of sight” as the old maxim goes.
  • Company appropriate: Aligns with your mission and core competencies
  • Long term: 10-30 years, or unless your organization exists to solve a certain problem within a certain timeframe.

Some examples of publicized BHAGs:

  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure: A world without breast cancer.
  • Amazon: Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.
  • Microsoft: A computer on every desk and in every home
  • John F. Kennedy: Land a man on the moon by the end of this decade and return him safely

Collins and Porras also recommended that a company develop its BHAG while in its infancy rather than wait for it to reach a mature size in order to help the company stay focused in its crucial developing years. Your organization needs to be adaptive of course; however its core reason for existing should not. Throughout the life of your organization, many targets of opportunity will arise, but identifying your BHAG in your professional or personal life will help you keep on course.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist your team with this process or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

[1] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Built_to_Last:_Successful_Habits_of_Visionary_Companies>

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