what’s ur BHAG?
Jim Collins was ahead of his time when he coined the term BHAG back in 1994. More than 20 years later, we communicate complete thoughts with acronyms (and emojis). BHAG, for those of us who are trying to stay young and hip and “lead like a boss,” stands for a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal.
Your visionary BHAG is not to be confused with the tactical goals you’ve set out to achieve these next months or even years. Your visionary BHAG is your 10 to 25-year strategic, unifying and inspirational goal. BTW, here is your KISS guide to BHAG:
BIG: As a Business Growth Coach, I hear things along the lines of, “We have this revenue generating BHAG we know we can accomplish in the next 5 years…” If the goal is less than 10 years in accomplishing, it’s not big enough. We still need these Winning Moves; so, don’t scrap the shorter term goals. You want your BHAG journey to sincerely take 10+ years, uphill both ways, in the snow, with no socks on to accomplish.
HAIRY: You want your journey to be so incredibly adventurous, exciting (and maybe scary...in a good way) that your team will be compelled to strap in for the ride. This adventure promises to be so hairy in fact that if you put your BHAG in an instant message, your team’s response should be “OMG.”
AUDACIOUS: Be bold! You want your team to align around the vision and marvel at what the journey may look like. If you have your BHAG all mapped out with where you’re going, where you’re staying and what you’re going to do every second when you get there, you are either my husband’s twin or you don’t quite have your BHAG.
Although our friend, Jim, was indeed a visionary, he may not have thought this one through. Today’s desire to attend an instantly gratifying party on the greener grass would likely turn many off from creating a BHAG. One may not stay 5 let alone 25 years to realize the goal. Before you too denounce yet another acronym to learn, think of the bigger picture. You may not be there to have a slice of the celebratory cake; but, you’d leave behind a legacy that would feed you and your team even longer.
For inspiration, here are some BHAG examples. BTW, if BHAG were an emoji, it would look like this: TTYL!