Getting Unstuck on Your BHAG
Looking back on the Annual Planning season, it seems like I was surrounded by BHAG talk! Many of you started working on nailing down your company’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal, while others had the breakthroughs they needed to finally get something inked.In a couple of instances, however, teams admitted they were completely stuck. One team in particular was struggling and by digging deep, ultimately wrestled theirs to the ground. We were so impressed with their breakthrough, I wanted to share a little bit about their process.
First, let me say that this wasn’t a solve-it-in-an-hour type of thing. The leadership team of this hospitality company started conversations about their BHAG about 4 months prior to finally getting their breakthrough. And, when it happened, it was magic.
The team, lead by expert Rhythm facilitator Chris Cosper, thought through a few things in advance of their session. First, she asked everyone to read the short article, "Does Your BHAG Inspire Your Company to Achieve Greatness?" so everyone would be on the same page with a common language. Before coming into the room, each of the participants also submitted their answers to three questions:
- What could we be Best In The World at?
- What drives our economic engine?
- What are we as a company deeply passionate about?
Answers were compiled and discussed separately. It was obvious that the team was aligned around “passion” and “best in the world” which was fantastic. There was some discussion around economic engine and the team ultimately landed on repeat customers. Thinking we were on a roll, we put a statement up on the board to see how it felt. Silence.
Then, the CEO said: “I $#&@ing hate it!”
Clearly, we were close and hitting a nerve, so we dug deep to look at things through the lens of the 4 BHAG Types. The Target-oriented BHAG left out the heart we were hoping to communicate - it felt cold in such a warm industry. A Competitive BHAG didn’t quite fit either. We toyed with a Role-Model BHAG, but it didn’t feel like it set them apart in a unique way. Then we considered an Internal Transformative BHAG - and bullseye!
Thankfully, we had a wordsmith wizard on the team who helped us phrase it just right.
Then, the CEO said: “I $#&@ing love it!”
With the whole team in agreement, we took a break. As long as no one changed their mind while in the restroom, we were good.
The following day, the leadership team shared the BHAG with the larger team and it got instant buy-in. It inspired people, spoke to their head and heart - all the things a good BHAG should do. It was a great feeling to see this team get their breakthrough and then watch their execution plan for 2019 come together to support it.
Looking for some more information on BHAG to help get you started? Check out our additional Big Hairy Audacious Goal resources:
How To Create Your BHAG: 3 steps to create your BHAG.
What Drives Your Financial Engine? Profit/X Examples
Does Your Company's BHAG Connect to Your Hedgehog?
How to Reach Your BHAG (Infographic)
Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images