Yesterday we took a look at how an envisioned future is critical to continuous business success. Today let’s look at the first step to making that vision something that will stimulate employees to action and move the company ever-forward.
A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines. A BHAG engages people – it reaches out and grabs them. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People get it right away; it takes little or no explanation.
Please remember, your Envisioned Future may be a “sky’s the limit” target that exceeds reality. Your BHAG, on the other hand, should be attainable. Sure, it should stretch every muscle your company has; that’s the Big part. And it has to involve some out-on-a-limb risk taking; that’s what makes it Hairy. Plus it should seem very close to unreachable; hence, Audacious.
But it is a Goal. A goal is meant to be attained. Attaining a goal provides motivational satisfaction and the readiness to strive for succeeding goals.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when for your company’s BHAG:
- Be sure the BHAG has clear and relevant meaning to every employee in the company so that every employee can attach her work to the goal.
- Be sure the BHAG is clearly stated and meaningful to the good of the company and its stakeholders so that every employee can attach his emotions to the goal.
- Be sure the BHAG is extremely far-reaching, not only in scope but in time, so that employees–even sequential generations of employees!–have a truly significant, long-term target to strive for.
- Be sure the BHAG is constantly communicated so that employees know expectations, appreciate progress, and have true awareness of the company’s vision.
- Be sure the BHAG explicitly reflects your company’s values and purpose so that employees enjoy a confidence in the company’s purpose.
One more point: 30 years or so in the future, when your company reaches its goal, set your next BHAG immediately!