A Big Hairy Audacious Goal, or BHAG (pronounced Bee-HAG) is “a powerful way to stimulate progress”. First conceived by Jim Collins in the book, Built to Last, “a BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s. The best BHAGs require both building for the long term AND exuding a relentless sense of urgency: What do we need to do today, with monomaniacal focus, and tomorrow, and the next day, to defy the probabilities and ultimately achieve our BHAG?”
Wikipedia defines it as, “created to focus an organisation on a single medium- to long-term goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.”
So, what have we leant about BHAGs?
When pursued with relentless focus, they can drive organisations to dramatic innovation and achievement, despite the fact that they seem damn near impossible when they are conceived.
But BHAGs don’t have to only drive organisations to great heights. You can have a Big Hairy Audacious Goal too. Hell, if you want to suck the marrow out of life, then you should have one! And you know it’s a really big, really hairy, scary and audacious goal if:
a) Your mates think you’re bonkers.
b) You think you’re bonkers, but somewhere deep within you have a nagging belief that you can achieve it.
Do you have a BHAG?
Would you share it with me?
Come on then. You’re in good company.
What is it?