Success can be a slow, demanding climb. To get there, it helps to have some BHAGs.
“BHAG” is short for “big, hairy, audacious goal” – goals that make you stretch, goals that are not gimmes. Best-selling author and business guru Jim Collins popularized the term in 1994 in his book “Built to Last.” But of course, leaders were taking on big, bold goals long before that. Microsoft famously built itself around the BHAG of “a computer on every desk and in every home," which sounded implausible in 1975.
U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s moonshot remains among the most cited BHAGs. With Apollo 11, it became a reality in 1969, eight years after Kennedy declared the U.S. would put a man on the moon. More recently, Google’s founders dared “t
Successful companies set BHAGs, achieve them and then set new ones, Collins said. It’s critical that these goals are clear, compelling and easy to grasp, according to a visioning exercise on his website.
focus efforts on the work that matters most to the business and aligns with our values, McKenzie said. He noted that the End-to-End Operation organization’s BHAGs are rooted in an investment in the development of our team to allow the team to deliver top-tier results for safety, quality, reliability and innovation.
BHAGs are bold, falling in the gray area where reason and prudence might say ‘This is unreasonable,’ but the drive for progress says, ‘We believe we can do it nonetheless.’ ”
Hear Collins talk about the ultimate physical BHAG - climbing a literal mountain. In this case, Collins describes a duo’s attempt to scale the vertical rock formation known as El Capitan at Yosemite National Park.