Getting a Handle on Your BHAG

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On November 25, 2015

Getting-a-Handle-On-Your-BHAGIf you’re familiar with The Rockefeller Habits you’ve probably heard of what the book calls a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Companies that have their eyes set on growth use a BHAG to set their sites on achieving a long-term goal (probably 3 to 5 years out) that will really stretch them and put them way ahead of their competitors.

But a BHAG isn’t supposed to be just a pipe dream. In order to actually make progress toward this objective, however, you have to do more than simply come up with a hugely challenging idea. How do you make that happen?

Here are 7 simple steps that can help you get a handle on your BHAG. Bear in mind that just because they’re simple doesn’t make them easy. You still have to follow through.

  1. Set It: Your first step needs to be coming up with a really big—but feasible idea. This can’t be something that’s incrementally better or different. It needs to be a game-changer.
  1. Define It: Some big ideas are a little too vague. You need to clearly define what your goal is. Be specific in describing it.
  1. Drive It: Somebody needs to own this idea and be the champion and cheerleader for it. Big ideas don’t make themselves happen. Someone needs to push them.
  1. Write It: It’s important to record exactly what your BHAG is. If you don’t write down exactly what you’re after it’s easy to wander away from your original goal.
  1. Meet On It: You and your team need to meet to discuss and work on your BHAG regularly and religiously. No excuses! If someone has a valid reason for not attending a session make sure they are in the loop and contribute—even if they do so remotely.
  1. Share It: The team needs to make sure that the rest of the company, vendors, clients, and advisors know about what you’re trying to do. In addition to holding the team accountable, you’ll likely get helpful advice and feedback.
  1. Track It: Make sure your goals are measureable. Post visual reminders around the business that show progress toward your goal.

That’s how you move from “just an idea” to a Big Hairy Audacious Goal that can change your company forever!