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BHAG is an acronym for Big Hairy Audacious Goal; a concept originally formulated by author, Jim Collins. It’s a long-term goal, usually between 10 and 30 years. Often when it’s set, the goal seems unachievable and the business owner doesn’t have a clear plan on how they’re going to achieve the goal. The BHAG should be something big, exciting and ambitious!

The purpose of the BHAG is to be a guiding principle; something that gives drive and focus to the team and provide a basis to make informed and effective business decisions. Deciding on your goal is important; it is going to be something that you dedicate a significant amount of time, money and effort to.

Here are some things to consider when setting your BHAG:

You’re going to need help

It is unlikely that you’re going to be able to achieve your Big, Hairy goal alone, so you’re going to need support from your team. If you’ve ever read Ben Hunt-Davis’s book ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ you’ll know that Ben and his rowing team were only able to achieve their BHAG because they worked collectively to make it happen.

The key to making your BHAG happen is surrounding yourself with a likeminded team, that are passionate about achieving the same goal.


Don’t keep it a secret

The only way to get support from your team is to communicate your BHAG! You won’t be able to achieve it alone, so your team need to understand and ‘buy-in’ to your vision.

Also, saying your BHAG out loud makes it slightly more real! You’ve made a public declaration of your commitment to achieving it, which means you’ve got to start working towards making it a reality.

When Ben Hunt-Davis and his team set the BHAG to win Gold in the Rowing at the 2000 Olympics, they used their BHAG to justify and shape the decisions they made as a team. If it doesn’t make the boat go faster, then why are we going to do it? You can adopt this principle in your organisation; if it doesn’t bring you closer to achieving your goal, why are you doing it?


If you want to discuss how to set or achieve your BHAG, book in a free consultation and speak to one of our coaches.

Listen to Episode 108 of the Fluid Business Podcast for more on this topic:

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