Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Does Your BHAG Measure Up to King's and Obama's?

Today -- Inauguration Day 2009 -- Whew!

Okay, so let's put politics aside for a moment and focus on the critical element of what has made Obama the "man" transform into Obama the "movement". It was a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. Or more like a whole set of them.

Obama's approach is something that has been talked about by business gurus around the globe for years -- if you want to inspire, engage, and activate a community around your cause, give them something big to believe in. And Obama did just that. With approval ratings at or above 75% he has inspired not just tens of millions of Americans, but the world. Yet Obama gave us not just anything to believe in -- he could have said he wanted to build a giant ladder to the moon and we would have discredited both the man and the goal. So, what made his goals so believable? I'd like to suggest the following:

  1. Big Hairy Audacious Goals require time -- They likely will take 10 to 30 years to complete, but they have a specific end date.

  2. Big Hairy Audacious Goals require more than what we have to offer right now. We must grow, change, and evolve into something better in order to achieve them. We must transform ourselves during the journey.

  3. Big Hairy Audacious Goals are measurable and achieveable. You should be able to envision and describe what success looks like with extreme clarity, with definition, and with a clear sense of what it will take to arrive at that point.

  4. Big Hairy Audacious Goals inspire, focus, and align. They give us something big to strive for, focus our attention on what's most important, and align our resources to achieving that end state.

As you think through your organization's vision and goals -- how well do they match up to these four critical ingredients?

What are your thoughts? Do you think these four are enough?

-- David Kinard, PCM

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