Do you have a BHAG?


In their acclaimed book, Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras note that visionary companies set Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAGs), bold mission statements that act as powerful mechanisms to stimulate corporate progress. BHAGs are clear, compelling, serve as unifying focal points of effort, have clear finish lines, and often create immense team spirit. As the authors note,

A BHAG engages people – it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People ‘get it’ right away; it takes little or no explanation (p. 94).

Most importantly, BHAGs stimulate action. They create momentum, stimulate commitment, and get people willing to allocate their creative talents and human energies. President Kennedy’s 1961 proclamation that the U.S. would land a man on the moon (and return him safely) by the end of the decade was a classic BHAG. While BHAGs may seem crazy to outsiders, they are seen as eminently attainable by organizational insiders. Visionary companies make the use of BHAGs an institutional habit, a way of life: when one is achieved, another one is created.

Does your technology plan have a BHAG? More generally, does your school organization have a BHAG? If not, what might be one?

5 Responses to “Do you have a BHAG?”

  1. Scott,

    We are working on our BHAG. I think that it is important that we, as a school community, develop our own sense of what is big and what we want to do. This includes parents, students, staff and other community organizations. As we go through this phase of determining the Vision and Mission for our school, it will be important for us to identify what it is we want our school to be in the FUTURE! Thanks for another book to add to my list of things to read.


  2. I enjoy your blog. Feel free to drop by to view my connected thoughts from today. I’m trying to figure out how to get a link in here. Sorry for my lack of expertise.

    “Perhaps the three C’s are not a guidebook or a checklist but they are a start. A BHAG, Scott McLeod mentioned today. ”

    Information Age School

    For some inexplicable reason, my html coding is not working:(
    If you click my name it will take you to my post.

  3. We are working on a technology initiative for our campus–and working on our slogan.

    So thank you–this post encouraged us to define it clearly and audaciously!

  4. Geeks Invade Government With Audacious Goals

    Guest blogger Mark Drapeau is the Co-Chair of the Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase in Sept 2009 and the Gov 2.0 Expo in May 2010, both in Washington, DC. He holds the title of Associate Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at …


  1. My BHAG Possibility | Cole's Leadership - February 22, 2013

    […] steps to help me commit myself to my dreams and ways to better organize my BHAG. Also I found on ways to analyze if my dreams were just that or if they could be transformed into a […]

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