A BHAG as defined by Jim Collins in his book Built to Last is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
According to Collins: “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as a unifying focal point of effort…It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People get it right away; it takes little or no explanation.”
It is very important that you and your team have created and are pursuing a BHAG for your practice.
Without a clearly defined BIG GOAL that your team is driving towards, your results will be limited.
Examples of BHAG’s include:
- Stanford University’s goal in the 1940s was to become the “Harvard of the West.”
- Boeing in 1950 wanted to become the “dominant player in commercial aircraft and bring the world into the jet age.”
- Nike’s goal in the 1960s was to “Crush Adidas.”
- Wal-Mart, in 1990, wanted to become a “$125 billion company by the year 2000.”
Upper Cervical Marketing’s BHAG
At Upper Cervical Marketing our BHAG is to have 300 doctors attracting 20,000 new patients per year through the Internet.
Why is this important to us?
We dream about a day when upper cervical chiropractors are the first choice for those that are sick and suffering around the world.
We believe that the greatest equalizer in the battle for people’s health is the Internet.
By using the Internet including social media, search engines etc. to connect with people who are sick and suffering all over the world we can even the playing field.
This is why we are constantly investigating new ways to attract sick and suffering people who need our clients help from the Internet.
Each year we have and continue to plan to release a new version of our system because the Internet is constantly changing and in order to achieve our BHAG we have to keep up with it.
Our mission, vision, core values, yearly, quarterly, monthly goals are all tied into our BHAG.
Your Upper Cervical Practice’s BHAG
Set correctly, BHAGs work.
But how do you do that for your upper cervical practice?
Taking clues from Collins and Porras, a good BHAG has four qualities:
- Aligned. Properly set goals can be transformational if they’re tied closely to what is most important to your practice. The goal needs to be specific enough that everyone will know if you achieve it.
- Audacious. BHAGs are a breed apart. They’re very, very, very big. You’re probably on to something if the first reaction to a BHAG is “impossible!” BHAGs can’t be achieved easily or quickly. Your BHAG should take several years to achieve. It demands different thinking.
- Articulate. A good BHAG is a clear target. And it’s real. It’s not in any way a fanciful statement disconnected from the business. Kennedy’s 1961 mission to “land on the moon by the end of the decade” needs no further detail.
- Arduous. Easy goals don’t require innovation. A good BHAG does. It’s achievable, but only through different thinking, real struggle. When you first set your BHAG you won’t yet know the details of how to accomplish the goal. However, if it’s truly impossible—as opposed to perceived as impossible—people will disengage from the process entirely.
Here are some additional tips on writing this BHAG with your team:
- It’s not as much about being “big” as it is about being “great”.
- Jim Collins’ BHAG acronym contains the word “big”, but just setting a lofty growth target 5 to 10 years into the future is not necessarily going to inspire your team. Not everyone wants to be “big”. It’s about being “great”, however you choose to define greatness.
- Imagine it is 5 years into the future. What great achievement, if your organization was able to achieve it, would make you think that you spent those 5 years of your life wisely?
So now it’s your turn.
Spend some time brainstorming with your team about your Big Hairy Audacious Goal!