Situation: A company recently changed their BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) to focus on premium customer acquisition, but as a small-to-medium sized company has a 3-year focus instead of the typical 10-20 year focus of a larger company. They want to make this a company-wide effort. How do you make the most of changing your BHAG?
Advice from the CEOs:
- First, it is measurable and specific – grow to 10 times your premium current customer base in 3 years. Your marketplace is changing quickly, so a shorter-term BHAG makes sense. Call it your 10/3 Program or 10/3 Challenge.
- Is it too shallow? No – this is something that people can rally around. It represents significant company growth.
- What happens when you achieve the goal? Celebrate in a big way, and then set the next BHAG.
- How do you create excitement? Every time you hit a milestone, bring in pizza, or conduct a special event. Celebrate.
- Success = Change. What does that next milestone mean for the company and your capabilities? This isn’t just about new clients, but also includes scaling your delivery systems and customer service. Rally your non-sales staff around these important tasks.
- Create milestones not just around sales numbers but also around timelines. Tie incentives to achievement of BHAG milestones.
- Conduct a company meeting to announce the BHAG, and announce progress in future company meetings.
- Progress against milestones.
- Share pipeline data to maintain excitement.
- Develop scale-up programs and share progress of non-sales departments as they ramp up services.
- Think about building a competition around the goal. As long as this fits your culture it can add excitement to achieving both milestones and the BHAG itself.
Note: The term ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.