Big Audacious Goals

Big Audacious Goals

I’m a big fan of author Jim Collins and of BAGs – Big Audacious Goals. After all – breakthrough ideas rarely emerge from small thinking. I believe that people – and companies – thrive when the bar is raised. Doing so pushes us to think differently, which brings about innovation. When implemented effectively, BAGs create a sense of urgency that reshapes culture.

The Risk of BAGs
Now with every breakthrough business concept and new buzzword there’s risk. Risk that leaders are drawn in by novelty, and aren’t truly mindful of the cultural impact of constantly shifting their thinking toward the next “shiny object.” BAGs are no exception – and assessing whether your BAGs are a positive influence or a paralyzing one is a critical first step. By their very nature BAGs are unattainable in the immediate timeframe … so it’s easy to see the attraction for leaders with a big vision for the future.

The Allure of BAGs
Leaders motivated by BAGs recognize that significant, sustainable change often requires a season of extended discomfort. They’re ok with that – in fact they embrace it as the true path to transformational success. They tend to define success as the pain, growth and creativity that comes about during the journey vs. the end destination.

The Benefits of BAGs
BAGs also have a tendency to minimize dependencies on personalities and leaders by elevating your organization’s Big Audacious Goal as the primary target. The value here is two-fold: 1) It builds longevity into your culture and 2) It helps keep your workforce singularly focused on your BAG.

BAGs and Talent Acquisition
BAGs are also a defining aspect of talent acquisition strategy – and offer a litmus test for assessing fit and longevity of candidates.  In key leadership roles, a candidate will either light up or shut down a candidate almost immediately. Innovators and creative thinkers will move toward unpacking the BAG and it’s implications and requirements. Candidates who are more risk adverse and function effectively in predictable environments are often overwhelmed by BAGs and see them as unrealistic.

Determining the priority that BAGs play in your organizational culture will help you chart a clear course in acquiring and developing talent that contributes positive momentum toward accomplishing your big audacious goals.


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