BHAGs – Big Hairy Audacious Goals

It’s an expression used in business and particularly by entrepreneurs:\r\n

Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  

\r\n

To set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal you take a Realistic Opportunity and multiply it by a number. For example, “Let’s sell ten holidays by the end of the month, that is do-able” becomes, “if ten holidays are do-able, let’s try and sell fifty. In a fortnight”

\r\nIronically, if a BHAG is not rooted in reality no one believes it and no-one stops to give it serious thought. Being rooted in reality makes people pause and think. Mmm … surely not? And then, why not … that might just be possible.  After all, it’s a GOAL not a Big Idea. Unlike a Big Idea, a Goal is measurable and achievable.\r\n\r\nHere’s an example of the difference between a Big Idea, a Realistic Opportunity and a BHAG:\r\n\r\nBig Idea: “let’s invite everyone in our parish of 30,000 to the Carol Service”\r\n\r\nRealistic Opportunity: “why doesn’t everyone in the church invite their neighbours to the carol service”\r\n\r\nBHAG: “let’s invite 1,000 specific people to the carol service(s) and give them mulled wine, mince pies and a Christmas present beforehand.”\r\n\r\nMany churches will dream of the Big Idea and then fumble the Realistic Opportunity. But the Big Hairy Audacious Goal of inviting 1,000 specific people to church for a social Christmas is much more interesting. Leaving aside how you manage the space and enable the volunteers, where do you find 1,000 specific people in a parish? Here’s a start:\r\n

    \r\n

  • Invite the Head teachers at every local school and their spouse or partner. And their teachers.
  • \r\n

  • Invite Managers of the local care homes and their staff.
  • \r\n

  • Invite the local MP and local counsellors with their partners.
  • \r\n

\r\nLet’s say that’s about 50 people. Then:\r\n

    \r\n

  • Create a joint choir from local school children to do the service. Invite their parents and families.
  • \r\n

\r\nLet’s say that’s another 200 people.\r\n

    \r\n

  • And each of the 50 church members hands out an invite to 10 people, from work, family, shops, neighbourhood.
  • \r\n

\r\nThat’s another 500.\r\n\r\nWe’re up to 750 specific invites. In 2 minutes. Plus the 50 church members.\r\n\r\nMmm … maybe inviting 1,000 people to the pre-carol service  party wasn’t a Big Hairy Audacious Goal after all?\r\n\r\nSo, you pick one…\r\n\r\nPS\r\n\r\n… this would be a challenge for a church of fifty people but with planning and prayer it’s certainly possible. If your church is 150 people strong, imagine what Big Hairy Audacious Goals could be achieved …\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\nWritten in Zazu’s Kitchen, Southville