Big Hairy Audacious Goals in Volunteer Management
BHAGs stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goals, an idea conceptualized in the book, “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies” by James Collins and Jerry Porras. According to Collins and Porras, a BHAG is a long-term goal that changes the very nature of a business’ existence.
BHAGs are meant to shift how we do things, the way we are perceived in our field and possibly even the field itself. Collins and Porras describe BHAGs as nearly impossible to achieve without consistently working outside of a comfort zone and displaying commitment, confidence and even a bit of arrogance.
BHAGs are bigger, bolder and more powerful than regular long- and short-term goals..
I first heard of BHAGS when I did a leadership course and they have entered my stream of consciousness ever since. I am a believer in BHAGs and have incorporated such thinking into my future planning. From the vantage point of the now of course.
I have 2 points to make here in relation to Volunteer Management.
Here’s the first:
What would be you BHAG in Volunteer Management? And we could break that down to two areas – the sector and your leadership role.
For me my sector BHAG would be “a recognised profession that has a low turnover and is seen as a vital component of Society.” People would ask “is that really Big, hairy and audacious”? Unfortunately it is in our sector I believe.
Here’s the second:
What would be you BHAG in your Volunteer Management or Coordination Role? Is it to have the best Volunteer program that leads locally, nationally or globally? Or is it to achieve recognition of your role locally.
Is it big, hairy and audacious?
In The Magic of Thinking Big, David Schwartz said:
“In these modern times, belief is doing much bigger things than moving mountains. The most important element – in fact, the essential element – in our space explorations today is the belief that space can be mastered. Without firm, unwavering belief that man can travel space, our scientists would not have the courage, interest, and enthusiasm to proceed. Belief that cancer can be cured will ultimately produce cures for cancer.”
We so need BHAGs in Volunteer Management. There is not enough dialogue on what those Big Hairy Audacious Goals should be. And if there is – there is too little follow up.
We also need to discover our true belief. Belief that Volunteer Management will someday be a recognised profession that many aspire to.
“A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”
—Collins and Porras, 1996
Please share your BHAG?