bhag

Raising Productivity in Logistics Operations: The BHAG Approach

Raising Productivity in Logistics Operations: The BHAG Approach

Achieving business goals successfully is rather like working in a sports team. Some teams are really successful, some aren’t. Some have great coaches—and some just don’t seem to make it. So what makes the difference? Why do some businesses and organisations seem to achieve far more than others? As a consultant, I work with many businesses. Some just seem to get things done. They have an enormous number of projects going on and they achieve great goals, while others struggle and seem to spin their wheels all the time. The BHAG—the Big Hairy, Audacious Goal I recently attended a great presentation during which the presenter referred to a BHAG—a big hairy audacious goal. I think we’ve seen that in a lot of businesses. I am sure you know of companies where these goals are put up on notice boards, but often they just never seem to be achieved. The idea of a BHAG was conceived by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their book “Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies”. The authors define a BHAG as a long-term goal that changes the very nature of a business’s existence. A BHAG, as they put it, “engages people, it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It’s tangible, energising, highly focused, and people get it right away—it doesn’t need further explanation.” The person who gave the presentation I attended offered the example of a speech by late US President John F. Kennedy: “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and getting him safely back to Earth.” That was a fantastic big, hairy, and audacious goal that galvanised the nation behind the whole lunar programme. How does all this fit with your situation and your business? One of the things that can go wrong when you set these big, hairy, audacious goals is that people don’t believe they are achievable. One of the causes of this is that we get set in paradigms. We’re used to things being difficult, we’re used to things being done in a certain way, and we don’t believe that the world can change or that our performance can lift significantly. A Compelling Reason to set a BHAG As I explain in a YouTube video on this subject, I recently saw a good example of how a BHAG can galvanise a workforce and...

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