There is a growing trend, perhaps driven by the difficult times for management to set very big goals, the “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” proposed by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book “Built to last”,  and hope to create the focus necessary to achieve the BHAG outcome.

Often however, the opposite appears to occur, as those in the organization charged with the  execution of the plans simply do not believe the objectives are achievable.

Sometimes this is just that the objective is divorced from the reality of the competitive environment,  sometimes it is simply a failure of leadership to recognise and allocate the necessary resources, but most often, the BHAG is just wishful management thinking that takes the place of the hard analysis and challenging leadership that goes with out of the box development.  

The lesson is to develop audacious goals within a framework of communication and consultation in the business to develop the buy-in from the operating level people and then, a Big Hairy Audacious Goal can be a hugely motivating factor, and has a chance of being achieved.