Apollo 11 and the importance of BHAGs

It’s a bit sad I predate the moon landing, but this is kinda cool. In a few scant days, we’ll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of the moon landing which is a symbolic milestone that all humanity can be proud of despite what we’ve done in space since then.

I should point out I often use Kennedy’s example of this as a clear BHAG (Big, Hairy Audacious Goal), when talking about strategy planning because it has a clear, measurable, unambiguous achievement within a time limit.

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.

I think BHAGs are important and I think a lot of organizations suffer for not having them and instead have these wishy-washy undefinable and clearly aspirational (rather than achievable) goals that people can never be held accountable for. The moon landing was an example of a BHAG. You want to reduce political infighting and waste in your organization ? Have clearly defined BHAGs which underpin your strategy. Once you’ve got those, most arguments become about how to achieve them rather than what you’re trying to achieve.

I set loads of BHAGs for myself (and sometimes blow them totally) but the fact is having them and trying to make sure you have them is a surefire way to put you on the road to a better life. Either for yourself or an organization you may be an influencer in.