A BHAG, pronounced bee hag, is an acronym for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. The term was originally coined in the book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras. BHAGs are meant to excite and energize people in an authentic way.
Why should every nonprofit’s strategic plan include BHAGs? Below are twelve great reasons:
The litmus test of a true BHAG is how it answers questions like:
If the answers to these questions trend toward the affirmative, you may have a potential BHAG. Because seeing what other organizations aim for is always fun (and educational), below are some examples of BHAG vision statements:
National CASA: In changing the course of children’s lives, we envision a changed society. To achieve that vision, in partnership with the CASA/GAL network nationwide, we make two promises to every child who has a CASA or guardian ad litem volunteer: We will work with our network as a highly functioning team to ensure that every child finds a safe, permanent and nurturing home — with their own families where possible or if not, in adoptive families that respect their culture and connections. While we work together toward a long-term solution, we will make each child’s current well-being a top priority — at home, at school, and in their communities.
Susan G. Komen for the Cure: A world without breast cancer.
Novo Nordisk: To be the world’s leading diabetes care company.
Pershing General Hospital: To become the provider of first choice for our community by being a leader in rural healthcare and offering innovative technologically advanced services.
Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic: For all people to have equal access to the printed word.
McDonald’s: To be the world’s best quick service restaurant experience. Being the best means providing outstanding quality, service, cleanliness, and value, so that we make every customer in every restaurant smile.
Please email April at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.