Audacious Goals

Jim Collins writes about Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs) in his book Good To Great. He writes that the great companies have an audacious goal that they don’t think they can meet. For example, Microsoft (and Bill Gates and Paul Allen) had the audacious goal the that they would see a computer on every desk and in every home.

I have a BHAG. I actually have two.

  1. No unfinished projects.
  2. Every employee aided by automation.

You have to understand that these are two very separate audacious goals. Very different projects will accomplish each goal. I’m pretty sure that every single business book tells me not to pursue two different businesses and two different purposes. I don’t feel that I am a superman that is going be able to do something that no-one else has done before. My thinking is that since it is likely that I will fail on a BHAG, I might as well fail at two.

Let’s dive into the audacious goals.

No Unfinished Projects

I want there to be two types of projects. Projects that are in progress and are before the delivery date, and finished projects. I want to provide tools, methodologies, and motivation to eliminate any other type of project. If your project isn’t worth finishing on time, don’t start. If you miss your end-date and there isn’t a resolution with a definite end-date, consider scrapping the whole thing. “No unfinished projects” is about not allowing projects to languish with no returned value. A project should either be invested in (during the project delivery stage) or by providing a return on investment (after it is completed on time.)

Every Employee Aided By Automation

We live in a digital world. Every employee should be aided by some digital automation that allows them to do their work quicker and more accurately. In the same way that a back-hoe helped ditch-diggers, automation will help office workers in their work. Specific tasks will be automated, freeing up office workers to do more human jobs. This automation isn’t about eliminating a whole job. It is about aiding the employee in the work that they do. The same way that a calculator aids with math and a skid-loader helps move inventory in a warehouse. These tools don’t eliminate workers, but they certainly make them more efficient.

And there you have it. Two Big Hairy Audacious Goals

  1. No unfinished projects.
  2. Every employee aided by automation.

Let the race begin.