How to achieve big Audacius goals

In Inspiration

It all started in early September when Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua led investors from Dubai’s Emaar Investment International in a reconnaissance tour of the site of the new Machakos City.

The Emaar Group is famed for the construction of Dubai’s landmark Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Then President Uhuru Kenyatta launched the proposed Machakos City project last month.

This brainchild of Governor Mutua is set to give Nairobi a run for its money, with modern infrastructure, good security and many more. Among the amenities proposed are a university, a Formula One track, a stadium, marina, park, hospitals among others.

Nearly impossible

Bhag! This is what is known as a Big Hairy and Audacious Goals (bhags) at a corporate level. A vision that is nearly impossible to achieve without consistently working outside of a comfort zone and displaying corporate commitment, confidence and even a bit of arrogance.

Bhags are bigger, bolder and more powerful than regular long- and short-term goals. They typically take a 10- to 30-year commitment, but they are exciting, tangible and something everyone just “gets” without any further explanation.

In 1934, Walt Disney aimed to do something that had never been done before; to create a full length animated feature film —Snow White.
He committed most of the company’s resources. People in the industry called it ‘Disney’s folly’, but history proved them wrong.

It created a new industry and market. He later went on to produce ‘Bambi’, and ‘Pinocchio’ and ‘Fantasia’.

All were outstanding box office successes.

A sense of urgency

That is the power of a Bhag. It gets you out of thinking too small. A great Bhag changes the time frame and simultaneously creates a sense of urgency. It’s a real paradox. On the one hand, you’re not going to get a Bhag done in three years.

You’re not going to get it done in five years. A really good Bhag probably has a minimum length of about a decade, and many take longer than that. Some take two or three decades.

So time frames extend to where you are no longer managing for the quarter but for the quarter century.

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But this change in perspective and goals can revolutionise an organisation.

No longer are the board, staff and funders content with status quo. Rather, they understand and rally around their long-term goal, which is to solve a problem.

And they see every effort they make, every meeting they come to and every investment they secure as getting them that much closer to that solution. It can transform an organisation, and ultimately transform a problem.

And isn’t that really what we are all here to do?

I’ve been with clients with massive goals that can transform organisations and galvanise them toward solutions.

Categorising your goals

They have decided to take on exponential growth instead of incremental growth. It’s like categorising your goals from the ones with the minimum impact up to the ones that could change the course of your life.

Through this way, you will be able to work out the goals in a certain progression—one goal could lead to the accomplishment of the other goal.

It is important to note that from the outside of your company, the Bhag goals seems impossible, wild and unachievable, but within the company you must have the confidence in your resources, know-how, and capability to achieve them, even though they are going to be stretched to the limit.

The Bhag acts as a stimulus and unifying force or goal for the people within the organisation.

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In the end, the purpose of a Bhag is to make your organisation better. It forces you to dramatically improve because otherwise you won’t be able to achieve it. It’s a mechanism to stimulate progress.

Bigger realities

This is also to say that we should never be afraid of dreaming big dreams and make an effort to turn them into bigger realities. Of course, some of us may hesitate, simply out of the fear of failure or uncertainty.

Life is made up of failures and uncertainties. We only make life worth living if we are able to face our fear of failures and uncertainties. Life is not made perfect but for us to enjoy it, we should welcome challenges and changes once in a while.

So get on, dream big and realise the Bhags among your goals. Mr Mutua has just blazed the trail.

Mr Canute Waswa is the managing director of Outdoors Africa . E-mail:

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