Big Hairy Audacious Goal

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"BHAG" redirects here. For the city in Pakistan, see Bhag.

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organization on a single medium-long term organization-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.

The term 'Big Hairy Audacious Goal' was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies.[1] A BHAG encourages companies to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling. Many businesses set goals that describe what they hope to accomplish over the coming days, months or years. These goals help align employees of the business to work together more effectively. Often these goals are very tactical, such as "achieve 10% revenue growth in the next 3 months." In contrast, Collins and Porras define a BHAG (pronounced BEE-hag) as " audacious 10-to-30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future." [2] The authors claim that a company may have more than one BHAG; there may be one over-reaching BHAG and other shorter term BHAGs.

"A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines."

Notable Examples[edit]

  • AIESEC: Engage and develop every young person in the world.
  • Amazon: Every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds.
  • Blackpool FC: Reach English Premier League.[3]
  • Disney: Be the best company in the world for all fields of family entertainment.
  • Ford: Democratize the automobile.[4]
  • Google: Organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.[5]
  • Hewlett-Packard: Be one of the best managed corporations in the world.
  • Hong Kong Broadband Network: Be the largest IP provider in Hong Kong by 2016.[6]
  • IBM: Commit to a $5 billion gamble on the 360[7]
  • JFK's Moon Challenge: 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.[8]
  • Microsoft: A computer on every desk and in every home.[9]
  • Motorola: Sell 100,000 TVs at $179.95
  • Nokia Siemens Networks: Connect 5 billion people by 2015.
  • Philip Morris: Become the front-runner in the tobacco industry
  • SolarAid: To eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020[10]
  • Sony: Embody changing the image of Japanese products as being of poor quality; create a pocket transistor radio.


  1. ^ Collins, J. & Porras, J. (1994). 'Built To Last. p. 113. 
  2. ^ Collins, J. & Porras, J. (1996). Building Your Company's Vision. Vol. 74, Iss. 5: Harvard Business Review. pp. 65–77. 
  3. ^ English Premier League, 05-22-2010, English Premier League, accessed on 12-15-2011.
  4. ^ Forbes’ Greatest Business Stories of All Time. Forbes Inc. 1996. 
  5. ^ Company Overview,
  6. ^ FTTH Deployment in Hong Kong: Successful Story of a Forerunner
  7. ^
  8. ^ Address Before a Joint Session of Congress, 25 May 1961 [1]
  9. ^ Microsoft's Tradition of Innovation,
  10. ^