(Updated in 2020)
Even Big Hairy Audacious Goals Get Stuck
What makes me think that everyone has been here?
We get an idea. The concept seems whole, simple, brilliant. We can’t wait to start. So we set a dream on the horizon, and we go for it. Enthusiasm, drive, and determination propel us.
We set a plan.
We get to work.
We talk about what we’re doing.
Things are rolling
a hitch, a glitch, someone doesn’t show up.
Gotta Get a Big Hairy Audacious Goal
Putting a dream on the horizon and moving toward it is a start, but it isn’t quite enough. We need to make it a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
Suzie Cheel and Glenda Watson Hyatt live by their Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Lots of folks believe in BHAGs. Tim O’Reilly and Rosa Say blogged about their value. Geoff Livingston wasn’t shy about explaining what he why he thinks big hairy audacious goals make things happen.
When they name the BHAG, marching orders crystallize. It’s messy and non-linear, but voracious. Just the ticket for a little magic. The Buzz Bin
I agree. Big hairy audacious goals are messy and nonlinear. The very “big, hairy” name makes it clear that they’re likely to offer deadends, detours, and doers who don’t do what they said they would. Those big hairy interruptions are when too much thinking can get us stuck.
It’s the thinking … questioning?
Is it us?
Is the goal too big and too hairy?
Are we up to the struggle?
That’s the danger. The goal didn’t change, nor did it’s value. What changes is our resolve. Enthusiasm, drive, and determination fade into black and we’re left with voices saying we might have misjudged.
Hitches, Glitches, and People Who Don’t Show Up
I said I’d tell you about the barns and bridges project as things moved forward. It’s been a week since then.
Here’s what’s going on.
- Hitches: People are asking how to help and I don’t have a system for answering them.
- Glitches: Bad code stole time from the project and other work needs to get done.
- People who don’t show up: My designer has gone into the code cave. I think I need to find a new one.
- What’s on track: conversations with possible sponsors are moving forward, I’ve got help forming the message and the documentation they’ll need to see the project clearly and know their part.
As my friend, Lorelle, often tells me, “You’d be brilliant for other folks, now’s the time to be brilliant for yourself.” With that in mind, I’m offering these plans for now.
The next few days, my free time will be about: keeping the sponsor conversation alive; planning out how to get 2 or 3 key volunteers committed to help manage the project for 2-3 hours a week; start the quest for a new designer; finish the details left open by my computer mess.
Action has always been my best response to making sure a big goal doesn’t get stuck. That’s my advice for me. What’s yours?
Here’s the keys. I hand it over to you …
What’s your best advice about hitches, glitches, and people who don’t show up? What action steps should come next to keep this Big Hairy Audacious Goal of Raising Barns and Building Bridges moving forward? What good things have you been doing that we don’t know about?
Looking forward to what you write in the comment box.
–ME “Liz” Strauss