17 06 2016

“When many work together for a goal, great things may be accomplished.  It is said a lion cub was killed by a single colony of ants.” ~Saskya Pandita

B-HAG. That’s business school shorthand for Big, Hairy, “Awesome” Goal.  It’s that “stretch goal” that management gives their team.  Something like “Let’s have all end of month (EOM) reporting complete by Noon on the first of each month!” (said this clueless senior manager once).  You set the stake in the sand, and say “This is our goal”, and then you pull together a fantastic team to brainstorm and work together towards that goal.  This team should have varied skill sets, with some whose job it is to ask “why can’t we?” and others to say “to have accurate numbers, we need to push the timeline to 3pm.  After all, EOM reports that are wrong, but on time, are worse than useless.

If the B-HAG doesn’t happen, does the team fail, leaders?  Well, if it used to take 10 days to get them, and the new team comes up with a way to have them by Noon on the 2nd day, then that’s one heck of a success, even if it failed the B-HAG test!  Maybe in month 2, it’s 10 am on the 2nd, then it’s by 6am on the 2nd 6 months later.  Those incremental improvements all come about because of setting the B-HAG stake in the sand early on, and encouraging their progress.  Just remember: If they gave a strong effort, celebrate the success.  After all, just because you’re a clueless leader who throws out a crazy B-HAG idea, doesn’t mean they should suffer for not quite meeting it.  J  Now, come up with your own B-HAG, and shoot for it!  After all, the ant colony probably rolled their multi-faceted eyes at the clueless ant leader that said “Who’s up for some Lion?”, shrugged their 6 shoulders each, and found themselves telling “St Crispin’s Day” type stories at the feast!

Speaking of ants….

seismic Ant

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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