Do you have a BHAG?
In their acclaimed book, Built to Last, Jim Collins and Jerry Porras note that visionary companies set Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals (BHAGs), bold mission statements that act as powerful mechanisms to stimulate corporate progress. BHAGs are clear, compelling, serve as unifying focal points of effort, have clear finish lines, and often create immense team spirit. As the authors note,
A BHAG engages people - it reaches out and grabs them in the gut. It is tangible, energizing, highly focused. People 'get it' right away; it takes little or no explanation (p. 94).
Most importantly, BHAGs stimulate action. They create momentum, stimulate commitment, and get people willing to allocate their creative talents and human energies. President Kennedy's 1961 proclamation that the U.S. would land a man on the moon (and return him safely) by the end of the decade was a classic BHAG. While BHAGs may seem crazy to outsiders, they are seen as eminently attainable by organizational insiders. Visionary companies make the use of BHAGs an institutional habit, a way of life: when one is achieved, another one is created.
Does your technology plan have a BHAG? More generally, does your school organization have a BHAG? If not, what might be one?
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- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
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- Many an otherwise-worthwhile argument has been derailed by logical fallacies.
- Sometimes these fallacies are deliberate tricks, and sometimes just bad reasoning.
- Avoiding these traps makes disgreeing so much better.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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