Volvo’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG)

Big Hairy Audacious Goal - your Mount Everest to climb

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) could be just what you are looking for to mobilise your company, providing a Mount Everest for you to climb

In 2008, Volvo set themselves the Big Hairy Audacious Goal that “ by 2020 no-one should be killed or injured in a Volvo.

This is a great example of a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG):

  1. It will inspire their people. Financial goals fail completely at this. “Doubling shareholder value” will not motivate anyone except the CEO sitting on million of share options. Even “become the biggest X” fails as a meaningful goal to inspire your employees – why is big better? Much of our experience in this world is that big leads to mediocrity, not excellence. Saving lives is a goal that everyone from the Executive Suite to the assembly line can relate to. And even more important, their work can contribute to achieving it
  2. It is a bulleye for their strategy. Why do their customers buy Volvos rather than Audis or BMWs? (their Value Proposition) Their brand has always stood for the safest cars – not necessarily the most exciting to drive, but nothing shows how much you care for your loved ones more than buying a Volvo. This goal will also guide them towards Electric Vehicles, autonomous cars and beyond
  3. It will require the best of Volvo to achieve. It is unlikely that Volvo can achieve this goal by 2020 – there is always the chance of a freak accident or driver error. It will require the best innovation across the company in both engineering and manufacturing to make this real.

With this BHAG, Volvo aligns their whole company behind their strategy, provides a guiding North Star for decisions and provides forward momentum for all their employees.

What goal could achieve all these things for your business?