In Collins and Porras’ research for their book “Built to Last”, they established that all the top companies had two major parts:

  • Culture
  • Strategy

Whereas they are directly opposed to each other, as a paradox, they are essential for the existence of each in the workings of the Business Organisation.

Whereas Purpose and Values create stability, strategy is anything but static. It requires the dynamic approach of establishing the goal and then working on the means to reach that goal. Collins and Porras found that the great visionary companies went far beyond budgets. Through the strategy of running the business, they established a goal which they called a BHAG. (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) The BHAG is a massive demand and is normally only achieved/attained after numerous years of activity.


  • They are goals that are clear and compelling and they unify an organizations effort
  • They are bold, exciting, energizing and highly focused
  • They are consistent with and preserve the organizations Purpose and Values
  • They require a high level of commitment
  • There is a massive difference between having goals and being committed to huge daunting BHAG’s

How can a business decide on a BHAG?

In “Good to Great”, Collins introduces the Hedgehog Concept.

Where the three circles intercept, the one big idea is found, which is common to each of the circles.

  • Firstly, we have to establish what we can be best at.
  • Secondly, we must understand how the business makes money.
  • Last of all, we need to consider what our passion is.

Working with each of the questions, we need to arrive at

  • what massive goal we need to attain, in terms of being the BEST at it,
  • which will generate revenue and of which we will be proud.

The next step is to establish by when do we wish to attain that goal.


Once the decision is made on what the BHAG is to be, and the date by which is must be attained, it is essential to establish the measurements that need to be applied for the people of the business to say “We have succeeded”. The measurements need to be both hard (turnover and profit) and soft (Customer compliments and complaints)

The Leadership team, in terms of Collins and Porras’ model, need to address the 4 areas that will help them attain that goal.

  1. Cult-like Culture
  2. Innovation
  3. Growth and Development of Member of Staff
  4. Continuous Improvement