A number of years ago I was attending a U.S. Chamber of Commerce program called Institute for Organizational Management at the University of Charleston in South Carolina. There were Chamber people attending from all across the United States. Sometime during that week I heard a speaker at the time ask that very question; “What IS your BHAG (pronounced bee-hag)?”. Needless to say there were a lot of bewildered looks from those of us hearing this for the first time.
He went on to explain that was simply an acronym for Big-Hairy-Audacious-Goal. I believe that question is even more important today than it was back then. I’d also suggest that BHAGs are just as relevant in our personal lives, our professional lives, and they can also be especially important as we look at our community. If you have never heard of BHAGS, you just might be hearing more and more about them in the future because I feel very strongly that without them, we will look back someday and ask ourselves how we let these remarkable times slip away without realizing our true potential as a community. I do not know what your BHAGs are, but I do know that everyone ought to have a say in the future of our community.
Perhaps your BHAG for our community is that we are known as the “city of parks and greenways”, maybe it is a county known for “the highest teacher salaries in TN”, what about 40 city tennis courts instead of 4, what about a state of the art library that is the envy of the entire Southeastern U.S., maybe a new senior citizen center that is like no other around, or even an Olympic sized swimming pool with water slides and picnic areas, or how about something as basic as becoming the first 100% Handicap Accessible Community in Tennessee? The list goes on and on; each obviously has a price tag; maybe even two price tags if you consider the price tag of not having it.