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What’s your MSP’s BHAG?

Ever heard a business state something like this? “Our company goal is to reach $100 million in revenue.” Perhaps that’s your business goal.

Ever wondered why no one cares? If you instead hear: “Our aim is to help 20 million people learn French by 2021”. (Or whatever their product/service may be). Sounds a bit more interesting, doesn’t it? Making the goal personal – by describing how what you do helps people, and making it attainable and actionable by putting an end deadline to it – makes all the difference.

Your MSP is like a rubber band

Think of your MSP like a rubber band. Until you stretch it, it has no energy. But if you stretch it too far, it will break. If you don’t stretch it enough, there’s too little tension for change. Then, nothing will ever happen and you’ll find you never progress to the next stage. WHAT’S YOUR BHAG? You might have heard of BHAG (‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’) as it’s an often-mentioned business analogy. The BHAG is described by Wikipedia as follows: “A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a strategic business statement similar to a vision statement which is created to focus an organisation on a single medium-long term organisation-wide goal which is audacious, likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible.”

The term ‘Big Hairy Audacious Goal’ was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their 1994 book entitled Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. A BHAG encourages MSPs to define visionary goals that are more strategic and emotionally compelling. Many MSPs set goals that describe what they hope to accomplish over the coming days, months or years. These goals help align employees of the business to work together more effectively. Often these goals are very tactical, such as: “Achieve 10% revenue growth in the next 3 months.” In contrast, Collins and Porras define a BHAG (pronounced BEEhag) as “…an audacious 10-to- 30-year goal to progress towards an envisioned future.” The authors claim that a company may have more than one BHAG; there may be one overarching BHAG and other shorter term BHAGs.

How to use your BHAG for innovation

In addition, “A true BHAG is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organisation can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.”  In other words, the BHAG is the stretching of the rubber band; it’s the long-term stretch goal – the view from the top of the mountain. To drive innovation in your company, it’s important to get everyone involved, to get to the finish line. The most important thing you need to understand is that the BHAG is not yours; rather, it is your company’s.

How to have a clear vision as a leader

Having a clear and easy to understand vision is essential for every business. Research shows that the top four characteristics of admired leaders are honesty, forward-looking, inspiration and competence. Having a clear vision enables a leader to share a compelling and inspiring view of the future. It enables the leader to be forward-looking and paint a picture of a bright future of which their team are an essential part. Once formulated, this vision needs to be communicated regularly in a way that is layered and across many internal channels, have consistent and easy to understand key messages, needs to come from the heart and needs to resonate and connect your people to the vision so they understand how they can contribute. Keep in mind what business thought leader John Spence says: “By the time you are thinking that if I have to talk about this one more time I will vomit, the last person in your team is just getting it.”

The Xcellerate Way webinar series powers the MSP transformation journey

The Xcellerate Way is a unique program that combines one on one coaching, workshops and live webinars that help elevate you to become a Next Generation MSP.  The Xcellerate Way is built on the four building blocks and habits of MSP success – culture, strategy, leadership and execution and covers key fundamentals which are the functional underpinnings of MSP growth and scale.

  “The single most important thing I did to propel my MSP forward was putting in place a business framework like this.” – Tommy Wald, Xcellerate CEO

To facilitate your journey an experienced business coach will help to guide, develop and execute your strategy.  Not only do we have your back but The Xcellerate Member Community will also have your back as we provide unique opportunities to collaborate and workshop with other non-competitive MSPs.  In addition – ongoing thought leadership is provided through a series of live webinars and workshops available only to Xcellerate members.



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