Hitch Your Business Development Strategy to a Crazy Idea
What is your business aiming at?
Ask anyone who plays golf, tennis, or baseball, and they’ll tell you how important follow-through is for hitting the ball with power. Martial artists break through piles of concrete slabs with just their fists using the same principle: To achieve maximum results, aim beyond the thing you’re trying to hit.
It’s a simple trick, but it works. And it applies to long-term business strategy. By aiming at a distant, big goal, an entire organization can break through barriers that otherwise might have seemed insurmountable.
Swing for the enormous ideas
For businesses running the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, the 10-Year Target™ serves as the crazy idea everyone is swinging for.
Helping clients explore their 10-Year Target is a fun part of being a Professional EOS Implementer®. In the midst of the practical questions businesses grapple with during the implementation of EOS®, the 10-Year Target gives the team a chance to dream.
Especially for clients who seem reluctant to aim high, I like to bring in the term coined by Jim Collins: BHAG, for “Big Hairy Audacious Goals.” If your 10-Year Target doesn’t feel hugely ambitious, it may not be big enough, hairy enough, or audacious enough.
The 10-Year Target Reveals Another Side of the Team
Brainstorming a 10-Year Target can expose interesting things about a team’s vision for the business. In their first pass, the leadership group of a small consulting firm I work with came up with a set of goals that looked something like this:
Have annual revenue of $10 million, reflecting a growth of $1 million annually.
Open regional offices throughout the West Coast.
Become a globally recognized leader in what they do.
No points for guessing which 10-Year Target came from the company’s Visionary (hint: it’s the BHAG)
During discussion, it quickly became clear that the members of the team each had taken dramatically different approaches to thinking about the company’s target. The company’s Integrator, a deeply practical person, saw the company’s growth trajectory as a straight line. The head of sales looked at the question through a geographical lens. When she saw the Visionary’s BHAG, she admitted she had based her idea on her current thinking and hadn’t taken the kind of creative leap the Visionary had taken.
It’s a good sign if your team has radically different ideas about where the business is headed. The mix of all those perspectives will be stronger than any one of them on its own. If the Visionary wants to grow a minnow into a whale, while the rest of the team is thinking much smaller, it’s an opportunity to explore the practical hurdles the business will need to overcome to achieve its biggest goals.
But don’t be afraid to choose a 10-Year Target that’s a little outrageous. Hitching your business to a crazy idea can help your team push through challenges with surprising deftness.
What’s your vision?
Always remember, today’s leading companies began as small firms with big ideas. Why not choose a big idea of your own?
I’d love to hear about your experience setting long-term goals for your business. If you’re running EOS, how has the 10-Year Target helped shape your strategy? If you’re still thinking about EOS, does the idea of setting a hugely ambitious target sound exciting? Either way, let’s start a conversation. Give me a call or send me a message!