BIZTALK: Your BHAG should be bigger than bucks
Naomi Simson joins Northern Star as a guest columnist for our latest series, Business Class.
TO BE successful you cannot always play in your comfort zone. You've got to push yourself beyond what you know you're capable of.
One of the most searched-for business terms on Google is 'Key Performance Indicators'. Perhaps the reason for this is that many people in business want to know what success looks like. Or perhaps they are trying to benchmark themselves against others - to work out if they're doing well, should be pleased or if they're not performing to standard.
Similarly, many retailers wait for the December retail sentiment figures to appear to find out if they beat industry standards, or in fact slipped behind their peers.
Yet looking at the past does not necessarily dictate the future - just listen to any superannuation fund advertisement. Looking at the year-on-year difference in revenue or profit alone does not necessarily identify what the critical number is in a business.
There are times to invest in growth and there are times to maximise profit. Determining which one is right for your business depends on where you are in your business cycle. But the fact is, what gets focused on gets done.
At the Big Red Group our purpose is 'to shift the way people experience life'. Each business in the group exists in the 'experience' space.
RedBalloon is famous for experience gifts; Adrenaline is an activity booking engine; and Redii.com work to shift the way people experience work through recognition. Each business aligns to what we believe in.
Setting a hard, yet possible, BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) unites people and gives them a sense of where we are up to.
This year the BRG served an experience every minute; that was our mission. But our BHAG is bigger than this - it's possible but perhaps not probable. It's definitely a stretch. And for our BHAG to be aspirational as well as accountable, it must also be bound by time.
For example: At the BRG we will serve an experience every second somewhere on earth by 2030.
We have scoreboards throughout our office showing the rate at which we are serving experiences.
These visuals are a prominent and real-time reminder that allow people to see the impact of their efforts.
It's human nature to be inspired by the impact we have on others - and when you create a BHAG around the difference you're making, you will find people are more likely to 'rally' to the cause.
Yet having a BHAG that speaks of financial outcomes or revenue targets is unlikely to spark inspiration. Money is the enabler, not the outcome. The BHAG must be bigger than bucks.
Ask yourself who you make a difference to, and why. And from that, what would real success look like? Then be prepared to put it up in lights.
An entrepreneur and business leader; Naomi Simson co-founded the Big Red Group in 2017. BRG is all about serving experiences to different audiences through its various brands: RedBalloon, Adrenaline, Redii.com. BRG serves an experience every minute as the third largest experience marketplace of its type in the world. In this series we present some of her key learnings on how she grew her businesses.