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Business Execution for RESULTS

A Practical Guide for Leaders of Small to Mid-Sized Firms

By Stephen Lynch
  • Read in 12 minutes
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  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Business Execution for RESULTS by Stephen Lynch
Synopsis

Business Execution for RESULTS (2013) is a guide to building a better business. These blinks offer a practical plan for setting appropriate goals and performing the necessary analyses to create a winning business strategy that will lead your company straight to the top.

Key idea 1 of 7

Define ambitious goals that will show the path to success.

Have you heard the term Big Hairy Audacious Goals, or BHAGs? It was coined by Jerry I. Porras and Jim Collins in their book Built to Last. To qualify as a BHAG, a goal needs to meet four criteria:

It needs to be very big, take years to accomplish, be a little bit elusive in terms of the best way to attain it and must be easy to identify if it’s been achieved or not.

Consider Wal-Mart. Following World War II, the company’s founder, Sam Walton, set a remarkably bold goal; he wanted to turn his tiny variety store in Newport, Arkansas into the most profitable one in the entire state.

Since he was primarily selling cheap T-shirts and fishing rods at the time, this was a pretty audacious goal. It also wasn’t something he could achieve in a matter of months, and it wasn’t immediately clear how he could set about doing it. Finally, in terms of verifying his potential accomplishment, it would be easy to check the size and profit of his growing business against other stores in Arkansas.

By 1948, Walton had achieved his incredible vision – his store was the most profitable of any variety store in Arkansas. From there, he just kept setting goals and, decades down the line, by 2002, Wal-Mart had become the largest company on the face of the earth.

So, do as Sam did and identify your own BHAG. But a BHAG is not necessarily about growing your company; it can also be related to a specific product or project.

In 1934, Walt Disney set out to create the very first animated, feature-length film. No one in the industry believed in this bold project because animation was only considered suitable for short films.

History proved them wrong. Disney reached his goal when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1938.

People loved it. And even though Disney’s original goal hadn’t been revenue, the film did generate massive returns.

Next up, you’ll learn about two key concepts that are at the foundation of your business.

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