Envisioning the Future: Write your own BHAG

 “I teach the topic of Strategic Vision at the beginning of the semester in Strategic Management for undergraduates, and was drawing on Collins & Porras’ HBR article dealing with this topic (Sept/Oct 1996). They discuss envisioning the future as one aspect of developing a strategic vision for a company. Envisioning the future includes having a long term goal they call a “BHAG” (big, hairy, audacious goal) and writing a vivid narrative description of how things will look when the BHAG is achieved. My senior undergraduate in-class exercise was for them to write their own BHAG for their career 5 years from now, along with a vivid description of what a day in their professional life would be like (as they might describe it to a former classmate in five years). For some of them, this is the first time they thought in concrete terms this far into their professional futures. I got very positive feedback from the class on this exercise and some of them did a remarkably good job with it. I read two of them aloud to the class (anonymously). I sometimes find it difficult to craft meaningful exercises early in the semester before we have gotten into the “meat” of the concepts of Strategic Management, and was glad to get a good response from my students on this one.”

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