What’s Your BHAG for 2020?

This entry is part 75 of 76 in the series Pangaea

It just dawned on me: 2020 isn’t just a new year but the start of a new decade. Now is a perfect time to start planning for it. Let’s start with that cryptic headline: Just what the heck is a BHAG?

A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is a concept developed by acclaimed business researcher and author Jim Collins in his seminal book Built to Last. In the author’s words “a true BHAG is clear and compelling and serves as a unifying focal point of effort—often creating immense team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal; people like to shoot for finish lines.” Collins contrasts the BHAG with corporate mission statements that are overly wordy, subject to interpretation, lacking in clarity, and often just plain meaningless.

Another benefit of the BHAG idea is the concept of creating goals that intentionally stretch beyond an organization’s comfort zone. The late, great advertising guru Leo Burnett put it this way: “When you reach for the stars, you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.” So, what if you don’t achieve your BHAG? You’ll probably exceed your expectations nonetheless and grow a bit in the process.

Bringing it home to geospatial

The great thing about our profession right now is the plethora of new technologies that are now available to help you do your job faster, cheaper, better, and more accurate than ever before: BIM, lidar/3D scanning, unmanned aerial systems (drones), advanced GNSS, GIS, and remote sensing technologies. All of these can be seen as “enabling technologies”—adopting one or more of these new, proven technologies can help you turn your BHAG into reality.

But how?

Integrating any new technology into your business is a big push-up, even a BHAG in itself. The team at xyHt magazine and its publications, Outlook, Heights, Field Notes, and this newsletter, are honored to help you learn more about this brave new world of geospatial technology with case studies, in-depth analysis, overviews, and reviews that will help you understand how to incorporate new tech into your missions, projects, and workflows.

See you in 2020 with more thoughts on preparing for the next decade.


Pangaea newsletter banner: unifying converging geospatial technologies

This article appeared in xyHt‘s e-newsletter, Pangaea. We email it once a month, and it covers a variety of unusual geospatial topics in a conversational tone. You’re welcome to subscribe to the e-newsletter here. (You’ll also receive the once-monthly Field Notes newsletter with your subscription.)

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