Leadership,  Organizational Leadership

The Architecture – The Final Two Questions Every Organization Needs to Answer, Part 5

There are two final questions (click here for the 6 Key Questions) every organization needs to answer to assure long-term effectiveness.

Both questions move from the current state of an organization (the focus of the first 4 questions) to the future state. Though the answers to the first four questions provide “guard rails” for the answering the final two questions, they do not specifically define the future.

But the answers to these last two questions do define and articulate the desired future state of the organization. And because of that, the answers can and should change over time, especially as they become reality. Let’s take a look at each question and how an organization can answer them.

What do we want to achieve in 15, 20 or 25 years? Big Hairy Audacious Goal – BHAG (or Big Hairy Audacious God Goal for faith-based organizations)

The BHAG concept’s taken from Jim Collins and Jerry Porras book Built to Last. They state that BHAG’s are bold, challenging and daunting goals that stretch the organization. As goals, BHAG’s are definable, measurable and drive the organization to “think out of the box” while inspiring people to see the possibility of a different future.


What do we want to become in 5, 10, 15 years? Vision

We call this the “be” question because in articulating a desired future state – a vision, the answer is more qualitative then quantitative. It centers the organization on what it wants to become. The answer usually include words like “best”, “biggest”, “innovative”, “world-changing”, “life impacting”, etc.

The answers to both these questions drive, inspire and help assure the organization isn’t just looking at today but is aspiring to do and be more tomorrow.

In my next post I’ll provide some resources that can help your organization answer the 6 Key Questions.

To see SpringHill’s answers to the 6 Key Questions click here.

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