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Why you need a 3HAG to reach your Jim Collins BHAG

Framework shows why 3HAG beats wild-ass guesses

Shannon Byrne landscape image
Firstly, what’s a BHAG?

Jim Collins and Jerry Porras famously coined the term Big Hairy Audacious Goal, known by the popular acronym BHAG, in their business classic Built to Last.

The BHAG was a long-term stretch goal, that was clear, compelling and engaging for all stakeholders.  

But, Shannon Byrne Susko, serial entrepreneur and author of 3HAG Way, says you need a 3HAG before a BHAG.

So, what’s a 3HAG?
It’s a framework describing a three year Highly Achievable Goal, developed when Shannon found her payment processing software company Paradata flagging, and investors’ confidence flagging with it.

“I co-founded Paradata in 1994 with a really good idea, a half-baked strategy, and what I called a wild-ass guess about where we were headed,” she writes in 3HAG way.

By 1997, all stakeholders had run out of patience, and Shannon says they were facing a do-or-die situation.

So, she created the early stage 3HAG, mapping out Paradata's strategy quarter over quarter, for 12 quarters, and aligning to their 10-30 year BHAG.

By 2006, Paradata had successfully achieved its goals, and the company was bought by a competitor. 

The framework comprises:
  • Foundation for Growth: Core Purpose, team core values, BHAG, and your profit/X.
  • One page strategic plan for 3HAG date (3 years from now)
  • Key process flow map (what products/services make the company money)
  • Market map: competitors, suppliers, partnerships, customers
  • Core customer (description, needs, drivers)
  • Attribution framework (how to serve customers to find market niche/space)
  • Activity fit maps (differentiating actions and company catchphrase )
  • Swimlanes (quarter by quarter goal setting – for 36 months!)
  • 36 month-over-month rolling forecast
  • Brand promise with guarantee
  • Confirm 3HAG
  • Secret sauce (kept secret from competitors)
Shannon Byrne Susko will describe how she saved her company, and created another from scratch, using the 3HAG way framework, at a livestream interview with The Growth Faculty on May 28 at 8.30 a.m. AEST.

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