Sunday, February 04, 2007

Articulating BHAGS –Big Hairy Audacious Goals

I recently began reading Scott Mcleod’s blog Dangerously Irrelevant and he addresses the components of initiating and sustaining change. This in connection with my own reflections as we are preparing to tell our story, “O to 60 in Six Months” at CUE in Palm Springs at the end of this month lead to this post.

Last summer at NECC and in many of the edublogs there was a lot of talk about telling the story. This, as Scott says, is a critical piece It builds vision, a common language and a sense of urgency. Telling the story by ripping, reflecting and remixing was the starting point for our school community and as the year has progressed we have continued to talk about the story because it takes time to plumb its depths. However the real change that occurred this year was driven by what Scott calls BHAGS- a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.

As an instructional leader setting a BHAG drove systemic change forward. It was no longer just an important idea but an action. The BHAG for our community may not be as lofty or as big as Scott had in mind but it was nonetheless a BHAG in our context- a single K-8 school seeking to institute systemic change in our educational program. The BHAG- Connect teachers and students with Web 2.0 as an essential means of teaching and learning.

I believe that at all levels of school organization from the district to the classroom we need to identify our BHAG as the necessary compliment and call to action which should follow our story….interestingly once again, this is about education learning from business as Scott links us to the origin of the concept….

So do you have a BHAG? "A tangible, concrete target that lets us know when we’ve reached some crucial point." ( Scott Mcleod)

Just as the story has been shared, ripped and remixed I think we need to articulate our BHAGs so we can draw inspiration and ideas from each other as well as clarify our own thinking. So who is willing to take the challenge and articulate their BHAG?
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