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Why Does Your BHAG Seem Ridiculous?

When working with clients on their Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO) and the 10-Year Target, every once in awhile some of the team members feel their goal is unattainable, actually they think it's completely ridiculous. They simply don't think it's possible. I always say "you can do just about anything in 10 years." They laugh and think I'm crazy.  They are missing the concept of the "adjacent possible". The reason they don't think it's possible is because nothing in their current knowledge base says they can accomplish their goal.  They aren't taking enough action to know enough yet.  What does that mean?

The Adjacent Possible Makes Your BHAG...well...Possible

In his book, How We Got to Now: Six Innovations that Made the Modern World, Steven Johnson explains that innovations are actions and ideas that are built on one another.  For example, the fiber optic backbone of the Internet is not possible without the invention of glass.  So think of the people of the Roman empire next time you are surfing the net on your glass smartphone...and thank them.  Both the surface you are touching and the data delivery system rely on their invention.  Do you think an iPhone and the Internet was in the realm of possibility for the Romans?

Execute Quarterly Rocks and Experience the Adjacent Possible

As an EOS® Implementer we teach our clients The 90 Day World™ we call Rocks.  Setting quarterly goals that help us get us closer to our 1-Year goals, our 3-Year Picture™, and our 10-Year Target (BHAG).  Every so often clients go through a quarter and say "we chose the wrong Rocks."  I say "no you didn't, you are working on your ability to predict."  What I mean by that is they are in the adjacent possible. When you choose quarterly goals, sometimes they don't feel like they help you get to where you want to go.  You think you chose poorly.  But even Rocks that seem poor in hindsight get built on quarter after quarter.  You are learning something new.  Your adjacent possible expands.  Thomas Edison said he learned 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb.  Do you think without those 1,000 failures the lightbulb would have been commercialized by Edison?  Probably not by him. When you choose a Rock, a quarterly goal, that seems off target in hindsight, celebrate the learning and knowledge you gained during that time.  Embrace the adjacent possible.  It's where all innovation occurs.

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Embrace The 90 Day World

Starting today, set 3-7 Rocks that you think will be the first steps in living the life you want.  Somewhere in the middle of executing or in hindsight they may seem like poor goals.  It doesn't matter.  You learned.  You are now smarter, faster, better than you were before.  That's why they were once great goals and now seem off the mark.  Persevere in continuous, daily, action.  Be relentless in the pursuit of your BIG, HAIRY, AUDACIOUS GOALS.  One day it will become part of your "adjacent possible". 

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