Yesterday marked a major milestone for Naomi Simson and the team at RedBalloon, an Australian gift experience provider. In 2004 Naomi and her team set a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) to provide a gifting experience for 10% of all Australians within 10 years – 2 million gift experiences. At the time, it probably scared her and seemed perhaps impossible to the team. And that’s the key to a good BHAG. It’s meant to make people ask could we really achieve that or are we perhaps a little crazy and over zealous? A bit like this made people feel many years ago.

On 1st April 2011, with only 4 years to go, Naomi reached the 1 million half way mark and yesterday reached the BHAG of 2 million, two years short of their target 2015 date. Many times, people overestimate what they can do in 3 months and underestimate what they can achieve in 10 years. It’s clear that a lot of the hard work had been done in the first 5 years in order to create an inflection point and double the number of experiences from 6 years to 2 and a half years.

Today, most of the people I talk with at our Australian workshops know RedBalloon and many have enjoyed one of their experiences. It is not only a testament to the dedication and focus from Naomi and her team, but the power of a meaningful BHAG to focus a team on a seemingly insurmountable goal and achieve it successfully.

6 years ago Naoimi wrote this in her blog;

“Jim (Collins) was asked what is the signature of mediocrity. Chronic Inconsistencies They change all the time, innovate without follow through, keep reorganising. They change for change’s sake.

Great leaders are continuity agents, holding tight to their core values. These will not be compromised ? ever. A BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) is fifteen or twenty years out and it is a consistent focus.

So congratulations Naomi, you have been a great leader and achieved that consistent focus.


Naomi with Dexter as the BHAG was achieved.


Naomi Simson BHAG


BHAG Training

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