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Goals, growth and big dreams – part 1

Posted on 1/8/2019 by Tom Holmes

It’s important to dream big.  Big dreams equate to high achievement, which equates to high-levels of satisfaction – and ultimately to happiness. And while the latter isn’t strictly tied to growth and ambition, the success of companies and the people within them are. Otherwise, why would you be in business?

To that end, Nutbourne is embarking on its next phase of growth; its ambitions are grand in scale and size and the challenges ahead are hard. But, according to MD, Marcus Evans they’re exactly what the business needs, and more to the point they’re what will fuel the next iteration of the company. We sat down with Marcus to discuss the whys and wherefores of Nutbourne’s future.

Nutbourne’s never stood still, has it?

 No, it hasn’t, but in the last couple of years, it has trodden water to an extent. That’s not meant to sound negative; what I mean by that is that the strategy has been limited to me giving direction and people falling into line (or not). There hasn’t been huge consensus all of the time.

Now that there are six of us on the steering committee, we’ve taken the time to do vision pieces and to plan what we want to achieve over the next five years. We have set some audacious goals that we think we can achieve. It’s re-energised those that know about it and given the team is far more focus on what it’s trying to achieve.


You’ve taken inspiration from outside the organisation, haven’t you?

 To a certain degree, I have! I’m part of a Goldman Sachs peer group, which is made up of me and four other entrepreneurs. We’re all trying to grow our businesses, and the consensus among us has been to adopt a composite of the advice and models spoken about in the texts and business literature. So for example, we’ve (Nutbourne) taken a lot of cues from a book called Traction and from a book called Built to Last. That’s given us a framework to set what is commonly known as a Big Hairy Audacious Goal or BHAG!

What’s one of those?

Ha! It’s exactly what it says on the tin! In all seriousness – and despite the odd name – a BHAG is quite serious stuff. It’s a framework that helps organisations to set a vision statement, which in turn designed to focus the whole company on a single medium to long term goal that is so big that it is likely to be externally questionable, but not internally regarded as impossible. It has the gulp factor – it’s a goal that we don’t know entirely how to achieve, but that we know we can if we foster the right mindset and a spirit of creativity and innovation. It’s exciting!

Keep an eye out next week for part 2 of the interview, in which Marcus discusses the goal (or does he?), the benefits it has for the company and people, and whether or not you need to be tall and beardy to have a BHAG (ok so we made the last bit up - it turns out you don't!)

Posted in Business, Business Strategy, Growth

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