Chair's Letter, April 2016: Emory Urology's BHAG
Martin Sanda, MD
"A Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal…" Collins, James; Porras, Jerry. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. HarperBusiness, 3rd Edition, 1994.
An effective BHAG is an inspiring objective that can motivate the entire Emory Urology team. While it may be lofty and viewed with skepticism by some outside the group, it should be achievable if we operate at our maximum potential. A truly energizing BHAG mingles realism, ambition, and a clear vision of how hard we are willing to work. So, I give you the unequivocal and galvanizing simplicity of Emory Urology's BHAG:
To Become the Top Urology Program in the Southeast.
We began the process of identifying a suitable BHAG last fall. Following group discussion, surveys were distributed anonymously to a broad range of Emory Urology team members, soliciting suggestions for challenging but attainable BHAGs. The submissions were evaluated in an open forum at the Annual Emory Urology Research Retreat, and all attendees had two votes to identify their primary choices. Becoming the top program was the majority selection, securing almost twice as many votes as the second candidate, "To Place in the Top 10 in NIH Funding Nationwide."
Yes, aiming for becoming the cardinal clinical-academic-research urology program in the region will require steps that are not to be taken lightly. The Southeast Section of the American Urological Association is the largest regional section of the AUA, and although Emory Urology ranks high in several metrics among Southeast urology programs (for example, we place in the top 3 in Southeast urology case volume per US News and World Report, see figure below), there is opportunity for our program to improve in various areas. As a team, we can determine the metrics and target benchmarks that will constitute how we define being the top program, and as a team we will endeavor to achieve our BHAG.