I am sharing/curating this material from a very interesting article in Inc. Magazine. They asked business leaders from all over what questions we could/should ask as a company, business, or transformational graduate school moves forward, and many are even good to ask in regards to our own personal lives and relationships…
Some of these are absolutely brilliant. No kidding. (Leigh Buchanan put this article together for Inc. Magazine, April, 2014. She is their Editor at Large, and used to be with the Harvard Business Review. I have seen her speak at a conference, and she is formidable…)
Here we go:
1. How can we become the company that would put us out of business?
2. Are we relevant? Will we be relevant five years from now? Ten?
3. If energy were free, what would we do differently?
4. What’s it like to work for me?
5. If we weren’t already in this business, would we enter it today? And if not, what are we going to do about it?
6. What trophy do we want on our mantle?
7. Do we have bad profits?
8. What counts that we are not counting?
9. In the past months, what is the smallest change we have made that has had the biggest positive result? What was it about that small change that produced the large return?
10. Are we paying enough attention to the partners our company depends on to succeed?
11. What prevents me from making the changes I know will make me a more effective leader?
12. What are the implications of this decision 10 minutes, 10, months, and 10 years from now?
13. Do I make eye contact 100% of the time?
14. What is the smallest subset of the problem we can usefully solve?
15. Are we changing as fast as the world around us?
16. If no one would ever find out about my accomplishments, how would I lead differently?
1 7. Which customers can’t participate in our market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?
18. Who uses our product in ways we never expected?
19. How likely is it that a customer would recommend our company to a friend or colleague?
20. Is this an issue for analysis or intuition?
21. Who, on the executive team or the board, has spoken to a customer recently?
22. Did my employees make progress today?
23. What one word do we want to own in the minds of our customers, employees, and partners?
24. What should we stop doing?
25. What are the gaps in my knowledge and experience?
26. What am I trying to prove to myself, and how might it be hijacking my life and business success?
27. If we got kicked out and the board brought in a new CEO, what would we do?
28. If I had to leave my organization for a year and the only communication I could have with employees was a single paragraph, what would I write?
29. Who have we, as a company, historically been when we’ve been at our best?
30. What do we stand for—and what are we against?
31. If there is any reason to believe the opposite of my current belief?
32. Do we understand our customer’s journey?
33. Among our stronger employees, how many see themselves at the company in three years? How many would leave for a 10 percent raise from another company?
34. What did we miss in the interview of the worst hire we ever made?
35. Do we have the right people on the bus?