I believe there are some essential questions that are useful across a variety of contexts, including, and perhaps especially, the workplace. In fact, I gave a commencement speech last year on this topic, suggesting to students from the Harvard Graduate School of Education that there are really only five essential questions in life. Although the audience was future educators, I believe these questions are equally … [ Read more ]
With a higher degree of digital fluency, boards can help C-suite leaders make better decisions about how to expand a company’s most successful technology initiatives and when to pull the plug on lagging ones. In our experience, board directors are more likely to gain such fluency if they routinely ask these five critical questions relating to the IT organization’s performance:
- How well does technology enable
Subject: IT Questions
Much of the training top executives receive around crisis management is little more than training in crisis communications—only one part of the broader crisis-response picture. Executives should ask themselves the following 25 questions about preparedness.
- What are the organization’s top ten risks and, relative to these, what are the top five “black swan” threats that could destabilize the organization?
- For each black-swan threat, how
While most large companies are still in the early stages of developing a fully integrated marketing organization, we’ve found that the following questions are the most important ones to answer:
- Are you thinking about customer journeys rather than just touchpoints?
The starting point for delivering value, not just talking about it, is understanding the end-to-end journeys your customers take to accomplish a task, such as buy
Way to Play
- Are we clear about how we choose to create value in the marketplace?
- Are we investing in the capabilities that really matter to our way to play?
- Can we articulate the three to six capabilities that describe what we do uniquely better than anyone else?
- Have we defined how they work together in a system?
- Do our strategy documents reflect this?
Subject: Strategy Questions
Bring the Future to Life
- Case for Change. Have we convinced the organization that the status quo is unacceptable?
- Compelling Intent. Is our story of the future meaningful to our people and securing emotional buy-in at all levels?
- Credible Solutions. Are the proposed solutions appealing so the organization, and will they work in our culture?
Inspire Deep Commitment
- Aligned Top Team. Do we have the right top team? Is
- How are you deploying digital technology to proactively disrupt your industry?
- How are you keeping track of the “ratchet effect” customers have when interacting with businesses, both online and offline? Do you know not only what’s best-in-class, but also what is best-in-any-class?
- How differently do your customers experience your company online versus offline?
- How do you assess your company’s competitive essence and how it
In thinking about using analytics to power HR decision making, HR executives should ask:
- Are we using analytics effectively to monitor HR performance and drive improvements?
- Can we use employee segmentation to deliver increasingly tailored HR services to groups and individuals in the workforce?
- Are we able to “look ahead” to identify employees who are at risk of leaving, or to predict team and individual performance?
- Are we using
Subject: Human Resources Questions
In thinking about integrated talent management, HR executives should ask:
- Does our technology work across functions, or does it enforce traditional silos?
- Can we easily inventory skills across the global organization and match that against future business needs?
- How does development, compensation and performance management work together to engage and retain our high performers?
- Do our systems support an individualized, “workforce of one” approach?
- Are we able to clearly align
Identifying New Growth Opportunities
- What problem is the customer struggling to solve?
- Which customers canÂ´t participate in a market because they lack skills, wealth, or convenient access to existing solutions?
Identifying the Threat of Disruption
- Where are we overshooting the market by providing features that users donÂ´t care about and donÂ´t want to pay for?
- If you were going to disrupt your company, how would you do it?
Designing Compelling Offerings
Subject: Innovation Questions