Executive Level Cybersecurity Questions

Far too many boards and CEOs see cybersecurity as a set of technical initiatives and edicts that are the domain of the CIO, chief security officer and other technical practitioners. In doing so, they overlook the perils of corporate complexity—and the power of simplicity—when it comes to cyber risk. We’d propose, in fact, that leaders who are serious about cybersecurity need to translate simplicity and … [ Read more ]

Questions a New CEO Should Ask

If you’re a chief exec or even an executive leader:

  • Do you have a comprehensive understanding of the groups that most affect the organization’s ability to reach its goals?
  • Do you know who your top customers and most critical employees are?

Now that you’ve identified them, ask yourself:

  • Why do those customers and employees choose your company?
  • Why do they stay?
  • What is the likelihood of their future loyalty?

5 Onboarding Questions

Here are the five questions every employee needs to have answered if they are to have an exceptional onboarding experience:

  1. “What do we believe in around here?”
    Naturally, there’s a lot of “nuts and bolts” material that must be communicated during an orientation. But all those little details are expressions of your organizational culture. How you explain your benefits, time off, and other policies — and

[ Read more ]

5 Questions Leaders Should Be Asking All the Time

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 ]

5 Questions Boards Should Ask About IT in a Digital World

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:

  1. How well does technology enable

[ Read more ]

25 Crisis Management 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.
Understanding threats

  • 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

[ Read more ]

5 Questions Brands Need to Answer to Be Customer First

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:

  1. 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

[ Read more ]

Tough Questions to Ask About Your Company’s Strategy

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?

Capabilities System

  • 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?

[ Read more ]