5 Questions Every Manager Needs to Ask Their Direct Reports

Before asking questions as a manager, it’s critical to know what motivates employees to stay with an organization and why. Gallup research shows 12 needs managers can meet to improve employee engagement, including:

  • Prioritizing employee development
  • Facilitating a sense of purpose
  • Caring about employees
  • Considering employee opinions
  • Focusing on employee strengths

These five measures map closely with research recently published by HBR on [ Read more ]

360-Review Questions for an Executive

  • What do her strongest allies say about her?
  • What are her strongest strengths?
  • What do her harshest critics say about her?
  • What are her development opportunities? Her weaknesses, blind spots, and obstacles?
  • When she is trying to influence you, how does she do it?
  • How do you describe her leadership style?
  • What environments bring out the worst in her?
  • Do you think she’s more external facing or more internal facing? Do you

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Business Model Innovation Questions

The following questions, based on BCG research into the characteristics of robust, resilient business models, can help you navigate this part of the process:

  • Can the business model scale effectively? Can it be replicated across all your business units or the markets you serve, without diminishing returns?
  • Will the business model differentiate your brand or product and make it more competitive in the marketplace?
  • Will it reduce

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10 Proactive Questions Every Board Member Should Be Asking

  1. If you designed the agenda, what would be on it?
  2. What is the executive not telling you that you feel you need to know?
  3. How is the external world changing in ways that are not reflected in your board conversations?
  4. What don’t you know about the company that you’re most concerned about?
  5. What do you see always being discussed but never resolved?
  6. What are you not discussing that you need

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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?

4 Employee Recruitment Questions to Ask

  1. Who is in our target market, and where will these ideal candidates find us?
  2. How is our culture reflected in our branding and job advertisements?
  3. What attracted our best candidates to us, and what do they want out of a career?
  4. How are we tracking where our best candidates come from and what they want?

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

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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 ]