6 Questions to Evaluate How You Spend Your Time

  1. When did you last review how you allocate your time?
  2. How much time do you spend a week actively reflecting on your strategy and priorities?
  3. Structured versus open: How much of your calendar is unplanned?
  4. Drumbeat versus flow: How much of your calendar doesn’t follow a set routine?
  5. Operator versus counselor: How much time do you spend problem solving with teams (rather than attending business update and review meetings)?
  6. Ambassador

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Questions to Help (Re-)Assess a Company’s Performance

Capital markets

  • What has driven our historic shareholder returns over various time horizons?
  • How does our valuation stack up to peers’ today, and why?
  • What are the highest-impact levers to change our valuation (growth, margin improvement rates, etcetera)?


Are we in the right businesses, geographies, sectors, product lines, and customer segments?

How can we strengthen our competitive advantage in these chosen areas?

What are our highest-potential M&A, partnership, and divestment opportunities?


  • What

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Reflective Recognition Questions

Reflective recognition gives you, the leader, a window into what matters most to another person while at the same time, helping employees get to present their own progress and accomplishments. What’s more? When employees stop and reflect on their own achievements, how they’ve tackled challenges, and how they’ve made progress, it is great for engagement, too. The first step is to empower your employees to … [ Read more ]

35 Impactful Questions Managers Should Ask Themselves Regularly

Questions For Gauging Team Morale

  1. Who haven’t I heard from?
  2. How well do I know my team members? How well do they know each other?
  3. Have I made a difference to each member of my team this week? (related: Have I checked in with each employee this week to see how they’re doing?)
  4. Have I expressed gratitude to every single person on my team recently?
  5. Is anyone a flight risk?

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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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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 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 ]

15 Key Transformation Questions

Bring the Future to Life

  1. Case for Change. Have we convinced the organization that the status quo is unacceptable?
  2. Compelling Intent. Is our story of the future meaningful to our people and securing emotional buy-in at all levels?
  3. Credible Solutions. Are the proposed solutions appealing so the organization, and will they work in our culture?


Inspire Deep Commitment

  1. Aligned Top Team. Do we have the right top team? Is

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10 Digital Disruption Questions for Executives

  1. How are you deploying digital technology to proactively disrupt your industry?
  2. 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?
  3. How differently do your customers experience your company online versus offline?
  4. How do you assess your company’s competitive essence and how it

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Strengths-Based Questions

If you’re involved in activities that you’re already naturally inclined to do well, your attitude toward work is different and you contribute more to your workplace compared with someone who may have similar skills but less natural ability. Doing what you do best is essential to being a star performer at work. As an employee, you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I know what I

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12 Questions from Jim Collins

Jim Collins has spent a career probing the inner workings of great companies. Below, he boils 25 years of research into 12 questions that leaders must grapple with if they truly want to excel. Collins’s advice: Be systematic. Every month, have your leadership team discuss one of the following questions. Repeat the process annually for five years.

  1. Do we want to build a great company, and

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Fit for Growth Questions

How can you tell if your company is fit for growth? Here is a simple, three-question diagnostic:

  1. Do you have clear priorities, focused on strategic growth, that drive your investments?
  2. Do your costs line up with those priorities? In other words, do you deploy your resources toward them efficiently and effectively?
  3. Is your organization set up to enable you to achieve those priorities?

Source: Is Your Company Fit[ Read more ]

4 Central Questions for Managing a Multi-business Company

  1. What are the boundaries of the corporation-which businesses should be part of the corporate portfolio and what is the underlying logic?
  2. How should resources-and capital, in particular-be allocated to the different businesses?
  3. How can the goals and actions of the individual business units be aligned with the interests of the corporation as a whole and with the interests of its shareholders?
  4. What is the real operating value of

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Organization Design and Operating Model Questions

  • What should our business model look like in three to five years as the implications of our business strategy play out?
  • What balance do we need on the spectrum of centralization vs. a distributed network of business entities? How should we be structured to best support our business strategy: by geography, product, function, customer-or a hybrid arrangement?
  • Do we have the right organization design in place to

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10 Strategy Tests

Ultimately, strategy is a way of thinking, not a procedural exercise or a set of frameworks. To stimulate that thinking and the dialogue that goes along with it, we developed a set of tests aimed at helping executives assess the strength of their strategies. We focused on testing the strategy itself (in other words, the output of the strategy-development process), rather than the frameworks, tools, … [ Read more ]

Turning around Problem Performance in Five Questions or Less

The following series of five yes-or-no questions can help you manage future performance in a new way. Your answers will steer you toward a turnaround conversation appropriate to the situation and the underperformer.

Once you become familiar with the questions you´ll be able to assess which conversation is needed in a matter of minutes. You´ll be on your way to managing underperformance instead of living … [ Read more ]

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) Questions

  • How can we better measure our ROI on R&D spending?
  • Do we have the infrastructure to support our global innovation and product development needs now-and three years from now?
  • Who owns product lifecycle management? Who should own PLM for the company?
  • Do we have a definition, strategy and roadmap for PLM?
  • How do our current CRM, SCM and ERP initiatives link to PLM?
  • What impact could improvements in PLM have

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Measuring Trust in an Organization

Schoorman and Ballinger developed seven “trust items” that were tested with notable validity. For leaders interested in testing the trust waters in their organization, these seven questions provide a useful framework or litmus test to determine whether there is a need for further examination of the extent to which trust is present or absent in an organization. On a scale of one to five, with … [ Read more ]

Transparency Questions

  • How will information technology increase transparency in the industry?
  • How will transparency impact consumer behaviors, retailer strategies and producer strategies?
  • How can we capture value and mitigate the challenges of transparency in terms of price, reputation and other drivers of purchase behaviors?
  • How should we react to empowered stakeholders — from

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Evaluating the Past 90 Days: Management Questions

  • In the past 90 days, what were your three most important strategic accomplishments?
  • In the past 90 days, what were the three most important ways you fell short of your potential?
  • In the past 90 days, what are the three most important things you have learned about your strategy.

Source: What Determines Which Businesses Win and Which Lose? by Wayne Strom, PhD, Keith McFarland | Graziadio … [ Read more ]