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 may be shifting?
  5. How often

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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 ]

12 Must-Have Facts to Diagnose Your Company

  1. Are your costs (and prices) declining as fast as competitors?
  2. Are your costs as low as best demonstrated practice?
  3. Are all your products and services truly making money?
  4. Is your profitability as high as your RMS justifies?
  5. How big is your market and how fast is it growing?
  6. Which capabilities create your competitive advantages?
  7. Which are your most attractive customer segments?
  8. How loyal are your customers?
  9. Where are your share of industry profits

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Business Design Questions

There are several key decisions that must be made when designing a business:

Customer selection (including channel):

  • What are the greatest profit growth opportunities that fall within my planning horizon?
  • Which customers are crucial to those opportunities?
  • What high-value customer opportunity should be targeted?

Value Proposition and Customer Priorities:

  • What are the unsatisfied needs that drive the behavior of targeted customers

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Task Management Questions

  • What if I don’t do this now?
  • What if I don’t do this at all?
  • Is this my project or priority or is it someone else’s?
  • Is this activity critical to get me from where I am to where I want to be?
  • Can anyone accomplish this task other than me?

Source:
Winners’ Wisdom
by Jim Stovall
The CEO Refresher

Questioning Success – Important ‘Why’ Questions

  • Why do we continue in this business?
  • Why should anyone buy this product?
  • What will prevent competitors from matching us? What will we do then?
  • Why are we making so much money? Why won’t it eventually come to an end? What must we do now to prepare for or moderate that change?

Source:
Probing
by Jonathan Isaacs
Boston Consulting Group

Profit Spiral Questions

  • Why are we here? (Mission)
  • Where are we going? (Vision)
  • How are we getting there? (Strategies)
  • Who’s doing what? (Structure)
  • Under what conditions are we doing all of this? (Culture)

Source:
The Profit SpiralTM
by Katherine Catlin
CEO Exchange

Problem-Solving Questions

  • What options do you see for addressing this issue?
  • What are the pros and cons of your preferred option?
  • How will that solution meet your (or the business’s) needs?
  • What steps do we need to take to implement your solution?
  • Who else needs to be involved?
  • What obstacles do you foresee and how can we get around them?
  • How are we going to measure success?

Source:
Do You[ Read more ]

Opportunity Assessment

Executives should step back and apply their strategic judgment and operating knowledge to assess opportunities along five key dimensions:

  1. How much does this opportunity strengthen our core business franchise?
  2. What are the chances of our becoming a leader in the new segment or business?
  3. Could this move have a defensive benefit, pre-empting our present or future competitors?
  4. Does this investment position our core business strategically

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