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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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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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?

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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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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 ]

5 Questions for Detecting Competitive Threats

  1. How willing are customers to continue to pay for further improvements in performance that historically merited attractive price premiums? One of the key tipping points in a market occurs when a company, in Christensen’s language, overshoots a given market tier by providing them performance that they can’t use. Your television remote control probably serves as a daily reminder of overshooting. Each of those buttons can

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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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Questions for Using Scenario Planning

  • What does success look like in this scenario?
  • In what markets will we play and which customers will we serve?
  • How will we serve those customers?
  • What capabilities will we need to have in place?
  • Which actions should we prioritize? Which ones are robust across all scenarios and which are contingent depending on how the future unfolds?
  • How would we know if this scenario were going to come true (in

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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 ]

Questions to Test Strategy

  • Does it violate any strategic laws of gravity?
  • Do my numbers match my strategy?
  • Will it create value?
  • Is it material?
  • Is it differentiated?
  • Is it just `PowerPoint engineering´? (assuming that anything people say they can do, they can do)
  • Where are we in our strategic journey?
  • Are we properly balancing growth and risk?
  • What are the facts?
  • Is the problem solvable, and do we care?
  • Who can solve that problem?
  • Why might we fail?
  • How can

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What is a Business Model Innovation Questions

BMI begins by assessing the company’s current context, the needs of its customers, and the models of its competitors. These steps should be completed with sufficient clarity and honesty to reveal what is currently working, what is not, and what might constitute a better value proposition. To that end, we offer the following questions for executives and managers seeking to create a shared awareness of … [ Read more ]

Scenario “Knowledge-Uncertainty” Questions

  • Do we know what forces are shaping our current and emerging business environment?
  • Do we know what new driving forces might emerge?
  • Do we know which forces might not change much over the scenario period?
  • Do we know which of these forces have more uncertainty associated with them?
  • Do we know how these forces might interact to give rise to one future rather than

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Scenario Planning Questions

  • What does success look like in this scenario?
  • In what markets will you play and which customers will you serve?
  • How will you serve those customers?
  • What capabilities will you need to have in place?
  • How would you know if this scenario were going to come true?

The first four questions get executives to clearly articulate the growth opportunity. The last one gets them thinking about when it … [ Read more ]

Value Growth Agenda Questions

As you consider building your own Value Growth Agenda, ask yourself the following questions:

Competitive position

  • Is our market value growing as fast as it could?
  • Do investors value our company fairly?
  • Are we as profitable as our toughest competitors?
  • Are we meeting our revenue and earnings growth targets?
  • Have we created barriers to entry for new entrants in our industry?
  • Can we pinpoint why customers choose us over our competitors?

Patterns and[ Read more ]

Strategic Planning Questions

  • What’s our purpose as a company? What’s the promise of our brand?
  • What do our customers/consumers feel is the most valuable things that we can do for them? (Consider this as the basis of your brand promise.)
  • What is the unique value of our organization…the competitive differentiator in our minds and in the minds of our stakeholders?
  • Where is our competition coming from and what are their perceived

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