Over my many years working as an HR consultant to medium and large businesses; I realised that the successful ones were rarely the ones that had a great product or service; those are temporary. The really successful ones were those that weren’t afraid to ask the difficult questions and to do something about the challenging answers.
So I thought I’d share 25 of the questions I believe every business should ask.
- What business are we actually in and is that still valid?
- What mistakes did we make last year that we didn’t properly analyse?
- What opportunities arose that we were too slow to respond to?
- What opportunities did we take on that we probably shouldn’t have?
- What opportunities do we see for the coming year?
- Do they fit with our core business?
- Do they fit with our values?
- What new products or services are we considering?
- What problems do they solve?
- Are they scaleable?
- Are they short term products/services or will they fit a long term offering?
- Do they add to our reputation?
- Do they fit our culture?
- What products/services could we ‘bundle’?
- Which could we ‘unbundle’?
- Do we have enough staff to achieve what we want to achieve this year?
- Do we have the ‘right’ staff to achieve what we want to achieve?
- What excuses are holding us back?
- How effective are we at planning and scheduling to reach deadlines?
- Are there opportunities in joining forces with complimentary businesses to share costs; bundle products; share marketing costs?
- Do we encourage and incentivise our people to bring forward ideas?
- Do we ask enough ‘why’ and ‘why not’ questions?
- Do we take time out to review new ideas we’ve implemented?
- Do we give up too easily?
- Do we stick with the old ways too long?
I’m sure there are hundreds more, but try a few of these out every now and again so you don’t miss those golden opportunities that often present themselves as either customer complaints or mistakes someone made.
And I leave you with a few of my favourite quotes; things I read regularly every time I think that trying new things and taking a few risks is too hard and too scary.
“The meek shall inherit the earth, but not it’s mineral rights.” J.P Getty
“There is no scarcity of opportunity to make a living at what you love to do, there is only scarcity of resolve to make it happen.” Wayne Dyer
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” Jim Rohn
Ann Andrews CSP – Speaker, Author, Profiler, Life Member NSANZ
Author: Leaders Behaving Badly: What happens when ordinary people show up, stand up and speak up You can also take a really simple ‘Leadership Test’ right here