6/1/2014

The 5 Questions Every Company Should Ask Itself

IF YOU DO NOT KNOW HOW TO ASK THE RIGHT QUESTION, YOU DISCOVER NOTHING. — W. Edwards Deming, American statistician and expert on innovation

Reading Drucker many years back one think stuck with me - his focus on asking the right questions. I found that very hard at the start and eventually I learned to ask questions, starting with small ones and then big and bold ones. If you want to create change, if you want to be innovative you have to ask big and bold questions for your organisation. It is key to creating value. My colleague Elise pointed me to a FastCompany article by Warren Berger on 5 questions from various business thinkers. 1. What is our company’s purpose on this earth? by Keith Yamashita Why do you exist? What do you see as the reason for your existence? Big questions that should provide a lot of clarity. 2. What should we stop doing? by Jack Bergstrand This is such a powerful question. In my work I discuss the Drucker question of abandonment”. What are you willing to abandon to make space for the new? 3. If we didn’t have an existing business, how could we best build a new one? by Clayton Christensen This is a good what if” question to rethink your current business? 4. Where is our Petri dish? by Tim Ogilvie Experimentation is the key for innovation however, you cannot do it everywhere. Tim asks, where in your organisation can you experiment? 5. How can we make a better experiment? by Eric Ries In the lean start up world, we live and die by experiments. The goal is learning by experimentation. My focus is on continuing to develop the ability to ask the right questions, especially the bold ones. If you want to create change and innovate, you have not choice but to ask the big questions.


Value Creation


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The Purpose Question If questions are powerful and in fact a prerequisite for innovation, then the biggest question we can ask is the “purpose question”. Keith Yamashita