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Thought-provoking questions for top executives

Inside Business

Posted: May 21, 2008 9:47 p.m.
Updated: July 22, 2008 5:02 a.m.
What is your organization's overall vision? Where are you going to be in three to five years?

What are your specific financial, marketing, sales and operations goals for the current fiscal or calendar year? Do you have a financial plan for the year? Marketing plan? Sales plan? Operations plan?

What is standing in the way of having these plans developed? What is your company theme for the year? Does everyone know what the theme is?

What is your "game plan" on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis to help you achieve your goals for the current year? How often is this message communicated to managers? How often is the message communicated to employees?

What is the level of trust that you have with your managers? What is the level of trust within the management team as a whole? Do your managers trust the employees? Do the employees trust the managers?

Are people treated fairly in your company? Does everyone adhere to company rules, policies and procedures? Which managers or employees do not adhere to company norms? What is being done
about this?

Are you holding effective meetings that get the results you desire? Are your managers holding effective meetings that get the results that they desire? How often are agendas developed and handed out prior to a company meeting? How often does someone take notes of the decisions made and issues the meeting minutes to those impacted?

What is your organization's mission statement? Are you still passionate about it? What about your employees? Do they know what the mission is and are they "buying in" to it? Are your employees passionate about the organization's mission?

Is it acceptable to take risks in the organization? If someone makes a mistake, how is that addressed?
Does open dialog take place at your company? How does this take place? How often does this take place?

Are the people that work at your company being given opportunities to learn and contribute?

Who has the ability within the organization to make decisions and do the right things to achieve goals that all have agreed to?

What does the company training calendar look like? Does it exist? Is every employee being trained or educated on something new on a regular basis or is training exclusive?

Is everyone at the company professional in their behavior, dress and communication to others inside and outside the company?

What are the top five values of the organization? How many people know what they are? How many people abide by them?

Who are your strongest employees? What is being done to make sure that they are happy and motivated?

Who are your weakest employees? What is the plan for them?

Do you have a disaster plan in case of fire, flood, tornado, hurricane, windstorm or earthquake? What is your plan to communicate with employees, clients and suppliers in the event a disaster takes place?

What is your plan to keep the business going and your clients loyal if your facilities are destroyed or rendered useless?

Who are your top five clients? How often is someone from the senior management team from the company in contact with these clients?

Can people at your organization admit they made a mistake? Has anyone ever shared what they learned from a mistake they have made?

Do you have a mentoring program in place for new hires? Those recently promoted? For those that seek to be promoted?

Is your place of employment a cool and fun place to come to work everyday? Are you allowing your managers and employees to be part of something significant? Can your managers and employees grow while working at your company?

Is the company culture an open one, where people freely share information with others in order to get to the desired results?

Kenneth W. Keller is President of Renaissance Executive Forums, bringing business owners together in facilitated peer advisory boards. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.


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