Articles tagged "Ask THE Question"
One of the questions I’m initially asked by a new strategic planning client is, “How will we know what we’re supposed to focus on with our new plan?” Well, the easy answer is, “You’ll focus on what you need to focus on,” but the more appropriate answer is, “You’ll focus on what your answers to some critical questions tell you to focus on.” Now you may be thinking, “Those sound like a couple of non-answers and they don’t sound strategic at all.”
Hmmm. Another customer just selected a competitor for their next project. That’s the third time that’s happened this quarter. Like the others, you thought you’d worked well with the customer. So why didn’t this customer choose you again? It must be the new CFO that joined their company last year. She’s probably forcing them to use new vendors. She obviously doesn’t care about maintaining successful working relationships. It’s obvious she only cares about saving money and not the value of maintaining a good working relationship. It certainly can’t be about the quality of your services. This customer’s always been happy with your services. Haven’t they?
It’s been a few months since you and your team put the finishing touches on your organization’s exciting, challenging, and let’s be honest, pretty amazing strategic plan. So what’s happened since you all high-fived one another and ‘finished’ that project? Have you moved the plan forward? Have you focused on it each day? Has it become a guide for your leadership and team actions? Or, have you already lost sight of what you and the team determined was needed to strategically move your organization to greater success?
Hallelujah! After weeks, if not months, of diligent searching, resume and LinkedIn profile reviews, phone interviews, and then multi-stage in-person and team interviews, you’ve hired THE right person for your team. Kayla’s got the skills, experience, credentials, references, work ethic, communication skills, team skills, and personality you need. She’s got ‘it’! Every team member, client and vendor who has interacted with her these past few weeks loves her. They’ve been impressed with Kayla’s abilities, intrigued by her thought processes, and grateful for her work and team contributions. You finally feel as if a huge weight has been lifted. You’ve finally found the right team member who will help propel your team forward. Or have you… Something is gnawing at you. Even though Kayla has ‘it’, you’re not sure she’s a ‘fit’. Wait! What? How could a team member who seems perfect for your team, your organization, the job, and the clients, not be a good fit for your organization?
I'm currently reading Tough Man, Tender Chicken - Business & Life Lessons from Frank Perdue written by his widow, Mitzi Perdue. It's an admittedly biased, but enjoyable and educational biography of the infamous Frank Perdue. His insatiable need to learn and identify ways to continue to provide the highest quality product come through time and again -- as does his skill at asking the right questions.