Monday, July 28, 2008

Thought Provoking Questions for the Top Executive

1 “How’s business?” is often the first question people ask. Is your business at or above forecast and accelerating?

2. As Diana Ross sings in the theme song from Mahogany says, “Do you know where you’re going to?” Do you have a written business plan that is known by all your managers and guides their activities and decision making?

3. People want to know how to make their company successful. Do you have clear business goals and do your employees understand their specific role in achieving them?

4. Our people take personal ownership in creating success for our company. Who has the ability within the organization to make decisions and do the right things to achieve goals to which all have agreed and committed?

5. Do what you do best. That is what made you successful in the first place. What are your core competencies? How are these reflected in your business plans?

6. Fire fighting is draining and not overly productive in a comparative sense. Have you identified the key challenges and bottlenecks facing the company and do you have a specific plan in place to address each issue?

7. Branding and positioning can mean higher margins. We have written about that here before. Do you have a clear marketing and sales positioning for both the company and your products?

8. Business experts agree that you have to meet customer needs. Do you delight your customers? Is there a clear customer focus across the organization? How often is someone from your senior management team in contact with your top 5 clients?

9. Accurate forecasts mean profitability from better use of resources. Are your revenue and profit results usually very close to forecast?

10. Focus on the bottom line and the impact of actions on it makes for successful businesses. Are your financial measures and results understood broadly beyond just the executives?

11. What you measure gets attention. Do you have clear metrics that measure the progress on each of your business plan strategies and the advancement toward your long term goals?

12. A learning organization is a growing organization said Jack Welch, ex-CEO of General Electric. Is it acceptable to take risks in the organization? How is the learning captured?

13. Do you take advantage of the synergies of working with other companies to extend your effectiveness? Do you have alliances with other companies that extend your capabilities cost effectively?

14. Bill Gates said “R&D is the lifeblood of long term company success.” In the U.S., a typical ratio of R&D for an industrial company is about 3.5% of revenues, high technology companies between 7-14& and pharmaceutical companies 14-25%. Are you growing your investment in the future of your company?

15. A great percentage of new products fail in the marketplace because they are not well thought out from the customer or the supply chain point of view. Do new products make up a growing percentage of your business and are their market introductions at or ahead of forecast?

16. Speed, efficiency and profitability can be accelerated from sound processes in all aspects of the business. How sound are your processes?

17. Information overload is common and yet many can’t get the information they need, on a timely basis, to do their jobs properly. Are your people able to get the information they need to perform effectively?

18. The 80/20 rule is true for employees, both in terms of their impact and in reverse terms as to how much of management time they take. The best employees contribute the most. The least effective take the most management time. What are your plans for motivating and retaining your best employees? How will you manage out the least effective?

How did you do? What are your weakspots?

Let us know how we can help.


John Maver
Maver Management Group
(925) 648-7561
Maver Management

View John Maver's profile on LinkedIn

1 comment:

Lewis Green said...

Good stuff John. Thanks for sharing.