The Five Most important Questions You should Ask

I came across a slim book at the Foundation Center, with the title ‘The Five Most Important Questions You will Ever Ask about Your Organization,’ and I intuitively reached for it.

So, what does this book, from the most celebrated writer on Management have? Peter Drucker suggests that the five questions that form the core thesis of the book are one of the most important starting points of any business/ organization. He doesn’t differentiate between nonprofit or for-profit organizations or between customers/ clients. These terms don’t mean much, except to show the needs and unmet needs that exist among people.

Drucker’s five questions are :

  1. What is our mission – As in why do you exist? What is your existential purpose?
  2. Who is our customer – Who do we serve and how?
  3. What does the customer value ? – Really, the starting point of all work
  4. What are our results – Meaning, how do we measure our effectiveness
  5. What is our plan – This tackles the execution more carefully.

If this sounds too commonsensical, then perhaps it is. The idea, Drucker reminds us, is to get back to the basics and move away from our conceptual confusions to understanding once again, why we exist and what purpose we serve. It is possible that we may have moved away from our missions or gone adrift. This exercise of asking the important questions is a starting point in reorienting our work and lives, he suggests.

A good reminder as we start a new year, with new possibilities.

How often are you asking yourself, your team these questions?