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10 Change your course questions CEO’s need to ask themselves

question everything

Questioning, one of my favorite activities. I’ve been spotting a lot of it lately, and that’s good. Whether it’s because we are entering the last month of the year or because people are feeling the need to reflect, we need to be constantly questioning the obvious.

The obvious, if you’re succeeding, should also include this “change your course question” by Rosabeth Kanter: What is going to destroy our business, and are you taking steps to do it yourself before others do it to you?

This is one of those questions that rarely gets asked. But if you really think about it, it is the one that if taken action on, leads to potential transformation.

Anyway, last week I asked “why do successful companies fail?” and answered that it is because of complacency. Ed Catmull, asked himself that question to figure out what to do so that Pixar would not fall into the trap of complacency, and has taken action on it.

Sometimes, one question is all it takes to shift your perspective. But, we also need to get specific when pursuing that new perspective. Here are some more questions for you to reflect on how to avoid complacency:

  • How do we avoid being another ___insert successful company that failed____ ?
  • How do we avoid the “crisis needed to change” mindset that results from complacency?
  • How might we cure ourselves from complacency?
  • What company has avoided complacency, and how can we learn from them?
  • What skills are we missing?
  • What skills, that we have, are no longer relevant?
  • What skills do we need to develop to be relevant?
  • What’s working and what’s missing in our organization that is hindering our ability to transform?
  • What do we really want to do?

We could do this all day, but like everything else, how can we make turn those questions into action? Well, that is the billion dollar question. I’ll also make the point that these questions are not just for established companies. They are also for startups.

What other change-the-course questions would you add?

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