In his 2008 insightful book entitled The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization, Peter Drucker, a well-known American management consultant, educator, and author, suggests that to bring success to an organization, business owners, leaders, and managers need to ask themselves the following five simple, but challenging questions.
The first question Peter Drucker encourages every institutional leader to ask is “what is our mission?” She or he needs to define a core mission that contains clear objectives and goals that can both guide and hold the organization together. The mission statement should be spelled out accurately and concisely and should help reflect the dedication, potential, and hope of the organization. Also, every member of the organization should fully understand the mission, and should live it daily as well.
Next, the leader needs to ask “who is our customer?” The organization needs to know who their product or service targets or serves. Customers, according to Peter Drucker, include both primary and supporting ones. The organization should know both these customers well enough as it will enable them to help customers better and get effectively prepared for any changes. Drucker stresses that the success of any organizations ultimately depends on what they have contributed to the success of your customers.
The third simple question successful organizations should ask is “what does the customer value?” Asking such a question will prevent the organization from wrongly making assumptions about what the customers need. Customers are the ones who know their needs, so their voice should be clearly heard and taken into serious consideration. Listening to customers’ concners and feedback will help the organization to maximize its ability to satisfy their needs and requirements.
Another key to success is to ask: “what are our results?” Every leader needs to know the result his or her organization wants to achieve both long term and short term. To meet the expected outcomes, the leader needs to keep an eye on and appraise the day to day performance of the organization against the approved criteria.
Finally, every leader needs to focus on the organizational plan, asking “what is our plan?” An organization needs a good plan that covers such essential aspects as mission and vision, set of goals and objectives, a course of action, budget, results, and the overall business climate. Peter Drucker challenges the leader to make an effective plan, that combines these five ingredients: abandonment, concentration, innovation, risk-taking, and analysis. Putting this plan in place and getting to understand it well, Drucker emphasises, will keep the organization focused on the set objectives and at the same time help everyone in the organization to find a way to achieve them.
So those are Peter Drucker’s five essential questions for organization success. These questions sound simple enough, but they may not be the easy ones. Hopefully, by putting these questions to work, it will help to make your organization more effective and successful.