Reset For Growth: Ask These 6 Powerful Questions

Growth is a funny thing. You’re busy so lose track of it. Caught up in the day to day and struggling to make traction.

All of a sudden, you’ve got some ‘free time’ but you’re knackered and have had enough of this $hit. You switch off and take it slow.

For many, COVID-19 has been a $hit show. For some, it’s been incredibly busy. Still, for others, it’s been a switch-off period, setting the car in neutral and riding the momentum of past efforts.

Wherever you’re at, if you’re ready to reset and refocus your strategy, plan and team then I’ve got six powerful questions to help you do just that.

1. If you built this business/organisation/place again (from scratch), what would you be doing differently?

One of the first things I do when digging in with a new client is to understand the way we’re working and what we’d be doing differently if anything at all (there is ALWAYS something). Think about:

  • The assumptions you might have about your customers and what they need
  • The assumptions you’ve built into the way you and your team do work
  • The way you and the team spend your time
  • How readily-accessible technology (please don’t go building custom software) could change the way you spend your time
  • Bonus: what mindset someone starting new would adopt (hint: it would involve a healthy appetite for growth and passion for the work)

2. If a new leader walked in, what would your team say about this place?

Sometimes the path to growth isn’t tech, new products or some crazy new activity-based-office; it’s the answers your team have always had but you’ve yet to ask for. Ask your team:

  • If you were promoted into my role, what would you change tomorrow?
  • What things do we need to stop doing?
  • What things should we start doing?
  • What should we invest more time or money into?

3. Are you built for growth?

When’s the last time you deeply reflected on the way work gets done? One of the problems I’ve found in leaders achieving growth is the misalignment between the plan and the way those teams are set up and doing work. Ask yourself:

  • When you haven’t achieved past objectives, what was the real reason? Was it structural?
  • Does the way you prioritise and do work align with the objectives you have now?
  • How do you track and manage metrics?

4. What are your competitors doing that matters?

You shouldn’t mimic your competitors (that’s boring) but you’d be remiss to ignore them. You can change the game and enter a ‘blue ocean’ but you need to be aware of when a competitor is stepping up or shaping the industry. Some of the questions to ask are:

  • Who is doing it really well (and why)?
  • Who has lost their touch and left an opportunity for you to step up?
  • Who is changing the industry and why?
  • How do you keep your edge against your competitors (talent, innovation, tech, etc)?

5. What are you doing to level up you and your team?

You aren’t going to grow your business on your own, no matter how herculean you might feel. The reality is you need to invest in yourself AND your team to level up for the growth agenda you’ve got on the cards. Ask yourself:

  • What’s your development plan for you and your team?
  • How are you investing in growth for each of you?
  • What skill gaps are missing and how will you fill them?

6. What lie are you telling yourself?

Unfortunately, we all lie to ourselves. Don’t think you do? That’s a lie!

Lying to yourself isn’t always a problem, like when you tell yourself that you’re better at a new skill as your learning it until you eventually get good at it (no problem). The issue with lying is when you don’t know you’re telling yourself it. Here are some questions around key areas I find leaders lie to themselves about:

  • Who do you have to move out of this business/team (because you know they simply won’t change)?
  • What difficult conversations are you avoiding because you hope they’ll go away?
  • What are you doing to sabotage yourself (not working hard, not learning the right skill, etc)?
  • What questions aren’t you asking because you’re afraid of the answer?
  • What’s the real measure of success for you and your team?

As you enter the reset and start taking the business back on track after this COVID madness, keep these questions front of mind and power through them to start to enable growth. We’ve got plenty of resources in our blog that can help make it happen.

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