Questions That Illuminate a Company’s True Character

By July 27, 2023 No Comments
Illuminate a companies true nature

Evaluating a company is an art. It involves understanding the mission, vision, culture, and operational structure of the organization. As a business owner and consultant, I have developed a list of 12 critical questions that guide my assessment of any company, providing insight into the various dimensions of its identity and performance.

  1. What is your company mission statement?
    • A mission statement is the foundation of an organization’s purpose, serving as a guiding light for all its decisions and actions. It reflects the core values and primary goals of the company.
    • My favorite formula is: We will accomplish X by Y because of Z. ie: We will accomplish changing the world by driving 2,000 new customers a month by the end of the year.
  2. What is your vision for the company?
    • While the mission statement provides a perspective of the present, a vision statement offers a glimpse into the future. It represents the long-term ambition of the company, portraying what it aspires to become.
    • Sometimes included in the X in the above formula.
  3. How do you measure success?
    • This question sheds light on the company’s performance indicators. Understanding how a company quantifies its success can provide insights into its priorities and focus areas.
  4. What are your company-wide goals?
    • These goals should be aligned with the above three questions. It can signify how the company intends to grow, evolve, and overcome challenges.
  5. What success in 2-5 years?
    • Planning beyond 2 years is more guesswork, but some target in the near future is important. A company’s vision of its near-future success not only represents its strategic planning but also reveals its adaptability and resilience in a rapidly changing business environment.
  6. Does each department have its own goals?
    • This question uncovers the level of decentralization in goal setting and how aligned the departments are toward the overall objectives of the company.
    • A study by IZA World of Labor showed having goals increases employee output by 15%.
    • Adapting OKRs or SMART goals or some goal structure is important as long as it is measurable and the employee can say they did it or not in a specified time period. Personally, I like quarter goals.
  7. How do you incentivize your team to hit their goals?
    • Knowing how a company motivates its employees provides insight into its people management strategies. It also offers clues about its approach to teamwork, performance management, and employee engagement.
  8. How are goals set?
    • The process of setting goals mirrors a company’s strategic planning capabilities, including aspects like collaboration, forward-thinking, and realism.
    • Also helpful to see if employees or their managers set them.
  9. How are decisions made in the company?
    • Understanding decision-making structures can reflect the company’s leadership style, level of employee empowerment, and organizational transparency.
    • I like the RAPID decision-making model.
  10. What is the company culture like?
    • The company culture directly impacts employee morale, retention, and productivity. It’s a reflection of the company’s values, ethics, and work environment.
  11. What recurring meetings do you have?
  12. Do you have a company structure chart?
    • A structure chart provides a snapshot of the organization’s hierarchy, showing how roles are distributed and how departments interconnect.

In conclusion, these questions delve into the heart of an organization, unveiling its mission, vision, strategic planning, goal-setting practices, company culture, and organizational structure. The answers help paint a comprehensive picture of a company’s identity, functioning, and future aspirations, making them invaluable tools in any company evaluation.

Keith Hubert

Keith Hubert

Fractional CMO