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In today’s funding environment it is essential to focus your organization on delivering positive impact for specific customers.  You can quickly create strategic focus by asking Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization.They are: 

1. What is our mission? What is our mission as an organization? Is it relevant? What are our challenges? What are our opportunities? Do we know and live our mission at every level of the organization?

2. Who is our customer?  Who are our primary customers –  the people whose lives we hope to change?  Who are our supporting customers – the service partners, funders, and others we need to support our mission?  How might our customers change in the future?

3. What does our customer value?  What do we believe our primary and supporting customers value?  Have we validated these beliefs? What knowledge do we need to gain from our customers?

4. What are our results? How do we define results? Does our definition of results align with what our customers value? Should we refine how we define results?

5. What is our plan? Do we have the right mission? Do we serve the right customers? Do we have the right value proposition? What must we strengthen or abandon?  What are our goals for the future? Are we organized for excellence?

We recommend that Drucker’s five questions can be applied in at least three practical and overlapping ways.  First, use the five questions to engage the board and leadership team in strategy development. Second, use the five questions to engage team members at every level in recognizing the value of their work, and generating ways to elevate value.  Third, think about the five questions as you address challenges and opportunities in your daily practice as a team member and leader. It is amazing how these five questions will keep you focused and help you make wise strategic decisions.