Top 10 Questions You Should Ask in Strategic Planning

December 21, 2009

Scott Glatstein, President of Imperatives, shares with us the Top 10 questions you should ask in strategic planning and why!

1. What’s your marketplace promise?
a. Identifies whether a clear promise exists
b. Asking the same question across the organization tests alignment

2. Lots of companies make promises they don’t keep; why should the marketplace believe yours?
a. Identifies whether the company has thought beyond the t-shirt slogan
b. Determines whether there is understanding of how the promise is delivered

3. How do your products and services deliver on the promise?
a. Checks to see if the marketplace offerings are aligned to promise made

4. Has the end-to-end customer experience been mapped to ensure it aligns with the promise?
a. Identifies the key touch points and sensitizes the company to heretofore ignored drivers of preference and success

5. Do hiring and training practices create a company culture poised to fulfill the promise?
a. Tests to see how serious the company is in driving their promise through their people

6. Are internal processes managed holistically across silos with a critical eye toward their effect on the customer experience?
a. Tests awareness of breakdowns that can occur when processes cross silos
b. Tests awareness of the effects of every process on the customer’s image of the company

7. How do you gather feedback from your market-facing employees regarding potential improvements to your business processes?
a. Tests lines of communication and respect for front-line employees
b. Offers insight into management’s awareness of the market and the organization

8. Do you have any business processes you believe are strictly internal and have no bearing on the customer? If so, why are you doing them?
a. Offers an opportunity to point out that everything the company does should, in some way, serve the customer promise. If it doesn’t, it shouldn’t be done.

9. How do you ensure new IT systems support delivery of the marketplace promise?
a. Tests linkage between the development of tools and their effect on the customer experience. (“I’m sorry sir…the system just won’t let me do that.”)

10. Do your employees embrace the tools you’ve provided or do they view them as a hindrance to doing their jobs?
a. Identifies potential disconnects that could stymie strategy implementation:

  • Employee doesn’t understand role and thus sees no value in the tool
  • Employee understands role but tool does not enable employee to fulfill the promise
  • Employee has not been properly trained

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