Quick Skim: The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization

5questions druckerIn this quick read (82 pages), management guru Peter Drucker discusses 5 key questions that if asked, will guide any organization in clarifying their vision, developing their plan, and measuring success.

Taken from Drucker’s The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Nonprofit Organization, each chapter begins with a discussion by Drucker. Supporting essays are provided in each chapter by such experts as Jim Collins (Good to Great), Jim Kouzes (The Leadership Challenge), and others.

The five questions are:
1. What is our mission?
2. Who is our customer?
3. What does the customer value?
4. What are our results?
5. What is our plan?

If asked thoughtfully, these questions will add much clarity to virtually any type of business or non-profit organization – regardless of size.

There is no way to limit down to one golden nugget – after all, it’s Peter Drucker! Here are a few of my favorites:

If you have quick consensus on an important matter; don’t make a decision.

The effective mission statement is short and sharply focused. It should fit on a T-shirt.

The primary customer is the person who’s life is changed through your work.

Nobody can guarantee your job. Only customers can guarantee your job. – Jack Welch

If we’re not customer driven, our cars won’t be either. – Ford executive

Our business is not to casually please everyone, but to deeply please our target customers. 

Ask of any program, system, or customer group, “If we were not committed to this today, would we go into it?” If the answer is no, say “How can we get out – fast?”

…review the mission every 3 years.

The late Peter Drucker (1909-2005) is widely considered the father of modern day management theory. If you’ve not read one of his thirty one books, this is a great place to start.

I would recommend this for any leader responsible for establishing the vision for an organization. CEO’s and board members will find this helpful, as will Pastors and non-profit Directors. I can picture this being a great resource for leadership retreats and planning sessions. I look forward to taking my own team through this resource in the near future.



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