The success of an organization is all about asking the right questions. Such an issue is particularly important for leaders since their task is to provide a shared vision for organizational success, which they encourage their team to attain. Peter Drucker laid down five most important questions that those in leadership position need to ask as they rally their team for achievement of the shared objectives of an organization. The five questions developed by Drucker are the following:
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What is our Mission?
According to Drucker (15), the mission statement is a key to the organizational success. Drucker argues that knowing and understanding the mission statement of an organization is crucial since it communicates why the company engages in the business (15). Knowing as well as understanding the mission statement is also crucial since these guide leaders and followers on what they should do as well as what they should avoid doing (Drucker p.16).
Therefore, according to Drucker, an effective mission statement should match the organizational opportunities, competence and commitments, which are significant in attaining success (16). In this regard, Drucker asserts that one of the key responsibilities of leaders is to ensure that everybody in the organization knows, understands, and abides by the mission statement (17).
Who is our Customer?
Drucker argues that knowing customers of the company is extremely crucial and determines whether a company is likely to be successful or not. In this regard, Drucker suggests that leaders must ensure that they fully know their customers and their needs that are to be satisfied and work towards the meeting of their expectations in order attain organizational success (19). Knowing customers in this case encompasses understanding what influences them and how to satisfy them.
However, Drucker claims that, despite the fact that companies aim mainly at attracting many customers, the best companies make their customers become fans of their production and services (19). Therefore, the key to success here pertains to the ability of the company to understand and work towards creating highly satisfied customers.
Drucker concludes his statement pointing out that knowing the company customers is crucial since it acts as the basis for decision making, such as defining results, ascertaining the customers’ needs, as well as developing the plan (20).
What does the Customer Value?
Drucker argues that the success of a company hugely depends on its ability to understand what its customers value and then work towards meeting those values (26). To do this, Drucker argues that leaders must build a close relationship with their customers by listening to them, accepting their views, and integrating their vision in the company’s decision-making process (26).
This normally begins with seeking feedback from customers which leaders use in solving problems raised by customers. In fact, Drucker observes that most customers value companies that take into account their opinion and integrate those views in decision-making (26).
What are our Results?
Drucker argues that leaders must be able to define results of their efforts to determine if it has changed the lives (31). Result in this case is measurable both in the qualitative or the quantitative terms. Knowing the result is important since it helps in determining whether the company is successful or not. According to Drucker, the results achieved act as a basis for knowing areas that require improvement and those that can be abandoned (31). The author concludes that the survival of a company depends on the outcomes achieved.
What is our Plan?
The plan, according to Drucker, consists of the company’s vision, mission, goals, budget, objectives, and appraisal (34). In this regard, Drucker argues that the planning does not mastermind the future (34).
In fact, planning assists leaders in determining where a company intends to be in the future, as well as strategies to employ in order to get there under conditions of uncertainties. However, he suggests five crucial elements of planning that leaders must consider which include abandonment, concentration, innovation, risk taking, and analysis (34)
Application of “who is our Customer?” Chapter to known business situation
As Drucker pointed out, the success of an organization depends on how well a company knows its customers. General Motors (GM) has demonstrated this by ensuring that its products meet expectations of its customers. This explains why GM has dominated the American market for several years. In fact, the company has been working extremely hard towards ensuring that its customers always remain satisfied – that is exactly the strategy that has resulted in customer loyalty and high sales.
I have also faced a similar situation when establishing fast food restaurant. Before having ventured in the business, I began to identify the potential customers I intended to serve. I also determined what their needs were with regard to the fast food business I intended to establish.
This proved beneficial since it formed the basis for subsequent decision making as I managed to determine the location of the business and the cuisines to prepare. Understanding my customers also enabled me to work towards satisfaction of their needs. This helped build loyalty, thereby making the restaurant successful.
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Asking the five most important questions put by Peter Drucker is very crucial in leadership and management. In this regard, for a company to be successful, leaders must ask themselves those five questions and use them as a guide for rallying teams for the achievement of the shared vision of a company.
Drucker, Peter F. The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Wiley. 2008. Print.