If you’re leading change and crafting a thriving culture, you are going to confront tough problems.
When facing a tough challenge, penetrating questions are your best friend.
The failure to ask questions, or to create a culture where questions are allowed and even encouraged, can be deadly. Look no further than recent headlines.
Media reports have focused on United Airlines’ customer service debacle which involved overbooking and a passenger bodily dragged off of a plane. The negative PR has been otherworldly and their market value has suffered greatly.
A lot of the attention has been paid to tactics. In fact, scratch below the surface, and the evidence indicates that United has a culture of ‘do – don’t ask’, where employees were encouraged to follow rules first and think and ask questions later, if at all.
Engaged employees know that they have permission to ask questions – even tough ones.
Here are five questions to add to your toolkit as a leader and to build into your culture:
1. What does our mission or purpose as an organization have to say about this challenge?
2. Does this challenge emerge from conditions internal or external to our organization?
3. Who are the people most directly affected by this problem? How are they seeing it?
4. Where does this problem reveal itself – at the high level of mission and values or closer to the ground in routine tasks and processes?
5. What if any authority do I have to confront this challenge?
These questions may not provide the answer to your specific challenge but, without a doubt, they will better position you to work with others to provide the solutions you need.
In our work as Culture Architects, we help organizations of all kinds ask the right questions every day. We’d love to serve you. You can contact us here.