13 Great Questions to Choose from for your next Management Meeting


Most management meetings are dull affairs stacked full of short-term urgent problems that need fixing.  Discussions focus on routine operational issues and of course these things have to be addressed.  However, from time to time you and your team should lift your heads and think about a bigger, brighter future.  You should brainstorm strategic and innovative options.

The kind of question you ask makes a big difference.  If you start with mundane incremental questions – such as how can we increase sales by 10% – then you will get mundane incremental answers.  These often involve doing a bit more of the same – increase marketing spend, hire more sales people and so on.  If you want radical thinking you need radical questions.  Here are some questions which I use in corporate brainstorm meetings.  They will generate creative and sometimes drastic suggestions.

  1. How can we surprise and delight customers?
  2. How can we double our average order value?
  3. How can we get 100% brand awareness in our target market?
  4. How can we make all our employees really proud to work here?
  5. What is the most dramatic business innovation you have seen in the last two years? How could we apply that approach here?
  6. How can we empower people at all levels to make decisions quickly?
  7. If we want to double our revenues what is the single most important thing we must change and what should we do?
  8. If we had to cut our cost base by 50% but maintain revenues what could we do?
  9. If we had absolutely no fear of failure what would we try?
  10. What are the most important rules that we and our competitors follow? What if we broke them?
  11. If we were an aggressive new entrant to our market with no installed base what would we do to become the new market leader?
  12. How can we make all our people feel and act like entrepreneurs who own the business and take calculated risks?
  13. What are the customer needs and pain points which are not being met today? What will they be in two years’ time?

Get a diverse group of people. Take them offsite.  Follow the rules of brainstorming and tackle one or two of these questions.  Then implement the best ideas that emerge. Great ideas are no use if you do not try them!


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6 thoughts on “13 Great Questions to Choose from for your next Management Meeting

  1. Agree with the “from time to time” statement in the first para and the list of 13 questions is a good one for Strategic Management Meetings (to be distinguished from the usual Operational Management Meetings) – helps to remove the blinkers!

  2. Good list, but would take issue with point one – surprising and delighting the customer. Ask yourself​, when was the last time that happened to you, as a customer? Also, as a strategy, I’m not at all sure that surprising and delighting actually works.

  3. Great list. To answer the question of point one that roger sharps refers to, I think is a good one maybe not the first one to ask but indeed a good one. I did make myself that question and my answer is that recently, a web with a onli product that I suscribe to, from Australia, sent me a handwritten letter to Spain, from the CEO. It really surprised me. That did make the difference to me.

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