Ask Smarter Strategic Questions

With organisations facing increased urgency and unpredictability, being able to ask smart questions has become a key leadership skill – especially when setting strategy.

Here are five types of questions which could boost strategic decision-making.

Investigative: What is known? When facing a problem or opportunity, the best decision-makers start by clarifying their purpose, asking themselves what they want to achieve and what they need to learn to do so.

Speculative: What if? These questions help you consider the situation at hand more broadly, reframing the problem and exploring out-of-the-box solutions.

Productive: Now what? Assessing the availabil- ity of talent, capabilities, time and other resources ultimately helps you determine a course of action.

Interpretive: So what? This natural follow-up can push you to continually redefine the core issue – to go beneath the surface and draw out the implications of an observation or idea.

Subjective: What’s unsaid? This final question deals with the personal reservations, frustrations, tensions and hidden agendas that can push decision- making off course.

  • * This tip is adapted from ‘The Art of Asking Smarter Questions’, by Arnaud Chevallier et al.

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