Ask questions to encourage the truth

Jim Collins in Good to Great presents the concept of confronting the brutal facts and the role that this plays in creating a great company. I have not yet met a business owner whose goal was to create a mediocre business so let’s take a closer look at the strategy and tactics of dealing in the reality of facts.

As leaders of our companies, the first role we have is to establish a vision and share that vision consistently with employees and contractors. Our vision is our north star and is, by definition, inspirational. Once our vision is clear, we can create the path (strategy) to bring our vision to life.

In between our inspiration and “boots on the ground” strategy and tactics we must look for and consider the current reality. Our strategy must be based on reality (good and bad).

Our mindset largely determines our willingness to “confront the brutal facts”. Being open-minded is what sets us up to successfully create a strategy based on current reality.

Three Ways to Create a Culture where Facts are Welcome…

  1. Begin with questions AND listen to the answers. What are industry trends? What can we do better? What opportunities do you see?
  2. Engage in dialogue. In dialogue, we are open to exploring issues. During the dialogue, we are willing to suspend our own views, listen deeply to others, and be influenced.
  3. Conduct ‘After Action Reviews’. Its purpose is to learn from what happened and apply that learning to future projects.

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