Asking the right questions is good business

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 7, 2008

By SCOTT GASNER / Guest Columnist

Managing a business requires learning the art of effectual questioning.

Most often, questions arise when results fail to match expectations and the need for improvement becomes painfully apparent.

The process of collecting, assimilating and filtering information into a revised strategy can be done efficiently when focused patterns of questioning are utilized and the transfer of knowledge enhances discernment by producing a clear implementation schedule.

This, however, is only one side of the equation.

What can be learned when things go right?


Taking time to quantify and qualify successful achievement not only identifies building blocks and benchmarks for growth, it is also an excellent way to leverage the power of recognition and reward within your organization.

Consider the power of these questions in learning more about successful operations in your organization:

-How did we save time?

-How did we create additional value?

-What were the key steps in the process and how can we improve them further?

-How can we leverage the contributing elements of this success in other areas of our business?

-How did the synchronization of everyone’s effort produce the end result?

-How can we support the continuation of this result?

-What additional resources contributed to this success; time, personnel, collaborative insight?

The point of this exercise is to capture a realistic perspective on the contributing factors of success.

By harnessing success as a learning tool, managers will foster enthusiasm by promoting a “what is going well” perspective.

This also helps to infuse their organization with a desire to investigate and capitalize on continuous success.

Scott Gasner is the executive director of the Design Group, LLC in Calera. He can be reached by phone at 668-9740, or by e-mail at