The Idea: There are over 28 million businesses in the U.S. alone. Big and small, most want one thing: to be successful. But success is not easy. According to Bloomberg, 80 percent of entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. Most new businesses are not unique. They don’t understand their customer, they struggle with focus and their marketing messaging is not coherent. They are not distinct.
How do you become distinct in such a disruptive, competitive world?
Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, author of 39 books and creator of the majority of business vocabulary, provided the map. He created five questions that cut through the noise, and they are more important than ever. If you don’t have answers to these, you are likely facing struggles in your business.
Drucker’s Five Questions:
- What is your mission?
- Who is your customer?
- What does the customer value?
- What are your results?
- What is your plan?
No matter how successful a company is these questions are vital; even Drucker never stopped asking himself these questions. If you master these five you will create a razor sharp blueprint and uncover your true company identity.
Drucker stated, “Leadership should not even try to guess the answers but should always go to the customers in a systematic quest for those answers.” His philosophy requires vulnerability, persistence and self-critique. It is a commitment to nurture and retain what is working while burying habits that do not stir growth. The most productive organizations love this process because it supports the group’s values and larger purpose. They understand why they exist and all that they do supports their answers to the Five Questions.
As author Peter Economy said, “The answers you get (from Drucker’s questions) will provide you with the clear roadmap you need to build a highly effective — and profitable – venture.” Even more than that, it is a tool to cut the noise from your decision-making process.
In moments of struggle, always return to the five questions.