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What are the right questions to ask for a Growing Organization?

Strategic Planning

  • How will the vision and mission of the organization change?

  • Has a long-term strategic plan been written and committed to by management?

  • What are the strategic objectives that will need to be accomplished and strategies to be implemented?

  • Have specific roles and responsibilities been assigned to achieve the plan?

  • Has an analysis been done on what the competitors will be doing?

  • Has data been collected on future demographics / customer base?

  • Have employees at all levels been communicated with or involved in this process?

  • How will the organization’s core business change in the future… products, services, customers?

  • How will new government regulations impact your business?

  • What will be the “ideal” corporate culture?

  • What new policies and business processes need to be developed?

Management Team

  • How effective is the existing management team to achieve the strategic direction?

  • Are all members contributing and being value added?

  • Will team membership be expanded to include needed additional skills?

  • Does the management team discus its levels of effectiveness, and provide feedback to one another?

  • How will the roles of individual team members change?

  • How strong is the management succession plan? Is it realistic given the CEO’s / Board’s expectations?

  • How does the management team plan to address these strategic issues and when?

Executive and Management Talent

  • Where will the organization find the talent necessary to ensure the long-term viability of the business?

  • What new critical positions need to be filled?

  • What steps are being taken by the organization to identify high potentials and design / implement career development programs?

  • What are the skills and competencies that will be needed in the future to grow the business (technical, managerial, administrative, leadership)?

Organization Structure

  • How will the top organization change from what is today and how will this be done?

  • How will G&A expense levels change? Will they be appropriate for the business and shareholder return?

  • What are the forecasted manpower levels to achieve the desired growth? Are they in line with the financial goals?

  • What new functions will be added? Which ones will be eliminated? Which ones will be outsourced? How will existing ones change?


  • How will the role of the “profit center” manager change from what it is today?

  • What new skills will the “profit center” manager require to implement the organization’s strategic plan?

  • How will the customer base change? What new products / services will need to be added? What products / services can be eliminated?

  • How will technology and globalization impact the business, the customers, the employees, the management?

  • How will the distribution system be impacted?

  • How will the human resources / compensation change to reward performance?

  • What new marketing / sales strategies will be developed to achieve customer / financial targets?

  • Who are your current suppliers and competitors? Who will they be in the future?

Financial Resources

  • Does the organization have the necessary financial resources to sustain this growth? How will these resources be obtained?

  • Is there a proper balance between anticipated direct and indirect expenses?

  • What is the anticipated ROI / ROA / ROFE and will the shareholders be pleased with this return?


  • How will the employee population change?

  • What new training programs need to b developed and put into place?

  • How will the recruitment and retention process be improved? What critical positions holes will need to be filled?

About the Author

Dr. Karl Larson

HR Expert / Management Consultant

Karl brings to his clients over 40 years of professional experience from the fields of international consulting, corporate management, retained executive search, executive outplacement and higher education.

For many years he owned and operated his own international consulting firm with offices in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, Manila, Singapore and Sydney. He has had extensive living periods while serving clients in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Holland, the Philippines, the Balkans-Macedonia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

His corporate experience has included senior level positions with Corning Glass, Rockwell, and Tiger International. He also has held various administrative and academic appointments at Northeastern University, UCLA, Springfield College and the University of Texas at Austin where he taught graduate MBA courses in Strategic Management, Global Marketing and Human Resources Management.

Karl also served as Senior Vice President for a retained executive search firm in Southern California as well as an Executive Vice President for a well-known retained Outplacement Firm.

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