Peter F. Drucker has been an incredible influence on me. Not only am I an admirer of his seminal work in management but also the good he advocated in his consulting service with many social sector institutions. This most recent edition of his “The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization” is like having Drucker sitting right next to you, offering his sage advice on effectiveness. In addition to Peter’s writings, are chapter insight offered by leadership experts such as Frances Hesselbein, Jim Collins, and James Kouzes among others.
Drucker’s Five questions are: What is our mission? Who is our customer? What does the customer value? What are our results? And, what is our plan? Though they may seem simple, an adequate answer to each should take much time and thoughtful consideration among your organizations leadership, staff, board, and customer response. All answers should also lead to action and then again assessment, asking more questions, and more answers with action and so on. The distinction between primary and secondary customers and discussion on measuring changed lives quantitatively and qualitatively is far worth the price of the book for anybody who works in the nonprofit world.
I have used these questions to direct the birth of my first organization this year as a catalytic leader, and also as a consultant and coach to several first time business owners. I have family in politics, peers in ministry, and entrepreneurial friends, all of which have benefited from working through the self-assessment process this book offers. As Drucker states; “Properly carried through, self-assessment develops skill, competence, and commitment. Active and attentive participation is an opportunity to enhance your vision and to shape the future” (p. 85).