Is your company brave enough to ask and answer difficult questions?

Lately, I read something truly interesting from the book ‘How Google Works’ and emailed a few questions companies may need to answer to 36 Senior Filipino Executives and 3 Senior Foreign Executives. It was odd, but not surprising, that all 3 Foreign executives replied and only 1 Filipino executive commented on the questions.

Now, these questions are from one of the best-managed company in the world – Google. These are questions that drive Google leaders to think hard about where the company will be five years from now. These questions drive the strategies and policies they make.

If these questions are interesting and important enough for Google executives to have sleepless nights, why are they not enough to raise a concern from our own Senior Filipino Executives?

Is it because the best companies in the world are humbled by the fact that success does not last forever? Is it because we are focused too much on tactical and day to day operations to think about where we want to be and how to get there. Is it because we accept mediocrity? Is it because we find such questions too hard to answer? Is it because we have no sense of urgency? Is it because we don’t care enough about the companies we work for? Is it because we put our own agendas before the companies? Is it because we don’t know where to start? Is it because we are ashamed to reach out for guidance?

Whatever the reason, we need to resolve it. The questions are important enough to have the Regional Manager of a large Japanese conglomerate, the CEO of the largest Shipping company and the Marketing Director of one of the biggest software development company in the Philippines respond back.

The question is important enough to have Google constantly think, debate and come up with answers.

These questions may be important enough to have a second look and come up with possible answers. We then need to take these answers and implement them in our own businesses.

  • Do you want your company to stay relevant in the near future, here are questions we need to answer

  • What do the ongoing changes in technologies mean for our company?

  • How will our industry look like five years from now?

  • Do customers currently love our products or service? If not, what can be done better?

  • How can our business be taken away by a smart and well-funded competitor?

  • Is hiring great talent a top priority of our management team?

  • What percentage of our new products or service are built on data?

  • Does our internal decision-making process lead to the best decisions? Do we compromise our decisions to please most stakeholders?

  • Are our employees free to try something really innovative for the company?

  • Who does better in the company – information hoarders or information sharers?

  • Do internal silos facilitate the sharing of information or restrict it?

“No business wins forever, it is inevitable. Some would find it chilling. We find it inspiring” Eric Schmidt

“How Google Works”
A book by Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg, with Alan Eagle