A favorite question I often ask business owners or senior managers after discussing their company’s priority business goals is “if I asked your first line supervisors or employees what the most important objectives here are, what would they tell me?” Typically, after a little silence, the more honest ones answer “I don’t know.” The point of course is twofold:
1. Has management taken the time to define progress in terms of very specific metrics?
2. Has ownership of those objectives been passed to the people who produce the company’s products or services?