I’m a big fan of Marshall Goldsmith. One of the methods he uses to help people continuously improve is his set of questions, usually phrased, “Did I do my best to….” I’ve been using this approach, daily, for about 4 years. Each day, I rate myself on about 22 questions. some as simple as “Did I do my best to eat healthy foods…. or exercise.” Some are more challenging like, “Did I do my best to make a difference in someone’s life..”

The questions have evolved over time, at one point there were 28 areas I questioned myself on, it’s gotten as low as 15, but mostly has hovered in the low 20’s. These questions are simple, but help me refocus on the things I think are important–for me. Sometimes I do well, sometimes I do terribly. I’m not so focused on getting great scores as I am in how this exercise forces me to reflect on what I’ve done in the day, and how I might improve.

While this is a tremendously powerful process for each of us to leverage, it’s something we should look at in our business lives and organizationally. Perhaps not daily, but at least monthly, we need to establish a series of “Did I/We do our best to…..” questions to provoke reflection and improvement in how we work.

Things like:

  • Are we doing our best to be customer focused in every channel that we engage our customers?
  • Are we prepared for each interaction, achieving the most we can both for our customers and ourselves?
  • Are we doing the best to understand our customers–organizationally and individually? Do we understand what they face, how they feel, what they want to achieve…?
  • Are we doing our best in engaging them in conversations that are meaningful to the issues they face?
  • Are we we doing our best in focusing on the customers we can really help and not wasting time with those who are outside our ICP?
  • Are we doing our best to help our customers understand the consequences of not changing, of missing their goals?
  • Are we doing our best to help our customers make sense of the information they are looking at?
  • Are we doing our best to help our customers navigate their problem solving and buying processes?
  • Are we doing our best at helping incite our customers to change, in helping educate them on opportunities that enable them to transform, improve, learn and grow?
  • …..and there are more…..

Within our organizations, we need to be asking ourselves:

  • Are we doing our best to model the behaviors and attitudes we expect of everyone in the organization?
  • Are we doing our best to create a learning, open/growth mindset culture that promotes growth and improvement?
  • Are we doing our best to build and reinforce our purpose, culture, and values through our priorities, strategies, programs?
  • Are we doing our best to invite people who are aligned with our purpose and culture to join our organizations? Are we doing our best to grow and develop those people?
  • Are we doing our best to create an environment that promotes diversity, inclusivity, and equity? In the broadest sense of those words?
  • Are we doing our best to create a workplace where each person feel valued and that they can contribute to our collective goals?
  • Are we doing our best to equip our people to create value for customers, through selection, training, tools, programs, processes, and coaching?
  • Are we doing our best to demonstrate caring for our people in every interaction we have with them?
  • Are we doing our best to make a difference in the lives and careers of each person in our organization, and through them to our customers?
  • ….and there are more….

Perhaps, once a month, going through a group assessment of these issues, discussing a few areas where we may be falling short and what we might do to improve, can have a huge impact on our organizations, our customers, our people, and our own thinking.

This practice has made a huge impact to me, I suspect we can adapt the process to drive organizational growth.