27 Questions to help you stand out


When you begin your learning curve in a new position, you need to think about how the business strategy leads and how you can attribute to it.

The best way to do this is ask the right type of questions. When consulting in a new organisation, I think carefully about the type of questions I can ask to help me align my role within the business strategy.

27 questions to stand out

#TIP Ask questions about the past, present and future goals of the organisation

Below is a list of questions to help you stand out and understand the business objectives when you start a new position:



  • How has the company performed in the past?

  • How were goals set?

  • Were internal or external benchmarks used? If so what were they?

  • What measures were employed?

  • What happened if goals were not met?

Root cause

  • When performance is good, why has this been the case?

  • What are the relative contributors to strategy, structure, systems, talent, culture and politics?

  • If performance was poor, what were the main contributing factors?

Change History

  • What efforts have been made to change the organisation?

  • Who was instrumental in shaping the organisation?


Vision & Strategy

  • What is the current vision and strategy?

  • Is the organisation behind this strategy? If not, why not? If so, will the strategy take the organisation where it needs to go?


  • Who is capable and who is not?

  • Who is trustworthy, and who is not?

  • Who has influence and why?


  • What are the key processes?

  • Are these processes reliable and acceptable in timeliness? If not, why not?

Road Blocks

  • What lurking surprise may push you off track?

  • Which potentially damaging cultural or political missteps must you avoid?

Early Wins

  • In what areas can you achieve early wins?


Challenges & Opportunities

  • Which areas of the organisation are most likely to face challenges in the coming year?

  • What are the most promising unexploited opportunities?

Barriers & Resources

  • What barriers does the organisation face to make change happen?

  • Is there areas of excellence or other high quality resources that you can leverage?

  • What new capabilities need to be developed?


  • Which elements of culture can be preserved?

  • Which elements need to change?

Which questions on the list above will you ask?