“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” Proverbs 29:18 (The Message)
I completed listening to an audio book entitled, The Five Most Important Questions You Will Ever Ask About Your Organization by Peter Drucker. These five questions distill the why, what and how of any organization. They are simple but not simplistic. Answering them properly will allow everyone in your organization to have a clear understanding of your purpose, vision, mission and goals.
I think any question asked for the right reason and at the right moment may be simple and yet profound. I remember attending a consultation meeting with a group of church and ministry leaders in Hong Kong regarding generosity, accountability, integrity and transparency. I felt that there was some resistance about our suggestion for them to organize a peer accountability group which could help them become more effective in governing and administering their churches and ministry. I asked this simple question to the church leader who hosted our visit. “How would you answer this question. Dear Pastor, How is your church? I continued, actually, I can rephrase this question with a more simple and direct question, “Dear Pastor, can God trust you?”. That simple question changed the atmosphere and they began to listen more to what we are suggesting them. They even agreed to continue having similar consultation about the topic of generosity and accountability in the future which they themselves can organize.
Questions, especially if it is the right question at the right moment are powerful. No wonder that our LORD Jesus always asked questions and many times questioned the questioner. He answered the young ruler who asked Him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life.” Jesus answered him, “why do you call me good, no one is good except God alone” And when Pontius Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, “Is that your own idea or did others talk to you about me?” Asking questions allows you to understand what the questioner’s assumption is or from where he is coming from in asking his question. Then you can have an appropriate answer.
What are the five most important questions you should ask about your organization:
- What is your mission?
- Who is your customer?
- What does your customer value?
- What is your result?
- What is your plan?
These questions are important for organizations to answer. Everyone in the organization must have a clear understanding of his organization’s answer to these questions. However, this is not always the case for many organizations. When organizations are not clear about its purpose and its vision and mission, they will flounder and their people will not flourish. When people in any organization do not see the big picture and are not clear on where their organization wants to go, there will be confusion in the implementation of policies and procedures. This is true not only for organizations but also for individuals. When a person does not know his reason for being and where he is going, it will be difficult for him to reach his destination. A scene in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes to mind.
“Would you tell me please which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to go to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where…” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat
Rather than answering the five most important questions about organizations that Peter Drucker asked, I would like to rephrase them and make them more personal. Here is the version of the five most important questions we should answer for ourselves and my suggested answers (italicized):
- What/who do you believe? The God revealed by Jesus Christ in the Scriptures
- Who do you serve? Jesus Christ
- What does He value? His Glory
- What must be the outcome? Restored and a living relationship with God
- What must you do? Obey everything He commanded in the Scriptures
How do you answer the most important questions in your life?
Who are you?
Where did you come from?
What is the right thing to do?
Where are you going?