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    7 Strategies for Women Business Leaders to Achieve their Business Goals

    January 4th, 2011

    You can create a successful business strategy – and reach your goals – by collecting the right information and asking the right questions.

    In his new book, Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution, Harvard Business School professor Robert Simons explains how women business executives can identify holes in their planning processes and make smart choices. I’ve found that throughout my life as an entrepreneur and woman business leader, setting goals and questioning my approach regularly helps keep me on track. Here are the questions Robert recommends every business leader should ask themselves:

    1. Who are my customers?

    Clearly identifying your primary customer will allow you to devote all possible resources to meeting their needs and minimize the resources you devote to everything else. This is the path to competitive success.

    2. How does my company value shareholders, employees and customers?

    You’ll need to define your company’s core values, and how it will respond when faced with difficult choices. In other words, if your company’s priority is its shareholders, is everyone on the same page?

    3. What performance indicators am I tracking?

    Performance tracking means that you must set the right goals, assign accountability and monitor performance. Find out what’s important to you and your company’s bottom line and make sure it’s covered in your performance-monitoring plan

    4. What risk boundaries have I put in place?

    Make sure your company sets specific boundaries for employees … for example, codes of conduct or ethics statements to limit potential risk for your business.

    5. How am I mentoring innovation?

    We all know that companies that fail to innovate will eventually die. You must push people out of their comfort zones and spur them to innovate.

    6. How committed are my employees to helping one another?

    What is the company culture your business promotes? For most companies, it’s critically important to create standards so that people will help each other succeed — especially when you’re asking them to innovate.

    7. What strategic uncertainties keep me awake at night?

    No matter how good your current strategy, the only certainty is that things will change. And, adapting to change is critical to survival.

    Excerpts from Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution. Copyright 2010 Robert Simons. All rights reserved.