Ask the right questions to get the right answers: Shareholder perspective.

In this column, I continue a series of articles that identifies how to explore different perspectives driving success related to decision making, problem solving and planning. Today, I look at the perspective of shareholders. Before you and your key people embark on any initiative to change or improve things, spend some time exploring people’s perceptions, understanding and commitment from the point of view of the shareholders. Here is a list of questions that you and relevant others could consider. You don’t need to answer all questions – just those that resonate with you and your sit-uation. Some questions will produce the same answer. Reason? Sometimes you can ask a question and get no answer. Re-phrase the question and, bingo, you get an answer. Give this list to the relevant people and give them time to reflect on the questions, then discuss and explore all viewpoints. 1) Who are our major shareholders? What are their characteristics? Are some shareholders more significant than others? Are their identifiable groups of shareholders? How could that affect our focus? 2) How could our focus affect shareholders? How could shareholders affect our focus? 3) What are the actual out-comes or return on investment/return on capital expenditure that we strive to provide to shareholders? How does that relate to our focus? How does our focus connect to these outcomes or return on investment to shareholders? 4) What do share-holders expect of us in terms of corporate governance, sustainable development, human capital, waste and pollution and contribution to our community? How could we incorporate these into our focus? 5) What are the key drivers of the outcomes or actual return on investment to shareholders in this situation? Are we in agreement on the key drivers of those outcomes or actual return on investment? Are we in agreement with shareholders on the key drivers of those outcomes or of that actual return on investment? 6) How will we monitor and measure the achievement of those key drivers and outcomes? 7) How effectively are we considering those key drivers in this situation? 8) How could this situation contribute to outcomes or return on investment to shareholders? 9) What could be potential adverse effects on outcomes or return on investment to shareholders? How could we manage any potential adverse effects in this situation? 10) What are the major factors that influence (secure) shareholder confidence? How can we incorporate those into our focus? 11) What aspects of our focus have the potential to receive damaging exposure in the media? How can we communicate with the media to limit the damage of that exposure? How and in what way could we respond to any damaging exposure in the media? 12) What things outside our control could have an adverse effect on shareholders? What actions can we take to mitigate the impact of identifiable factors that are beyond our control? 13) How are we separating fact from opinion? How well are we drilling down to get the facts? 14) How might our current ways of thinking about share-holder perspectives be limiting our effectiveness or exploit-ation of opportunities? 15) What ways of thinking about shareholder perspectives might serve us better? Daniel Kehoe created and developed the Super-Thinker ® – an outstanding and innovative tool for decision making, problem solving and planning. He has worked as a management consultant / facilitator since 1979 in Australia and overseas. In that time he has worked with over 5,000 managers ranging from chief executives to frontline managers. He has spent thousands of hours listening to and exploring the important perspectives and issues driving success. The list of organisations he has consulted to reads like a Who’s Who of Australian commerce and industry. Daniel is a Fellow of the Institute of Manage-ment Consultants and is the author of the best-selling You Lead, They’ll Follow book series, volumes 1, 2 and 3 published by McGraw Hill and sold worldwide. On-line See the Super-Thinker ® at Contact Daniel

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