Business Systems and Processes.

The Systems Thinker Blog

Business Improvement: Eight Questions to Energize Your Team!

The Systems Thinker does not always know the right answers, but he or she is one who asks the right questions. Effective questions are the key to problem-solving, innovation, and unlocking our full potential. In fact, enlightened questions often point to brilliant solutions.

It takes as much skill to ask the right question as it does to give the right answer!

Ask Good Questions

Good Questions Lead to Improvement

When drilling down on a problem (5-Whys Analysis), or conducting a business improvement workshop, here are a few questions to get people thinking and to energize your team:

  1. What is standing in our way of being a much better company?
  2. What new market opportunities can we exploit? What other business strategies would increase market share and growth?
  3. What does our target market want that they are not currently getting? What innovative products, features, benefits, or services could we add?
  4. How do we plan to get more customers? How can we sell more to each customer (cross-sell or up-sell)? How can we make our customers more aware of all our products and services?
  5. What are our most frequent or challenging customer service questions? What gives our customers the greatest pain or causes the most complaints in doing business with us? How can we give the customer a more pleasurable buying experience? What specifically are we doing to create loyal customers?
  6. How can we provide better quality products or services than our competitors? How can we deliver faster than the market norm? What can we do to reduce cost or give more value to customers than the competition? (see Better, Faster, Cheaper).
  7. What business systems and processes must we excel at? Which process has the most need for improvement? What new system or process would add value to our market and attract more customers? What innovative business system would rock our industry (e.g. FedEx overnight delivery)?
  8. How do we plan to attract the best employees? What can we do to retain loyal people? How do we provide a better place to work? What would help employees become more empowered or productive? (see The Right People)

Good Questions Lead to Profit

Asking questions of customers or employees not only provides valuable information, it shows you have a genuine interest and respect for the opinions and suggestions of others. If you listen carefully, wanting to be taught, people will often reveal ideas that can make your company better and more profitable.

Asking questions is also the best way to teach. In the words of a professional trainer, “To tell is to preach. To ask is to teach.”

Chet HolmesChet Holmes, a well-known marketing and sales teacher who died prematurely used questions very effectively. Go to THE ZONE and check out his three-page article, “Creating Great Businesses.” Chet gives an example of how he helped one business implement nineteen important improvements, all stemming from a single question.

So, what question would get your team fired-up to make needed improvements?

*****Special Alert: My Retirement is Your Gain*****

To give back to the entrepreneurial community, I HAVE DECIDED TO GIVE AWAY MY VALUABLE SYSTEMS-BUILDING SOFTWARE, ecOURSE, AND OTHER INFORMATION ABSOLUTELY FREE. By filling out the form on this page, you will go directly to a download page. This is not hype. There is no catch. You will receive a software product and a “college equivalent” eCourse on how to develop effective business systems and processes. Customers have been paying for this software and eCourse for fourteen years (see What Cutomers Are Saying).

I will show you how to eliminate business frustrations and make more money by creating remarkable systems and processes that boost customer loyalty, profitability and growth. The application of these strategies has proven to be of great worth for owners of many small and mid-size businesses. Put me to the test!

You will learn the following, and much more:

  • How to become a Systems Thinker and raise your business I.Q. by 80 points—OVERNIGHT.
  • What six elements are found in every great business system.
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  • Why good systems and processes are the essential ingredient to start, grow, fix or franchise (replicate) your business.

You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. I will not be trying to sell you because you are getting everything for FREE, much more than I have described here. I won’t be contacting you; however, you can contact me for help with the software or your business at any time. Please browse around my website. If you have any questions, email me, Ron Carroll, at

I hope you enjoy and benefit from this FREE offer. It was a labor of love for me to develop. Becoming a Systems Thinker and using the Box Theory™ methodology will be one of the best decisions you have ever made.

I’ll be cheering you on from my quiet fishing hole in the mountains of Utah.

I want to learn how to create remarkable business systems …

Just Retired
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It's time for me to focus on other things. Many hours and dollars have gone into my software and written materials over the last fourteen years. Now it's time to give back. This is not a gimmick. There is nothing to buy. I give it all to you for free. If you use the software and apply the principles, you can create a remarkable company. See Below. Have fun!

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Michael Gerber, "E-Myth"

Michael Gerber

"Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant."

W. Edwards Deming, Total Quality Management

W. Edwards Deming

"If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing. . . . 94% of all failure is a result of the system, not people."