What One Thing Needs the Most Improvement in Each Department

At our most recent monthly leadership dinner I posed the question: what one thing needs the most improvement in your department? This question is designed as a conversation starter for each senior manager to answer around the table. One major benefit of doing it in a dinner setting is that there’s ample time for discussion and brainstorming. In fact, more often than not, the items that need improvement translate nicely into quarterly rocks to be addressed in the near-term.

Here are some example issues that might come out of a discussion around what needs the most improvement in each department:

  • Marketing has saturated known advertising opportunities and needs more ideas
  • Sales opportunity-to-close rate has dropped by 3% quarter-over-quarter
  • Finance cash conversion cycle has grown by five days

It’s also interesting to find out what each senior manager sees as most pressing in his or her department. Solving problems is part of the startup process and this exercise is especially useful.

What else? What are your thoughts on regularly asking senior managers what one thing needs the most improvement in his or her department?


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