Asking questions is one of the most important business growth functions any manager can deliver. Daily questions. Tough questions. Searching questions.

Questions such as: “How can we double sales this year?”

If your business is stuck in survival mode, stating to itself “OK, so we’re paddling through the back end of the recession, things are stable so let’s look at 2-3% growth this year. We can’t expect double digit growth.”

What do you think your business will deliver this year? You’ve guessed it.

Remember this – every business decision is underpinned by employee and management mindsets and existing views.

If the management message coming to them is we’re playing it safe, don’t get creative, stay focused on stability, no risk-enhancing behaviours…then the business will deliver exactly that kind of return.

Safe, uncreative, steady.

And – of course – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But most businesses would like to double their sales figures this year, if they could.

There will be times with certain businesses when safety and stability will be the best thing to do, maybe for a short period of time – for some key roles in the business it’ll be the reason for their actual job within the organisation: Risk Managers, for example, or compliance managers.

But if you have teams looking after sales, HQ communications, customer service, training, field management, marketing, finance, and similar commercial functions, you might just want them to be finding every possible way they can to make your brand stronger, get more customers, get more repeat customers, and generating either increased revenues or saving costs.

The direction you set employees will be driven by the type of targets and communications you agree – this will have a major impact on most decisions they make within the business.

Here are some of the questions our Spring team have had clients asking themselves recently:

“Will this make a saving of 50%?”

“Does this help me become a more caring manager?”

“Will this save me one day per week for strategy work?”

“Will this mean I become tougher on underperformance?”

“Will this mean I get promoted within 12 months?”

“Will this make us the highest performing team in our industry?”

So as you walk into another one hour meeting. Or pick up the phone for yet another teleconference. Or get on the train going to a conference that you’ve been invited to, without really asking yourself why you’re going. Is it working?

Here’s a thought: ask yourself a daily question that ensures you’re hitting the goals you want.