The defining challenge facing business leaders is to develop and drive performance into the future. For commercial firms, this generally means building profits and growing the value of the business. Although their focus may be on nonfinancial outcomes, public services, voluntary groups, and other not-for-profit organizations share the same central challenge—continually improving their performance. When the causes of performance through time are not understood, management has difficulty making the right decisions about important issues. Worse, entire organizations are led into ill-chosen strategies for their future.
To overcome these problems, leaders need the means to answer three basic questions: