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Effició Intelligence Report – Beginning a process of rigorous inquiry.

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INTELLIGENCE ISSN 2834-6238, Report #1 Published: Thursday, June 1, 2023, 8:00 AM Eastern
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When our team first decided to launch Intelligence Reports, it was filled with tried and true tips, strategies, and tools, the usual content we provide. However, we wanted to dig deeper and get to the CORE of our knowledge base and how it can help our audience directly. We wanted to begin a process of rigorous inquiry into questions we should be asking and evidence-based solutions we can apply.

Welcome to the first issue of Intelligence Reports!


Section I – Report Format

Getting to the CORE is about a digging process. Our focus is to excavate relevant business questions investigated in academic, practitioner, and industry research that provide direction, sources, and opportunities that small firm leaders can use in their strategic planning and execution.

Our objective is to find impactful questions answered through research and real-world application. The goal of our CORE inquiry is to share findings on key business questions that are compelling, and relative to business operations, systems, strategy, and marketability.

To find these questions, we collaborate with stakeholders who align around common goals, metrics (ways of measuring achievement), theories of change, and areas of practice. And, our most valued collaborator, you! We want our community to thrive through discussion and participation.

Each issue will have a questionthe findings, and a list of sources. Each quarter, we host a live discussion to review and share strategies for how to apply the findings to your business.

I hope you’re ready to push yourself, move yourself, and achieve extraordinary results. We’re ready to inspire you to high achievement and help you excavate your Red Diamond Business!

Section II – CORE Question

What questions should small firm leaders be asking to begin inquiry?

We begin with a great book by Warren Berger, “A More Beautiful Question.” Based on my studies of power, cognition, and intelligence, this book piqued my interest. The author shares that power (in business) is fueled by the ability to ask fundamental, game-changing questions. Moreover, he doesn’t leave out the important everyday questions that drive solutions to everyday challenges. I agree with the author, questioning plays a critical role in enabling innovation, problem-solving, and progression. As a leader, this is a great book to begin organizing your inquiry process.

Section III – CORE Findings

This issue is to get our feet wet and find a place to begin thinking about strategic questions.

We searched journals, publications, articles, and books for “key questions small firm leaders (CEO, COO, CFO, CMO) should ask” and created our top 12 list below:

  1. If I had to start my business again today, would I do what I’m doing now?
  2. Do I understand my financials, beyond management metrics?
  3. Is long-term remote working feasible for my employees?
  4. Has my company culture changed?
  5. Am I giving my team everything they need to do the work they should be doing?
  6. How might I better enjoy the journey itself?
  7. Do I have an entrepreneurial orientation as the CEO?
  8. How do I affect my firm’s value creation?
  9. What level of influence do I actually have over firm policies and activities?
  10. Does my team trust me?
  11. Am I functioning as the leader I envisioned?
  12. Is our vision statement powerful enough to achieve and make an impact in the community we reside in?

Section IV – CORE Discussion

What do you think? Have you asked and answered any of the questions listed?

I’m answering these questions along with my team over the next month. I challenge you to do the same.

We have many more sources and insights on this month’s question. Additional findings will be shared during our LIVE dialogue and conversation about “the CORE findings” webcast for network members. Webcasts are held on the third Thursday of each quarter in January, April, July, and October. If you’re a network member, no need to register, set the reminder on your calendar. We’ll send the link to join one week before the event.

If you want to subscribe to email updates only, use the form below, it is free.

Section V – CORE Sources

Academic Articles

Longenecker, C. and Wittmer, J.L.-S. (2022), “CEO leadership learning during our global pandemic: voices from the C-suite”, Strategic HR Review, Vol. 21 No. 2, pp. 63-68.

Hrazdil, K., Li, X., & Suwanyangyuan, N. (2022). CEO happiness and forecasting. Global Finance Journal52, 100713.

Lafley, A. G. (2009). What only the CEO can do. Harvard Business Review87(5), 54-62.

Practitioner/Industry Articles

Six reasons successful leaders love questions, Strategy + Growth, Lauritzen, Pia  (2022, July 20).,

The Most Important Questions Leaders Need to Ask Their Employees Every Day, Inc. Magazine Online, Schwant, Marcel (2020, February 27),


Berger, W. (2014). A more beautiful question: The power of inquiry to spark breakthrough ideas. Bloomsbury Publishing USA.

All links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or approval by Effició, Inc. of any of the products, services, or opinions of the corporation organization or individual. Effició, Inc. bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. In no event shall Effició, Inc. be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.


Intelligence Reports are posted the first week of every month and the Intelligence Webcast is held each quarter. If you would like to get these reports delivered to your email box and access the details for our webcast, join our private list below.

We look forward to your participation! Thank you for the opportunity to provide strategic resources and programs consistently.

Let’s converse! You can use the comments section below to share your perspective or use the form above to join our live webcast.

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