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Leadership, Communication & Process: 3 Questions to Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Jump to the transcript of this video here.

In any business, the key to success lies in mastering three fundamental elements: leadership, communication, and processes. These components are essential at every level of an organisation, from the frontline employees to the top-level executives. This blog post explores how assessing and improving these areas – by asking three simple questions a week – can drive business performance and foster a productive work environment.


The 3 questions to ask your frontline workforce
The 3 questions to ask your management team
The 3 questions yourself and your executives
4 ways to foster a culture of continuous improvement
The importance of regular assessment
Brendan Mills: “A simple recipe for business success”


Leadership, Communication & Process: 3 Essential Questions to Ask Your Team Regularly

Understanding your people

To implement effective leadership, communication, and processes, it is crucial to understand their impact at three distinct levels within the organisation: the lower level (the  employees doing the work), the middle level (managers), and the top level (owners and executives).

Lower level: The workforce

At the lower level, employees (or what we call ‘Doers’) are responsible for the day-to-day tasks that keep the business running. These individuals are often the salespeople, tradespeople, machine operators, and delivery personnel. For them, the clarity of processes, quality of communication, and level of leadership they receive are paramount.

Here are the 3 questions to ask your Doers on a regular basis, such as weekly:

  • Processes: How well are the processes articulated within the business?
  • Communication: How good is the communication about the processes from the people above?
  • Leadership: What level of leadership is provided by the managers on a daily or periodic basis?

By regularly asking these questions, businesses can ensure that their frontline employees have the support and guidance they need to perform their roles effectively.

Middle level: The managers

Managers play a critical role in bridging the gap between the workforce and the executives. They are responsible for ensuring that processes are followed, communication is clear, and leadership is strong.

  • Processes: Are the processes being executed correctly, and are they helping or hindering performance?
  • Communication: What has been the nature of the communication with the team? Is it constructive and clear?
  • Leadership: Are managers leading by example and providing the direction needed to achieve business goals?

Self-reflection is essential for managers to assess their effectiveness and identify areas for improvement.

Top level: The executives

At the top level, executives and owners need to focus on the bigger picture. Their leadership, communication, and processes set the tone for the entire organisation.

  • Processes: Are the systems and processes strong enough to ensure client satisfaction? Are they robust enough to avoid the need for executives to get involved in the day-to-day operations?
  • Communication: How effective is the communication with middle management and frontline employees? Are there clear touchpoints to ensure alignment?
  • Leadership: How well is the leadership message understood and executed? Are the strategic goals being communicated effectively and pursued?

Executives must ensure that their vision and direction are clearly conveyed and executed throughout the organisation.

4 Ways to Foster a Culture of Continuous Improvement

The importance of regular assessment

Regularly assessing the effectiveness of leadership, communication, and processes is vital for continuous improvement. Here are some practical ways to implement this in your business:

  1. Conduct weekly check-ins to gather feedback from employees at all levels.
  2. Implement online forms or surveys to gauge the clarity of processes and quality of communication.
  3. Use self-reflection exercises for managers to evaluate their leadership styles.
  4. Perform monthly "heat checks" to assess overall performance and identify areas for improvement.

From the Founder: “A Simple Recipe for Business Success”

From the Founder (BM)

→Return to video here

“I want to give you a recipe that anybody in your business can use: Leadership, communication, process.

Let's start with somebody, dare I say, at the lower level in the business.

So we're going to look at three levels. The lower level is the person who is actually doing the work. It could be the person who's the salesperson; it could be the person who is swinging the hammer, laying the bricks, working the machines, or doing the deliveries. This is where 90% of your workforce would be—the actual doing of the work.

The middle layer is then your managers, the people to whom the layer beneath are accountable. So they're potentially your executive, your senior managers.

And then your final level is your owners, your directors, shareholders; really high-level people. And sometimes, in a lot of businesses, the people in that second level, that middle level, are the same people in that top level as well.

Let's start at the bottom. I want to ask them three questions:

  1. How well are the processes articulated within the business?
  2. How good is the communication that I am receiving about the processes from the people above me?
  3. Leadership: What is the level of leadership that I am getting from the people above me in my role on a daily or periodical basis that I would expect is fair for my role and for my responsibilities?

And I would ask that question once a week to every single person. And you can do it in an online form. You can do it as a bit of a heat check of a sample set of people. But those three things.

Now, if you go to the upper level, you're going to ask the same question. We're going to do the same thing. Let's look at the process. How good, so from their perspective, how good are the processes, but how well are those processes being executed?

So are people at the lower level failing because the processes are incorrect? Or are they failing because the processes aren't being followed?

Conversely, are we succeeding because the processes are being followed? Or in spite of having no processes—are the people just really smart and they know how to get it done? What's the score around our processes in our execution?

The next level. What has my communication been with the team? So there's an element of self-reflection. Is my communication like, "You've screwed up, you've stuffed up, you've done this wrong... oh, this is how you do it, and I'm almost going to do it all for you."

Or are you telling somebody, that 5-90-5 rule that we've spoken about in the past, in giving someone a vision and direction of what needs to be done, but then giving them the reign to run with it and then potentially reviewing it at the end?

So what's my communication been like with that individual?

And then stemming from that, what has my leadership been like? Am I getting right into the weeds and doing things that I shouldn't be doing because nobody else can do them as well as me?

And conversely, am I leading by directing people where we want things to go, the outcomes that I expect? And I don't need to get into that nitty-gritty because I know that it is being delivered and our customer experience is excellent.

And the last level—as I was saying a moment ago, in some businesses they might be the same as the middle level—is the top level. The owners, the leaders, the shareholders. However your org structure is set up. What does their day look like?

So systems and processes. Are the systems and processes strong enough that the feedback you are getting is that the clients are satisfied and happy?

Are the systems and processes so weak and so fragile that you actually have to get down into the nitty-gritty yourself and the managers that we've spoken about—that middle level—are becoming the people on the ground, and you are, as a result of that, becoming the managers of those individuals.

Then you look at your communication. What's your communication been like with the people in that middle management? And also in that bottom level. It's really important to have a touch point around those individuals because a manager might be protecting their position so that if you ask the people on the ground, they might go, "Oh, he or she's terrible," or he or she might think that the world is ending. But in reality, we're actually doing a lot better than what they actually think in their mind.

And then leadership: How well is my message of what we want to achieve being understood and executed?

So notice earlier on in the conversation around leadership we're asking, what is the direction you're getting? Whereas at that top level, you are going, how well is my leadership being understood and being executed in our day-to-day activities?

As an example, if we think it's really important that we should be focusing on big clients—and our business might define "big clients" as someone who spends over a hundred thousand dollars a year with us—and in the last two months we've won no clients over a hundred thousand dollars, but we've won a whole bunch of new clients at $10,000 a year or less, then maybe my leadership and my communication haven't been heard, haven't been understood, or might not be perceived as important. Or, the systems and processes we have in place might not be good enough to win that level of work.

So they're the three questions I'd ask of yourself and your team, maybe every week; but every day think about those elements. And formally, I think at least once a month, get a heat check of how you think we're performing in terms of the leadership people receive or give; what the communication has been like; and lastly, how well are our systems and processes being followed, and how strong are those systems and processes to enable us to get to where we want to go?”


Mastering leadership, communication, and processes is essential for any business aiming for long-term success. By regularly assessing and improving these areas, you can foster a productive work environment and ensure your business stays on track towards its goals.


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