The Right Questions

The Right Questions Framework Guide

The Right Questions Framework
Strategic framing and developing a plan

An Outline of The Right Questions Process

The Right Questions framework is a process and set of tools to help people who want to:

  • Lead themselves and others well
  • Think analytically and critically
  • Develop effective strategic plans and achieve goals
  • Set priorities and make better decisions

The Right Questions framework is based upon the main interrogative words in the English language, linking each to a key theme and further questions:

WhyReasonValues, principles, priorities, passions
WherePlaceSituation (past and present), vision
WhatThingMission, end-state, success, USP
WhichSelectionOptions, courses of action, risks, reflection
HowMannerPlan, route, tasks, resources
WhoPersonSelf, team, network, relationships
WhenTimeTiming, programming, prioritisation

Navigating The Right Questions Website

To help you navigate the posts that explain the framework, follow the links under the headings below that correspond to the individual posts.

Beside each post, on the right sidebar, you will see the main categories that relate to the posts below. These are:

  • The Right Questions (Background and Overview)
  • Why (Values)
  • What (Mission)
  • Where (Situation and Vision)
  • Which (Options, Risk and Opportunity)
  • Who (Individual, Team and Network)
  • How (Goals, Planning and Resources)
  • When (Timing and Programming)
  • Coaching and Mentoring
  • Achieving Goals
  • Decision Making
  • Leadership and Management
  • Reviews and Recommended Resources

Introduction to The Right Questions Concept

What are the right questions to ask yourself and others?

How my work as a bomb disposal officer led me to realising the importance of good questions and discovering The Right Questions approach

Background to The Right Questions Framework

Beyond the 5Ws: Ask questions like a philosopher; answer like a visionary

The philosophical and historical basis for The Right Questions

The seven most important questions in the English language

How The Right Questions uses linguistics

Decision Making

What is decision making and do we need to use a decision making process?

Are we more like Captain Kirk or Mr Spock? Do we make decisions out of passion or logic?

Examining the use of reason versus emotion and intuition in decision making

The OODA loop decision making cycle

We make decisions in a recurring loop of Observe, Orient, Decide and Act.

Overview of The Right Questions Framework

What are the Right Questions for Decision Making and Strategic Planning?

An overview of the Right Questions framework and summary of the key questions

Stage 1: Strategic Framing

The initial questions of why (principles, priorities and passions) where (situation and vision) and what (mission, success criteria) provide the strategic framing for any plans we make. The quality of the options we develop to achieve success and the effectiveness of our planning depends largely on the development of the overall strategy.

Why? Values: Principles, purpose, passions, priorities

What are values and principles and how do they determine why we do things?

The importance of values in decision-making

What are your personal values?

How to work out your core principles, passions and priorties

Why what we value defines our personal identity

The importance of beliefs and where we place ultimate value

The importance of inspiring stories to values and achieving goals

Why is prioritising the key to good decision making?

Overcoming the abundance of choice to make good decisions

How do you set your priorities?

Should we start with why?

Simon Sinek and how great leaders inspire people to take action

Where? Situation and Vision

Situational Analysis

The Essential Importance of Situational Analysis

Where have you come from and where are you now? Acknowledging and assessing the facts about your situation

How to do a SWOT analysis

A key tool: The SWOT process is one of the best tools to help assess our present situation

How do you overcome fear?

Are you feeling paralysed by your present situation or fear failure? Here are some strategies to help.

Getting Perspective


What is a vision statement and why are they important?

Where are you going? How to get a clear vision of your destination and follow your dream

How to turn dreams into reality with visualisation and body language

How psychology and physiology can help us to succeed

What? Mission, success and end-state

What is a mission statement and why do you need one?

What does success look like? A mission statement helps define exactly what you are going to do, bringing the dream or vision to reality.

How many mission statements do you need?

The different types and levels of mission statements

Stage 2: The Reflection Point

The second part or stage is called the ‘reflection point’. In every decision making cycle you consider your options in the light of the situation, the risks and opportunities. This reflection point either takes you back to Stage 1, and a further iteration of refining the Strategic Framing, or onto Stage 3, Developing a Plan, where an actionable plan can be created for the chosen course of action, fulfilling the strategy.

Which: Route, risk, review, reflections

Which is the best course of action?

How to develop and decide upon alternative options

Risky business: risk management strategy and knowing when to take a chance

Identifying and managing risk

Lessons learnt from decision making

Which failures have we made and how can we learn from them? It’s ok to make mistakes if we learn from them.

My many leadership failures

A reflection on some of my failures as a leader and the lessons I have learned from this experience.

Stage 3: Developing a Plan

The third section on planning uses the questions how, who and when to explore the detail needed to deliver on your desired course of action in alignment with your overall strategy.

How? Planning, Resources

How to make a successful project plan

Planning and setting goals

How do you set goals, tasks and milestones for a plan?

Breaking down a plan into achievable steps

Struggling with changing your habits? 

How to effectively create new habits and achieve goals

How to achieve a plan – planning resources

Working out what money, material and other resources you need for your plan

Happiness is a positive cash flow

How to manage resources and cash flow with accounts and budgets

Delegation of authority the SMART way

Create and delegate effective tasks with the SMARTER framework

When? Timing, programming and prioritisation

The secret of perfect timing

There is a right time for everything

How to programme your tasks and create a Gantt chart

A project management approach to help schedule tasks and achieve goals for 

How the Eisenhower decision matrix can improve time management

A tool for prioritisation and time management

Who? Self, team and network

Know thyself: the importance of self-awareness

Being true to your personality and character

Networking and the power of relationships in building a team

The people you know are part of your extended team

Turning your staff into a team

How to lead successful teams

How to get the right team structure

Which organisational structure is best for your team?

Can giving away things for free make you rich?

Developing relationships in the age of the Internet to create a market, a fan-base and champions of your product or service

Case studies and application of The Right Questions

The Right Questions in Organisations

How do you develop a new business system and create a process flow chart?

What is a business case and what is it used for

A template for creating business cases

Is a business case just about money?

How to write a business case using The Right Questions format

The Right Questions in Coaching Individuals

How to make an action plan and achieve your goal

Seven questions you should consider when making a career change

How to use The Right Questions to explore new jobs and opportunities

How to create and evaluate business ideas

A process for generating and exploring business ideas and deciding which to turn into business cases and real businesses

How to make a successful New Year’s resolution

Further Resources

The best websites for productivity

Café culture and the art of working on the move

Tips on working while travelling or without a fixed office space

The surprising power of going for a walk

Walking for better health, happiness, communication and wellbeing 

The best audiobooks I have listened to over the past year

The best books on leadership, decision making and psychology

Good strategy, bad strategy: book review   

Decision making

Be more Steve 

How to prioritise and make decisions like Steve Jobs

The top 7 decision making tools

How to use SWOT analysis, Eisenhower matrix, the conflict resolution model, the making-of model, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Pareto principle and the Belbin team model

The top 10 books on decision making and thinking


An introduction to coaching

What is coaching and how does it work?

What is the difference between coaching and mentoring?

Why do so many CEOs have a coach?

The more senior the leader, the more important the coach

The GROW model

How to use the most popular coaching tool

Are you really listening?

How to improve your listening skills and be an active or empathetic listener

Are you asking effective questions?

Type of questions and improving your question technique

What is the wheel of life and how can it help me achieve life balance?

How to use the wheel of life coaching tool to identify areas of growth and develop goals

The Socratic method questioning technique

The Socratic approach to critical thinking


Why organisational change is important

The importance of change to people and organisations

Developing effective change leadership

How leaders can coach people through change

Leadership lessons from Star Wars: The Last Jedi

The dangers of pride and hubris in leaders

Top tips for improving your public speaking skills

How to manage difficult conversations

4 thoughts on “The Right Questions Framework Guide

  1. Pingback: The GROW Model

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