Video: Christo Norden-Powers talks about the Powerful Questions Masterclass.


Better Questions, Better Decisions, Better Governance and Business

The Art of Asking Powerful Questions for High Performance Leaders

A Crucial Master Class For All Business Leaders

At the heart of fully-functioning management teams, executive teams and boards, and at the core of good governance, is the ability of the managers, executives and directors to ask incisive questions that lead to well-informed decisions, and enable them to create and execute sound strategies.

Time and again we see high profile corporate failures and disasters (e.g. in Australia: Centro, HIH, NAB, ANZ, James Hardie, AWB) incurring losses of $200m+ that have, at their root cause, the failure to ask the right questions. Questions that could have

  • identified key risks and facts, or
  • challenged and tested the assumptions and flawed contents of reports, proposals and presentations on which the corporate leaders were asked to rely.

Two or three well-placed questions at the right time might have avoided those losses, added hundreds of millions of dollars back to their bottom line, averted litigation and prevented the consequential market cap and reputational losses. The two or three questions were, literally, $100m questions. And they would have taken only a few seconds to ask.

Christine Hawkins


“Useful in Board meetings, committees and difficult negotiations. The techniques will help in getting to the real situation”.



Business Leaders

Business leaders who have not learned excellent questioning skills may inadvertently place the company at risk of unnecessary losses and expose themselves to risk of liability.

It is crucial for directors, executives and senior managers whose decisions have substantial impact on the financial position of the company, and whose reputation and personal liability is at stake under corporations law and investor expectations, to know two crucial governance skills:

1] how to understand and recognise the language patterns in documents and presentations that
 create high risk of problems and losses arising
 entice you into thinking that everything is OK, when it’s not
 provide the clues as to when a question is essential, and

2] how to ask the questions that elicit, identify and resolve the potential problems and risks hidden in those patterns – without creating resistance or umbrage.

Vanessa Boully

Chairman, Royal Flying Doctor Service

"Powerful Questions is a powerful yet simple set of techniques that will enable me to ask relevant questions without appearing to question the integrity of others."

Every presentation, report and proposal is prepared and offered with a view to influencing you, the decision-maker. And every presentation, report and proposal contains one or more of those language patterns, which have become so entrenched in business culture that we don’t even notice them. Sometimes they are intentionally used to deceive or ‘spin’.

Sometimes they are used to influence with good intent without realising their potential adverse effect. Either way, the result can be substantial losses for your business and reputation.

The easiest and most effective way for business leaders to significantly improve their impact and decisions is to learn how to recognise those patterns and which questions to ask that will reduce or avoid the risks.

Do you know what those patterns are? Do you know how to recognise those patterns when reading a report or proposal, or when listening to a verbal presentation/discussion? And do you know how to successfully challenge those patterns, identify the unseen risks and avoid or reduce the risk or turn it into an opportunity?

When dealing with business issues

  • that can cause the loss of many millions – and in large companies, billions - of dollars, and
  • where a small error could

 wipe out a substantial part of the year’s profits
 damage the company’s reputation, or
 severely impact the value (or even the viability) of the company

a higher level of skill of asking the right questions is needed, and is increasingly expected by investors, courts and compliance authorities.

The Art of Asking Powerful Questions Master Class enables your board and executive team to significantly improve their questioning skills, governance, compliance, due diligence and decisions in a few hours.

Benefits | Outcomes | Masterclass | Brochure | Test yourself |download acrobat reader

Leo Menkens,

Director, Financial services Industry

"An excellent program. It is a very useful process. Asking the Powerful Questions is the best value that a Director can bring to a Board, ensuring that everyone is accountable and that the Directors are properly informed. The questions are ideal for identifying potential trouble spots. Everyone in the Financial Services industry ought to attend the Powerful Questions Workshop, no matter how senior they are."

What people say about Powerful Questions...

  • Penny Chan, Company Secretary, AMP Services Limited

    It is such a powerful technique that I wouldn't have believed I could master it.

  • Graham Teague, Director

    The Powerful Questions program has given me the tools to read reports more effectively and to ask the right questions in a sensitive way while still eliciting the answers required.

  • Michael Wood, General Manager

    This is an extremely practical seminar which can be applied immediately in every business situation.

  • Steve Kozlowski, CEO, local government

    The Powerful Questions Workshop provided simple, clear and practical ways of improving executive and Board member performances using interesting and insightful techniques.

  • Lindsay Oxlad, Director

    The Powerful Questions program provides excellent essential skills for any Director or Executive in the public or private sector. The vital ‘how to’ skills.

  • Vanessa Boully, Chairman

    Powerful Questions is a powerful yet simple set of techniques that enable me to ask relevant questions without appearing to question the integrity of others.