One of the most common frustrations business owners and leadership teams face is problems you think you’ve solved that keep popping back up. Why does this happen? And how can we solve issues for good?
In EOS®, we teach a discipline called “IDS” – Identify, Discuss, and Solve. It is designed to root out the real issue, not just a symptom, and get to the bottom of it so you can solve it permanently.
With this article, I begin a three-part series on how to solve issues once and for all. In this first installment, I’m going to introduce you to the Ten Commandments of Solving Issues because I’ll be referring back to it in the next two articles.
If you want to get rid of problems once and for all, you must master these disciplines. The Commandments are taken directly from Gino Wickman’s short e-book, Decide!. Some of the explanations, however, I have adapted for brevity.
Consensus management sounds nice in theory, but it doesn’t work. As Jim Collins said, “No major decision we’ve studied was ever taken at a point of unanimous agreement.” If you have a shared vision and a great culture based on shared core values, you may agree more often than not. But you can’t always get everyone on the same page about what solution is best. You still must deal with the issue, so if you are the leader, you must DECIDE, get the team’s buy-in, and move on.
The solution is often quite simple, but always more difficult to implement. You must have a strong will and be resolved to see it through – no chickening out when it gets hard.
What you decide is not as important as making a decision, so decide! Remember: the roads of the world are paved with squirrels who could not decide.
You can’t get to the root of an issue based on something someone heard. When dealing with multiple sources of secondhand information, schedule and offline meeting to get everyone involved together, discuss it, and solve it.
Put egos, titles, and past beliefs aside and focus on the big picture, the greater good.
Prioritize issues and deal with them one at a time. Deal with the most pressing and important issue first, and then move on to the next, then the next (see commandment #9).
These are the only three possible options and outcomes you have in solving a problem.
A real solution takes 36 hours to implement. Kicking the can down the road means you keep on suffering for a few hours every week. Don’t delay, hoping the issue will go away. It won’t.
Deal first with the issue you fear most. It is the one that really needs solving.
Don’t be afraid. Suggest something, try something, do something, even if it’s wrong. Something in what you say may spark an idea in someone else’s mind that leads to the right solution.
To fully understand and master obeying these commandments, I highly recommend you download the ebook. In the next article, I’ll share the keys to getting to the root of any issue.
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