The ability to solve substantive business challenges could be the most important skill your leadership team must master. It can either propel your business forward at light speed or, if done poorly, keep you orbiting through chaos and frustration.
Beating business obstacles is one of the most difficult skills to master, but when you do, magic happens!
EOS Implementers teach our clients a very powerful issue-solving methodology called IDS (Identify – Discuss – Solve) from the EOS Process™. But even as they comprehend the process, often they struggle to reach true proficiency.
In addition to the core elements of IDS, here are 5 tips to help you resolve your most difficult issues:
#1 Identify Issues Early
Issues identified early are opportunities, while issues identified late in the game are usually headaches you wish you never had. The key is to build a culture where you encourage employees to call out issues quickly, in the spirit of knocking them down before they spiral out of control.
#2 Tackle the Toughest Issues First
Too often, teams will address lightweight issues first, leaving the meaty issues for “later.” I had a client that left a significant personnel issue on their Issues List for almost a year. This led to bigger problems, including two key employees leaving because the problem employee was not handled. Attacking the toughest issues first will garner bigger benefits sooner.
#3 Solve Issues, Not Symptoms
Sounds obvious, but too often teams jump right into discussion without truly understanding the issues they are trying to solve. If you don’t dig deep to unravel the onion, you may be solving symptoms instead of the root issue.
#4 Avoid Tangents
I can’t tell you how many times I have observed clients trying to solve problems only to get side tracked, discussing this…debating that…and quickly getting off track. The key is to stay focused on the defined issues (see #3 above) and swiftly recognize when the conversation is leading you down a rabbit hole.
#5 Clearly State Actions and Who’s Accountable for Each
It’s not uncommon for a team to come up with good solutions, but then fall short in execution. This is typically because they don’t clearly identify the follow-up steps and assign clear accountability to get them done. Don’t miss this step. It may seem obvious, but lack of clarity, accountability and follow through are common reasons for lackluster results.
The IDS process will serve your leadership team well, but don’t forget to also apply these five tips to get through your issues quickly and more effectively.
- Start solving company issues early and quickly! Download free EOS tools.
- Download a free chapter of Get a Grip to learn practical ways to use EOS in your company.
This article originally appeared on the Blue Core Leadership blog on May 17, 2017.