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How to Solve Business Problems – The Second Discipline

Written by Rene Boer on January 20, 2011

Implementers EOS Team People Business Issues List

After capturing all your issues on your team’s Issues List – the first discipline – we now need to review the second discipline – how to solve business problems.

Begin by prioritizing. Problems do not all carry the same importance to the business, so pick the top three. With your three most important business problems selected, you’re ready to begin solving. After solving the first three, select the next three and so on, working your way through the list.

To solve business problems, the first and most important step is to clearly identify the issue. This is the all important “I” in “IDS”. If you’re leading your team meeting, ask the person who raised the issue to articulate it so everyone understands it. This unfortunately is where most meetings begin to spiral out of control. Some people begin offering their points of view while others start offering up solutions. It’s like prescribing medication without having diagnosed the illness. As you can imagine, this isn’t the most productive way to solve business problems.

Sometimes people can’t articulate their issues well, or the stated issue is not the real issue. Ask questions that will help them uncover the root cause of the problem. Encourage others to ask questions until everyone is on the same page. Taking time on the front end to identify the real problem will save time on the back end discussing and solving it.

Once everyone sees the problem clearly, your team can now engage in a thoughtful dialogue to solve the business problem. Allow everyone to weigh in and discuss possible solutions. With everyone’s input you’ll have enough information to make the best decision.

Now solve your business problem by clarifying the actions steps to be taken to make the issue go away forever. Assign each action step or “to do” to someone with a deadline for getting it done (most should be done within 7 days). When the action steps are completed, the business problem is solved.

Identify, Discuss and Solve – that’s how to solve business problems.

To solve all your business problems more effectively, start using these two issues solving disciplines today and consider using all of the EOS Business Management Tools.


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