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Issues, To-Dos and Rocks … Oh My

Written by Gino Wickman on August 13, 2012

Implementers EOS

To help you manage the complexity of your business and all of the “stuff” going on, I highly recommend the discipline of choosing only one of three options for any problem, idea, commitment, or opportunity—i.e., “stuff.”

Let’s assume you have your one-year plan firmly in place. As you now execute throughout the year and deal with all the “stuff” together with your leadership team, make a quick decision as each item comes up as to whether it’s an Issue, To-Do, or Rock:

1. An Issue is any unresolved problem, idea, or opportunity. An issue falls into two categories: long-term and short-term. If it’s long-term (meaning it does not have to be solved this quarter), put it on the V/TO parking lot issues list and get it out of your consciousness to help free up your mind. If it’s short-term (meaning it must get solved this quarter), put it on your Level 10 weekly leadership team meeting issues list.

2. A To-Do is anything anyone commits to on the leadership team that must get done in the next seven days (worst case 14 days). Always track your to-dos on your Level 10 meeting agenda and confirm they are completed in the following week’s meeting.

3. A Rock is a priority that will take more than 14 days and must get done this quarter. As a rule of thumb, the company and each person should only have three to seven. Less is more.

This will help you manage all the “stuff” and eliminate all of the other lists in your organization. It will provide a simple system that every leader can follow. Once you master this at the leadership team level, then have each department live by the same system. This will also be great for helping you with time management.


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