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Do You Solve Issues Or Just Discuss Them?

by John Gross

One of the biggest complaints about meetings is that nothing ever gets solved. Issues get discussed, but that is all that happens — we discuss and discuss and discuss. Don’t believe this is true? Then at your next leadership team meeting, track
- How many issues get solved (not band-aided but solved)?
- How many issues just get discussed?
- How many issues have been discussed and rehashed in previous meetings?

If you answered a lot, zero and zero, then the rest of this article is a great refresher about problem solving. For everyone else, your team needs help solving issues — i.e., identifying root causes, determining options, and selecting the best option to implement.

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) recommends following a process of Identify, Discuss & Solve (IDS).

IDS works like this:

1. Select the most important issue that the team needs to solve (not the oldest or easiest).

2. Determine the root cause (i.e., the cause that, when eliminated, makes the issue permanently go away).

3. Discuss options and their tradeoffs without anyone repeating themselves. (Issues get solved much quicker when someone is not repeating “fire Joe” or “order the blue one” over and over and over again.)

4. Select the best option and assign someone to implement that option. (Truly decide; don’t strive for consensus — consensus never gives you the best solution.)

When you have solved this issue, repeat Steps 1-4 for the next one.

Turn your meetings into issue-solving meetings and see how results and team engagement improve. Good luck! Being great at issue resolution comes from repeated practice.

John Gross is an EOS Implementer who helps businesses achieve Vision, Traction, and Healthy. You can contact John at John@ DrivingChangeInc.com or call 636.667.0579.

Submitted 239 days ago
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