Give the Gift of Issue Solving This Holiday Season

Give the Gift of Issue Solving This Holiday Season

In working with clients to help them define and execute their vision, it is only a matter of time before we come across our first “issue”.

Issues are all the obstacles, barriers, problems, and opportunities that stand in the way of achieving your vision.

The unfortunate reality is that many leaders are so busy with their day-to-day responsibilities, putting out fires, and dealing with all the other distractions, when issues arise they often push them aside to simply keep the organization (and themselves) afloat.

They often ignore or temporarily solve issues by wrapping them with twine and tape, until the entire organization is strung together and on the verge of collapse. Small issues that go unresolved have the potential to become big, potentially lethal, issues.

Admitting Your Issues is Half the Battle

We have all got issues. Just admit them. It’s ok, we are all just people. Vulnerability is powerful.

When you recognize you have created issues (you have also created the company’s successes), and take ownership of these issues, you can then solve them.

The first discipline in solving issues is creating a culture where identifying issues is encouraged and embraced and is not a sign of failure or weakness. Once an issue is identified we let it be known by adding it to an “issues list”. Every department should have a place where they list and track their issues – be it a shared electronic document, a whiteboard, box, etc. – and a regularly scheduled time to review, prioritize, and solve the most important ones.

Welcome to IDS

Now that you admit you have issues, how do you solve them? You solve them with the issue solving track that we call IDS.

IDS stands for IdentifyDiscuss, and Solve.

IDS was developed when we realized that many of our early clients, despite being really great, smart, leadership teams, would get together and discuss an issue, and discuss an issue, and discuss an issue… and then discuss the issue some more. Rarely did they truly identify or solve the issue. And they thought they were making progress! It must have just been therapeutic to discuss.

IDS is a structured process to give your entire organization a common framework and vocabulary to solve issues once and for all. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Identify the issue. The person who brought forth the issue states it, and the team does not move to discuss until everyone involved is 100% clear on what the issue is. Sometimes this requires asking “why” several times to dig deeper.

Step 2: Discuss the issue. Each person has the opportunity to ask clarifying questions, provide perspective, potential solves, etc.. Each person does so once, because any more is politicking.

Step 3: Solve the issue. Based on the outcome of the discussion, the team agrees on a solve for the issue. Sometimes the issue is put to rest at the end of the IDS session, and sometimes the solution is to agree on next steps with the understanding the issue will be revisited at a later date.

Prioritizing Issues

If your organization has developed an open and honest culture, you are surfacing many issues and adding them to the issues list. When it comes to solving issues the best practice is to hold a weekly issues solving session (in EOS this is a standard agenda item within the weekly Level 10 meeting format).

Do not start from the top of the list and work your way down. Start by selecting the three issues that are most important for the team to solve, IDS each one, and if time permits select another three. Some days you will solve one and other days you will solve ten. What matters is that you are prioritizing and tackling the issues that are the most important to your organization.

Give the Gift of Issue Solving Today

We all have issues. Once we admit them, and create a place to track them, we can solve them using IDS. Creating an organization that is strong in identifying and solving issues is truly the gift that keeps giving – clearing the path from all the obstacles, barriers, problems, and distractions that stand in the way of achieving your vision – and one of the six keys to creating a great organization.

I challenge you to give the gift to your organization today. I promise you will see immediate results in your organization’s ability to gain traction toward your vision!


About Josh Holtzman

Josh Holtzman is an entrepreneur and business coach (founder of Chute CXO) based out of Los Angeles, CA.

Josh founded and grew a leading professional services firm, which he then sold to a national player, and together grew and sold the firm a second time to a global publicly traded IT services company.

Adopting EOS was a key turning point in Josh’s career as an entrepreneur. He is passionate about giving back to the entrepreneurial community by helping other entrepreneurial leaders strengthen their businesses using EOS.

If you would like to learn more about implementing EOS within your organization, contact Josh for a free discovery session.

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