How to smoke out 'issues' in your business
Posted on 28th June 2019 at 08:39
Article 4 of 6 about The EOS Model™
All businesses have issues they need to solve, but many find it a long and arduous process. How can you quickly identify and overcome issues in your business? Let's find out.
If you have been following my series of articles and taking action on the advice, your business is data-driven, with the right people in the right seats, all buying into your coherent vision. However, nothing is perfect. Just like every other business that is still operating, there will be issues, problems you need to solve. Luckily, EOS has a plan to help you do just that. It's called strengthening your Issues component, or 'smoking out the issues'.
What are issues?
An issue is a problem that stops your business performing optimally. It could be serious, such as 20% of a product shipping with a built-in fault, requiring it to be returned. It could be comparatively minor, like running out of stationery. Whatever it is, it's an issue.
Every business, from the one-man operation working from the kitchen table, to Apple, has issues. Plus, it’s something to be encouraged, not suppressed.
Why are issues good?
The good things about issues that they are opportunities to improve your business. When you solve a problem at its root, you make it go away forever and boost long-term performance. An issue could even lead to the creation of a great new product that revolutionises your company!
However, when you ignore issues or let them develop over time, they can grow big enough to derail your business.
What businesses need to do in order to solve issues efficiently is to firstly identify them. You must create a culture where everyone in your organisation, from top to bottom, feels safe to call out issues wherever they see them. This culture of openness means you can solve small issues before they become big ones. It ends the practice of 'fire-fighting'.
EOS, use a tool called the Issues List. (If you have been following my articles, I talked a bit about the Issues List in the Vision article.) The Issues List is exactly what you think it is. If anyone in the business discovers an issue, you add it to your list. Then, you solve it.
We’ve all worked at companies where problem-solving is a long and often bitter process. Seemingly endless meetings, leaders playing the blame game, trying to cover for their mistakes.
Even the greatest leadership teams struggle to solve problems at their root if they try to do it in this way. They take too much time discussing the issue and not enough time trying to find a solution.
EOS, shows everyone in the business how to prioritise issues. Then, we help them solve them. We do it with The Issue Solving Track, or IDS. It is designed to keep leadership teams on track towards a solution, to stop them from getting bogged down.
IDS stands for Identify, Discuss, Solve
Identify – Often, the issue on your list is the effect rather than the cause. You must dig deep to find the root of the problem. Keep asking 'why?' until you have identified the real issue at hand.
Discuss – At this stage, everyone around the table gets to say everything they want to say about the issue. It should be an open, safe environment where everyone feels they can discuss the issue without repercussions.
Solve – Come to a conclusion on how to solve the issue. This will usually be a to-do list. Once everything on the to-do list has been done, the issue should be eliminated forever.
Repeat until your Issues List is empty. That is how you strengthen the issue component of your business.
Over to you
If any of this resonates with you, let’s get together.
To find out if you have the right people in the right seats, or more about EOS, please contact me to schedule a free 90-Minute Meeting with your leadership team and an EOS Implementer. If this seems premature – we get it.
Please know, this is NOT a high-pressure sales pitch. It’s just the simplest, best way for you and your team to connect with an EOS Implementer for a detailed overview of the system, the tools and the process.
There’s no charge for this meeting, and no obligation. It’s a valuable learning event that will answer all your questions and fully equip you and your team to decide how best to move forward with EOS (or not).
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