Consistent solving and moving through issues are some of the most difficult challenges entrepreneurs face. It’s not surprising that most find it challenging and frustrating. It takes focus, discipline and a solid methodology to get it right.
Here’s where many entrepreneurs get tripped up:
#1. They don’t clearly identify the root issue. The issue produces so many pain points that they don’t know how to dig deep and identify what the real issue is.
#2. They don’t recognize big issues are made up of smaller ones. Issues might have several sub-parts or smaller issues embedded in them.
#3. They dive into unproductive discussion. Their discussion comes from a place of frustration, opinion and emotion, and it’s harder to step back and see what the real issue is.
Setting the Stage for Success
We have covered the IDS methodology (Identify, Discuss and Solve) in past blogs. This is the methodology that will keep you focused and on track.
Let’s follow a client example through EOS’s IDS process.
Case Study Example
One of my clients was frustrated with the performance of the cybersecurity portion of their business. They addressed the issue in a Level-10 meeting that I was observing.
Step 1: Identify
Their first step was to identify the root issue.
The leadership team discussed the problem and one team member stated the problem as “Our security business is stagnant and losing steam.”
I probed a bit and it was agreed this was a symptom of the issue, but not the root issue. Then, one of the members proceeded to ask a series of questions to dig deeper: “Why do we think this is stagnant?” “Do we have the right person running cybersecurity?” “What does our cybersecurity business really need to reach full potential?”
This is an example of unpacking an issue that contains many sub-parts. Sometimes it’s not possible to solve a big issue during one meeting. That’s okay. But you can break it down into smaller issues and solve them one at a time.
They knew they had an issue with cybersecurity, but they also knew the head of cybersecurity (Jim) had not been performing well. He was a hard-working employee, but they weren’t sure he was in the right seat.
They had to pick one issue to solve first. They chose the “seat” issue and put all the other issues and components on the Issues List to address at a later time.
Step 2: Discuss
The leadership team discussed the expectations of the person leading cybersecurity.
They asked questions like, “What skillset do we need the person in this seat to have to be a success?” “Does Jim possess the skills necessary for this seat?” “If he is not the right person for this seat, what expectations should we have for this position – are we clear enough?” and “What are the challenges around recruiting someone with these skills?”
Through their discussion, they decided that Jim did not have the skills needed to be a success in that seat. Finding the right seat in the company for Jim was a separate issue they added to the Issues List.
Step 3: Solve
The leadership team put together a series of action steps to solve the issue and find the right person for the head of cybersecurity.
By drilling down, asking questions and being focused on the root cause, they were able to identify one issue and make a plan to solve it. They continued this practice with all the separate issues on the Issues List, and over time, cybersecurity was no longer a concern.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you use IDS to solve your company’s issues:
How are you solving issues in your company? What parts of these struggles can you relate to? Please share your experience in the comments below!