All growing entrepreneurial companies have issues that need to be identified early and then addressed quickly. After all, success breeds complexity.
Effective problem solving can mean the difference between just surviving and actually thriving. The EOS process offers a simple (yet not easy) methodology to move through all that’s hindering your ability to reach your company vision. It’s as simple as 1-2- 3:
1. Identify (what are the real issues?)
2. Discuss (once the real issues are identified, then have a productive discussion focused on the issue)
3. Solve (and at this point, the right steps/action become more clear and apparent)
The first is by far the hardest, but is crucial to master before moving to the other two. Too often, we get caught up in discussions that end in chasing symptoms.
Take for example, a client put an issue on the Issues List to be addressed in their Level 10 meeting: “We’re losing customers.” Fair enough. They all understood the issue. Or do they?
The problem with stopping there is that it’s too vague and therefore fosters a general, unfocused discussion that leads to weak conclusions and even weaker actions.
The best way to get to the root issue is to ask a lot of questions before discussing solutions, i.e. stay with the “I” as long as needed before moving to the “D”. In this case, the team asked some good questions:
When did we start losing customers? Did we hear anything before they decided to leave? Were there any known problems with these customers before they left? How often have we reached out to see how they’re doing? Did they leave because of bad service, better price or something else? Can we make an effort to exit interview at least some of them to get valuable feedback?
The real issue soon became clearer and turned into: “lack of a good CRM system”. They recognized they were not being proactive with their customers and therefore lost opportunities to maintain strong relationships and/or address problems before it was too late.
They promptly discussed ideas on how to source the right CRM system and estimated a timeline for completion. This turned into a Rock for the VP of sales and was completed within 90 days.
Get good at I-D- S and your problem solving can be as simple as 1-2- 3!
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