…but so does everyone else
Every company and every management team faces issues. It’s a normal part of doing business. The most successful teams are the ones who can pinpoint the real issues and resolve them — quickly!
As an implementer of the business operation system (EOS), I’ve had the opportunity to observe many talented leaders work through the problem-solving process. I’ve noticed that while most spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the true issues, they spend little time resolving them. This leads to frustration and then a false declaration of “problem solved.” In other words, the issue lives on and eventually comes back because a team never got to the foundation of the problem.
Take, for example, a recent experience with one of my client teams. While discussing their frustration with an employee’s performance, they failed to pinpoint a specific performance issue. Instead, they said things like “she’s not representing us as well,” or “she’s not taking on her share of the workload,” or even “I was shocked to learn she didn’t know some basic terms of our industry.” All the discussion revolved around the team’s frustrations, but did not zero in on the real issue.
The IDS Method
As part of EOS implementation, I teach a useful problem-solving methodology called IDS (Identify, Discuss and Solve). The “I” represents the most challenging part of the equation — it can take some time to identify what’s really going on.
In my example, the team illustrated how perceived issues are more likely a symptom of a root cause. After a 20-minute discussion about their frustrations with their employee’s performance, I asked for a simple description of the position’s roles and responsibilities (in the work we do together, this would fall under their accountability chart). That led to the realization that the real issue was the lack of clarity surrounding the employee’s job description.
Once we identified the true problem, the discussion became highly productive and the resolution then came quickly: identify the five main roles and responsibilities of the function the employee serves, and then determine if the employee meets GWC criteria. This translated into action items that they completed within the week.
The end result? The employee was not the right person for that seat, but was able to relocate to a much more appropriate position within the company. Bottom line: once the team got to the meat of the issue, they were able to solve it quickly and resolve it forever.
Issues aren’t bad. In fact, the quicker you can identify them, the more money and time you will save in the long run. Try IDS to help you set up and knock down all your critical issues. While this discipline requires practice, you will get a great return on your investment.
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