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Discuss First


I’ve written several articles about the Issues Solving Track™, also known as IDS™. I’m sure you remember the acronym — Identify, Discuss, and Solve. The most common challenge Leadership Teams encounter as they learn to IDS™ is that they move straight to discussion without identifying the root cause of the issue.

They tell me they just naturally start discussing the issue, which is what most of us were taught to do when attempting to solve a problem. There is only one difficulty with that approach — the issue is merely a symptom of what is truly happening. If you start discussing the problem, you will most likely not solve the real issue. Let me use a real-life example to illustrate my point.

I was observing one of my clients IDS-ing an issue during a Quarterly Pulsing™ session. They identified their three most critical issues on the Issues List, and then immediately started discussing the first issue. I let them go for a few minutes to see if they would self-correct, and then brought them back to step one: identify the root cause. My client was a service company with a team of about 200 technicians. Their issue was that they received several customer complaints about service delays with one particular technician. Their discussion focused on starting their disciplinary process with the individual. When they started identifying the root cause, a quick phone call to the technician’s supervisor revealed the service delays were due to the need for a tool not routinely stocked on the service trucks. Since the technician did not have the tool, and didn’t know if the company would reimburse him if he purchased the tool, he returned to the shop and followed the process to acquire the item.

The Leadership Team identified two solutions to this issue. They elected to provide each technician with a company credit card so the technicians could purchase a needed supply or tool to serve the customer well. This became a 7-day To Do for their colleague who owns the finance seat. The second solution became a To Do for their colleague who owns the operations seat: determine if the tool should become standard stock.

Had they not identified the real issue and moved forward with the disciplinary process, the company may well have lost a long-time, excellent team member. The root cause would not have been solved. The issue would have reappeared at some point.

This story is a perfect example of the value of identifying the root cause. Remember this story the next time your Leadership Team uses the Issues Solving Track™.

Implementing tools such as the Issues Solving Track™ is not complicated, but it often takes the perspective of someone outside your business who knows EOS® inside and out to keep you on the right path. Before I chose to invest in EOS®for my own company, I read Gino Wickman’s book “Traction” cover to cover. It helped me see the value in the system, and understand the Six Key Components™ to implementing it effectively. You can read chapter 1 for yourself, to learn if EOS is something you are interested in learning more about or pursuing.

If it is, I encourage you to fill out the consult form below to request a 15-minute phone call with me. Because I chose this system for my own company years ago and am now an EOS®Implementer, I have a unique understanding and perspective of how EOS®can help. I would welcome the opportunity to learn more about your business and share how EOS®could make a difference.



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