EOS’s Answer to Problem Solving


I have quoted Seth Godin a number of times in my blogs. Yes, I am doing it again.

Seth recently wrote a short blog. Here it is in its entirety:

“The problem you can’t talk about . . . is now two problems.” 

We see this all the time with our EOS® clients. Problems that no one wants to address. Problems that are scary. Problems that are not well-defined. Problems that you hope won’t rear their ugly heads today, or this week, or this month. Sometimes we meet a client who has figured out how to solve a problem, but it is a personnel issue and it just doesn’t feel good to address the situation.

In the EOS® world, we refer to these problems as “issues.”  Sometimes issues can be uncomfortable or unpleasant to deal with, but they have to be addressed and discussed. As the leader, you have to be strong and do what is best for your business, no matter how hard it is to talk about. Any issue affords you three choices – you can live with it, end it or change it.

So not solving the problem you can’t talk about becomes your second problem.

Every company has problems:

  • vendors who over deliver and under promise
  • customers who want a different version of what you make
  • employees who don’t quite fit your culture
  • a department manager who micro-manages everyone

As you use the EOS Issues Solving Track to Identify the root cause (because the problem is really just a symptom), Discuss everything that has to do with the problem, and then Solve the problem for good, you may find that some problems are justified and others are just plain neurotic. We refer to this three-step process as IDS – Identify, Discuss and Solve. You’ll often hear us use it as a verb, “Let’s IDS it.”

But the problems need to be exposed, and dealt with openly and honestly. Treating the symptoms is a waste of time. We expect our clients to be open and honest with everyone in their company, because it’s the only way to move forward, solve issues and grow the business.

It isn’t easy. But I bet your employees recognize many of the problems and are wondering when you are going to do something about them.

I know my staff did as we implemented EOS® in my last company. But once you solve a few problems, you will see your staff engagement grow, your satisfaction with the company increase, and your business will become a lot easier to manage.

Do you need help solving issues in your company? If so, contact us. We can help.


About EOS®

EOS® is a holistic management system with simple tools that help you do three things we call vision, traction, healthy. Vision from the standpoint of first getting your leaders 100% on the same page with where your organization is going. Traction from the standpoint of helping your leaders to become more disciplined and accountable, executing really well to achieve every part of your vision. Healthy meaning helping your leaders to become a healthy, functional, cohesive leadership team.