Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend : Part 2 - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio

Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend : Part 2

Why we keep facing the same issues over and over.

In my last post on this subject, I discussed the importance of work teams developing the discipline of creating an Issues List. An Issues List is the first of two disciplines in the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®) Issues Component, and is simply the discipline of getting issues out of our heads and onto a written list – ideally stated in one sentence and really hitting the nerve. Far too often, teams spend their time talking about symptoms of deeper issues and never getting to the real root of their issues.

Now on to Issues Solving. As a Certified EOS Implementer, the process I teach teams for solving issues efficiently and permanently can be summarized by the initials I-D-S. The letters stand for the three steps of the process: Identify, Discuss, and Solve.

1. Identify: Start with your Issues List on display, and ask the team to quickly state the three biggest issues on the list. In the event that you run out of time, you always want to solve the biggest issues first. Once the top three are identified, just start with number one. The first step is for the person who brought that issue to the list to restate it in the shortest sentence possible, really trying to hit the nerve of the issue. When that is done, go around the group and be sure that everybody agrees the stated issue is really getting to the root, and that there is nothing deeper. Doing this well will help you dig down to root causes and stop just putting bandages on symptoms.

2. Discuss: This is the step where you get to say your piece or state your opinions about the issue…but only once…because more than once and you’re ‘politicking.’ It is these endless political debates about issues where most teams get stuck wasting countless hours, accomplishing nothing. Strive to get in and out of this step quickly, and don’t go back.

3. Solve: If you really got to the root cause in Step One, and if everybody got their opinions out in Step Two, then the solutions often become obvious and are almost always already in the room. During this step, it is critical that you stay focused on solutions and don’t drift back into Discuss. Ask yourselves what action items can be carried out in the next one to two weeks that can bring about a solution to the issue. As you create this list of Action Items, put them on a “To-Do” list, be sure that somebody on the team owns each “To-Do,” and follow up in the next week’s meeting to be sure the “To-Do’s” are getting “To-Done.”

Mastering this process takes time and practice, but if you stay focused on following this simple, three step process to issues solving, you will begin to find that you are able to solve issues in a way that makes them go away forever.

Michael Erath, founder of SMART Direction LLC, is a life-long entrepreneur and owner of multiple businesses who now also helps other business owners and their Leadership Teams get everything they want out of their businesses by implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System as a Certified EOS Implementer. The Entrepreneurial Operating System brings clarity, vision, focus, discipline, accountability and team health into organizations of all sizes and in all industries. For more information, visit, or call Michael at 855 2 EOS PURE / (855) 236-7787.

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