Your ability to tackle issues directly correlates to your company’s ability to succeed. No matter the size, complexity, financial strength of your organization, it will have issues, known and unknown. Your company’s success doesn’t rely on having no Issues, but on your employees’ ability to identify and solve the Issues that exist. If your company doesn’t think you have issues, how can you succeed?
Who Doesn’t Have Issues?
Andy, CEO and founder of an industrial supply company, walked into the room with his leadership team of five one morning. His team had printed the required material to begin our Quarterly meeting. Among the documents was an Issues List. I glanced at the materials and the Issues List and immediately noticed there were only four Issues! That itself was an issue.
Throughout the meeting, as the leadership team interacted with each other, I began to note all the Issues being added to the whiteboard. Near the end of the day we had an issues list nearly 40 items long. Going from four to 40 in a few short hours was shocking and overwhelming for the team—and a little disheartening. But I was pleased with the team’s ability to uncover Issues. This was progress.
I shared the concept with the team that their ability to tackle issues directly correlates to their ability to succeed. When we only had four Issues, it was clear that there were two other Issues that needed to be added the Issues List:
- The leadership team’s ability to be open and honest
- The process of adding Issues to the Issues List
Too Few Issues Is Worse Than Too Many Issues
Anytime someone says they only have a handful of Issues is simply not telling (or in touch with) the truth. It tells me that the team isn’t fully aware of their company’s true condition—or they’re not willing to look honestly at it. And truthfully, not knowing their true condition is more alarming than having 40 Issues.
Towards the end of our day together we spent time identifying, discussing and solving (IDS) the Issues we had discovered, in order of priority. Within our allotted time, we solved 10 of the 40 Issues—including “The leadership team’s ability to be open and honest” and “The process of adding Issues to the issues list.”
Don’t Bury Your Head in the Sand
Not knowing the team’s true Issues isn’t unique to this company. Our human nature slows our ability to tackle issues. We naturally gravitate towards short-term fixes, such as avoiding Issues, burying Issues or withholding information that leaves us vulnerable. The EOS Issues List and IDS tool was created to place our companies on a better path to succeed.
Our ability to tackle Issues directly correlates to our company’s ability to succeed. So don’t be afraid to acknowledge your Issues!