Issues are defined as anything unresolved that needs to be discussed. This could be problems, obstacles, barriers, ideas, or opportunities.There’s a negative connotation around issues, making them a taboo topic to avoid. But in reality, especially within a business, they need to be tackled head on.
Take it from us, we solve issues on a weekly basis in our Level 10 meetings. It’s healthy and keeps the business not only running, but growing. Solving issues on a regular basis is a game changer for any business. So why are people so afraid of it?
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Many people think that confronting issues turns confrontational, hostile, and defensive. It is possible to solve the issues of your organization without any of those behaviors getting in the way. To ensure that this process goes smoothly, follow these 10 rules:
1. Get information firsthand
When it comes to solving issues, it is crucial that all parties are present. NEVER rely on information from other people on behalf of another. It is important to get details firsthand from the ones experiencing, witnessing, or causing the issue. If not everyone can be present, find a new time. Simple as that.
2. Check your ego at the door
Focus on the big picture. Don’t let personalities, egos, or beliefs sway the conversation. Set your eyes on the prize and stay focused on that. Keep your 1, 3, 5, 10-year picture in mind when going through your issues. With that perspective in mind, decision making should never be personal.
3. One issue at a time
Take one step at a time. Look at each issue individually and prioritize them.The ones that are higher priority will be discussed sooner and the ones with lower priority will get covered when there is time. This keeps your team focused on the issue at hand. Trying to solve all issues at once may be overwhelming and will hinder the effectiveness of the discussions for individual issues. Never delete or forget the issues you solve, keep them accessible for reference.
4. Never avoid an issue
If there is an issue that scares you or presents a challenge, that is likely the first issue you need to prioritize. Never be afraid of an issue.
5. Propose a solution
Throw a solution out there. The worst that could happen is a conversation occurs and the team turns it down. At least it gets the conversation started and other ideas flowing. No idea or solution is a bad one if it leads to other ideas and solutions.
6. Do something, or don't
This rule is pretty self explanatory. When approaching an issue, you can either make a change or not. If you decide to not solve an issue, then you must move on If that is not something you and your team are able to manage, then solve the issue.
7. Decide with vision, not votes
Moving forward with a decision for the sole purpose of it having more votes cannot monopolize the way you make decisions. As the integrator, if that is your role, it is important to look to the company goals and core values when making decisions. Keep the vision of your business in mind as the benchmark for making decisions. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take the opinions of your leadership team into account, but the opinions of others should not be the end all be all. It can be difficult at times to make an “unpopular” decision, but the growth of your business will suffer if you leave the future of your business up to a vote.
8. Implement your decision
When making important business decisions, some may think that making a decision is the hardest part of issue solving. Wrong. The hardest part is following through with that decision and making sure that it is implemented effectively. Even if the decision you made was not the most popular, everyone needs to get behind it in order for growth to occur.
9. Make thoughtful, timely decisions
Regardless of what you decided to move forward with, it is important that you made a decision. Indecisiveness and procrastination are a sure death to company growth. Making thoughtful, timely decisions is the sweet spot when it comes to decision making and problem solving.
10. Short term pain, long term gain
Keep in mind the 36 hours of pain rule. Tackle something now, even if it is uncomfortable or painful, reap the benefits later.
Solving Issues Can Be Fun
If you follow the rules discussed here, the process will start to reveal itself. The next steps that come out of issue solving is creating actionable tasks from the issues you solved as a team. Once everyone gets behind a decision, or at least understands the decision, the actionable tasks must be assigned to a team member and documented. Each task is to be completed by the next meeting. By following this process, the issues will fall. Over time, the process becomes easier and, dare I say, fun? It is exciting to see all of your companies issues documented and solved. It is refreshing and motivating.
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Easier Said Than Done?
Issues are a difficult topic if your organization has never opened the lines of communication for conversations like this. Start off slow. Hold a meeting to introduce the idea of confronting issues with the team. Explain the benefits, how it works, warm the team up to discussing the hard topics that you may have been avoiding for who knows how long. Then, look to evolve to the point where you and your team can comfortably and confidently confront any issues that are stunting business growth.
Many will say that this process is easier said than done. If done incorrectly, then yes, easier said than done. But, once you get there and begin to mark more and more issues as solved, the dead weight of your issues will be gone and a growth mentality will spark within your business.
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