By Ryan Giles
Some business owners want to grow but don’t know how or blame outside forces for holding them back. Others feel like they’ve hit a ceiling on what they can accomplish and feel stuck.
As a Certified EOS Implementer®, I’ve met unmotivated owners who’ve lost their passion and others so overworked they’ve nearly lost their marbles. I’ve helped business owners address nearly every issue you can imagine using the EOS Model®. But before they could solve any of these business issues, they needed to identify them first.
Owners who find themselves spinning their wheels may think no one else could possibly have these problems. They dig in and try harder only to find themselves getting even more stuck.
Something as basic as everyone using the same terminology and procedures can become a growth blocker for a company. Differences in opinion throughout the company on how to follow inefficient processes create tension between individuals or even whole departments. Owners may hear the same tired arguments get rehashed in every leadership meeting.
Whatever the cause, the business doesn’t get anywhere, or worse, it moves backwards and loses revenue. Every single business will face issues – that just comes with the territory. Whether you address them can mean the difference between looking “busy” while spinning your wheels and gaining traction.
IMPORTANCE OF ISSUES LIST TO YOUR V/TO™
Every business owner I work with uses their Vision/Traction Organizer™ religiously. As a wise person (not me) once said: “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably never get there.”
With clear core values, Core Focus™, 10-Year Target™, and marketing strategy, owners know where their business should go. The 3-Year Picture™, 1-Year Plan, and Rocks break down that journey into manageable milestones. The Issues List identifies any obstacles that could or already do slow down your progress. Identifying issues is the first step in solving them.
ADMITTING BUSINESS ISSUES EXIST
I have a ton of expensive mistakes I’ve made over the years in the businesses I’ve owned. Take my very first business, for example. While I was still in college studying computer science at the University of Alabama, I started an emu farm. Hey, back in the ‘90s emus were a thing. They were cool, and I had 24 of them.
After a year or so, I realized I had a problem: I still only had 24 emus. I didn’t have one baby emu. Heck, I hadn’t even seen so much as one egg. So, I decided to have them sexed. Only then did I learn I had 24 male emus.
You can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend your business doesn’t have issues. Even emus don’t do that! I learned the hard way to accept and address my Issues List.
As a business owner, you set the culture in your company. If you can identify and describe issues during your leadership meetings, your team will feel comfortable doing the same. After all, the issues existed all along. You’ve just brought them out into the light for discussion.
THAT’S AN ISSUE?
Once the leadership team starts listing issues, the floodgates open. Owners may hear things they never knew were a problem. They may have trouble understanding how something even made the Issues List. By keeping an open mind, they learn how something seemingly meaningless has created a pain point for their team.
With all the cards on the table, the leadership team can get overwhelmed at the sheer number of issues. They can’t possibly address all at once, so they prioritize as a group on which to solve first. A funny thing happens when you prioritize and solve those issues: a lot of them solve themselves. As the root cause issue gets addressed, others down the line become non-issues.
Just because a company uses EOS to identify and solve problems doesn’t mean the work is done. Throughout the entire lifecycle, the business will continue to have issues that evolve with time and growth. However, having identified issues once creates the confidence to continue flexing those muscles, making the process smoother each time.