How To Build A Great EOS® Issues List
Thomas Edison said, “Vision without execution is hallucination.” In the book How To Be A Great Boss, Gino Wickman and Renee Boer claim execution requires Traction®. That’s what the EOS® is all about: Traction. And, it starts with a great Issues List. Learn how to get your EOS Issues List™ from good to great.
The problem is that not everyone is used to building an issues list the EOS way. Self implementers and small business leadership teams that are going it alone don’t get the full value of the tools because of this. What is keeping them from successfully building that Issues List and breaking through the ceiling? They aren’t following these three easy steps.
Sometimes teams are just not keeping themselves accountable to these steps. Sometimes, the problem is that the team is overcomplicating things. You need to get your leadership team laser focused on these three easy steps. You’ll see the difference in your EOS Issues List immediately.
Step 1: Populate The EOS Issues List
This should be a no-brainer. Sadly, this slows down more teams than anything else. I’ll ask a fairly new client how their Level 10 Meetings™ are going and they’ll say, “Great. We already solved all of our issues.”
Wrong. You haven’t solved all of your issues. They haven’t solved all of their’s. I haven’t solved all of mine. If I had, I would have ascended to Nirvana.
Why is this so wrong? Let’s look at the definition of an issue according to Gino Wickman, the author of Traction®: “An issue is an unresolved problem, idea, or opportunity.” There is only one reason your business wouldn’t have any of those: it’s closed for good.
[bctt tweet=”Too often I hear people say they’ve solved all of their issues, but mean that they have solved all of their unresolved problems.” username=””]
First off, that’s unlikely. Almost every business has problems of one kind of another. That’s the nature of the beast.
But, let’s follow this hypothetical rabbit down it’s hole. If you have solved all of your problems, does that mean you have just decided not to pursue your ideas and opportunities? Of course it doesn’t. You wouldn’t be using EOS in your business, if you weren’t interested in taking advantage of those opportunities and growing into those ideas.
That’s why they stay on the issues list, because they are supposed to be part of your Level 10 Meeting and part of your every day. We keep them in front of us, so we can remember every week to take a step towards achieving them.
This Is An “Aha” Moment For Most.
This is when people first realize something very important. The Entrepreneurial Operating System® isn’t just about solving the problems your company has. It’s a total system for building the business you always dreamed you would grow in to.
Step 2: Solve Your Issues
Always be solving. When your leadership team is in the Level 10 Meeting they have a very limited number of things they are supposed to do. They have 30 minutes to report in on themselves personally, the tasks they are accountable for, and the status of their Rocks™. The other 60 minutes is used for solving.
We’ve written plenty on how to solve issues, so I suggest you read any of the following articles to get up to speed.
- Our podcast episode on using 3 questions to solve issues
- Our article on using the IDS Process™
- My Favorite: our entire article on learning to “say it once”
Step 3: Keep Your Issues Visible
Many clients think that keeping their issues visible means keeping visible during meetings. To their credit, that is 100% something they should be doing, but it doesn’t end there. Keeping your issues visible means keeping them visible all the time.
Why keep them visible?
We keep our Issues List visible to keep it top of mind. When an Issues List is only seen during the once a week Level 10 Meeting, the leadership team pushes it out of their minds. It’s not that the list isn’t important to them. It is. The problem is that they are used to focusing on their day to day.
An Issues List is specifically designed to get people thinking about solving problems, often problems that have addressed the company for a good long while. When that list is visible, their brains are constantly being reminded to search for answers to those issues.
How to keep them visible
How you keep your Issues List visible is going to be unique to your company. Some groups use simple cloud software like Evernote or Google Drive. Some people roll their Issues List white board right out into the main office.
Whatever you choose, make sure the list is somewhere that it confronts employees and empowers them to think of solutions all day long.
Need More Help?
Contact US for a free consultation phone call on what the Entrepreneurial Operating System can do for you.
Whittle & Partners is a consulting group that provides EOS™ Implementation in the United States and beyond. We offer in-person and online solutions to fit your business and schedule.Visit our about us page to learn how and why we love bringing Dallas Traction.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.