Growth through Problem-Solving
Growth Through Problem-Solving
By Marshall Krupp, Certified EOS Implementer
In collaboration with Aleksandr Dolia, Executive Assistant
In the world of business, challenges and problems are inevitable. What sets successful entrepreneurs and organizations apart is their ability to effectively identify, discuss, and solve these issues. Enter the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) methodology and its IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) process, supported by the powerful technique of the Seven Whys. In this article, we will explore how IDS and the Seven Whys can efficiently and effectively get to the root cause of problems, provide S.M.A.R.T. solutions, and drive growth-oriented businesses forward. Along the way, we’ll sprinkle in some inspiring quotes to fuel your enthusiasm for IDS’ing all issues, problems, and challenges.
The IDS process is a key component of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) methodology, designed to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making within organizations. By following the IDS process, businesses can address challenges systematically, fostering transparency, collaboration, and accountability. As Albert Einstein once said, “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution,” highlighting the significance of properly identifying and framing the issues at hand.
The Seven Whys technique is a powerful tool that helps businesses dig deeper into the root causes of problems. By repeatedly asking “why,” you can uncover underlying factors and reach a meaningful and actionable root cause. This iterative process provides a clearer understanding of the problem and paves the way for effective solutions. As Aristotle stated, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” The Seven Whys help businesses truly know themselves and their challenges.
Let’s illustrate the effectiveness of the Seven Whys by examining a hypothetical scenario. Imagine a software development company experiencing a decline in customer satisfaction due to delayed product releases.
- Why are product releases consistently delayed? The development team is unable to meet the agreed-upon deadlines.
- Why is the development team struggling to meet deadlines? The team lacks sufficient resources and encounters frequent scope changes.
- Why does the team lack resources? The company hasn’t allocated enough budget for additional staff or technology upgrades.
- Why hasn’t the company allocated sufficient budget? The management prioritizes short-term cost-cutting over long-term growth and efficiency.
- Why does management prioritize short-term cost-cutting? The company’s financial performance is under pressure, and they fear potential risks and uncertainties.
- Why is the company’s financial performance under pressure? The market competition has intensified, leading to lower profit margins.
- Why are profit margins declining in the market? The company’s pricing strategy is not aligned with current market demands and customer expectations.
By going through the Seven Whys, we have identified a root cause related to pricing strategy and market demands.
Based on the root cause identified, it’s crucial to craft a S.M.A.R.T. solution to address the issue effectively. In our example:
The S.M.A.R.T. solution is to conduct market research and competitive analysis to align the company’s pricing strategy with market demands and customer expectations. It is to develop a revised pricing model within two months, considering factors such as value proposition, competitor pricing, and customer feedback. The goal is to increase profit margins by 15% within the next six months.
To ensure progress and accountability, Level 10 Meetings, another integral part of the EOS methodology, provide a framework for regular check-ins. After seven days of implementing the solution, a Level 10 meeting check-in could involve the following steps:
- Review the identified root cause, the SMART solution, and the responsible person or team.
- Assess the progress made in conducting market research and competitive analysis.
- Discuss any challenges or obstacles encountered during the process.
- Brainstorm potential adjustments or solutions if necessary.
- Assign responsibilities and establish a timeline for completing the revised pricing model.
- Document the discussion and action items in the Level 10 meeting minutes.
In the journey of building a growth-oriented business, mastering the art of IDS and leveraging the Seven Whys technique can be transformative. By embracing this problem-solving approach and continuously seeking root causes, you empower your organization to develop S.M.A.R.T. solutions and achieve sustainable growth. As Walt Disney famously said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” So, let IDS be your compass, and let action be your guiding star, for it is through proactive problem-solving that businesses flourish and succeed.
If you have any questions or would like to continue this discussion further, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to our website at www.peerexecutiveboards.com and contact us virtually. We will be happy to get back to you!
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EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® takes entrepreneur businesses on a journey of mastery of the EOS tools which enables businesses to elevate their leadership teams to make better decisions, maintain a level of accountability, at attain greater success more simplistically. The components of EOS® are Vision, People, Data, Issues, Process, and Traction, which when used effectively attains a healthier organization with greater success. Marshall Krupp is a recognized Certified EOS® Implementer serving clients through the nation. He is also a national speaker, a past award-winning Vistage Worldwide Chair, and a past career of providing crisis management strategic advisors service to businesses, governmental agencies and not-for-profit organizations. Review more at www.peerexecutiveboards.com and at www.eosworldwide.com/marshall-krupp. Review the YouTube video… https://youtu.be/NNyY7k8uXLE.