How to Improve Your Issue-Solving Abilities 10x
Any company that wants to grow, and especially scale, needs to be able to problem-solve effectively. No matter how experienced your leadership is or how hard-working your team members are, your company will run into issues.
It doesn’t matter that they’ve shown up; what matters is how you deal with them.
When our consultants are working with clients, we often see the same issues that return over and over again. We call them “zombie issues,” because no matter how many times you think you’ve solved them, they always come back to life.
The cause of recurring issues is simple: you haven’t identified the root cause of the issue; so your solve never fully addresses the problem.
Think of the problems in your business like a row of dominos. One issue always creates other issues, so the dominos are linked and connected. Knocking down one will knock down a few more.
But there’s only one domino that will knock down all the other dominos: the front domino. That’s the root cause of your problem, and that’s where you’ve need to go to find the solution.
How Do You Identify the Front Domino?
When you’re solving issues, recognize the very human tendency to avoid that which makes us feel deeply uncomfortable. Fixing the problem might require rethinking processes or identifying people who aren’t in the right seats. Avoidance is common; egos are easily bruised.
Knowing that the first conversation about an issue might not be the deepest one; persist and create the safest possible space for open, honest discussion.
To get to the heart of the matter, Ask Why 5 Times (or more). We’ve covered this technique before; it’s simple and helps you quickly determine the hierarchy and cause/effect of issues in your company.
Reverse engineer the problem if you know what end result you want but aren’t sure how to get there. You’ll either recognize areas where you have lack of clarity about what the next step is or recognize that you know what needs to be done but aren’t doing it. Use that information to build a training plan for getting what you want.
Once you’ve identified the front domino, test your theory to confirm your assessment. Make an adjustment in one area and measure the results. Once you’re proven right, double down on what’s working. If your first theory was wrong, reassess and try again.
Solving Issues Takes Patience
You may encounter a front domino issue that can’t be solved immediately: that could be related to capital, employee training, or organic marketing growth. It can be immensely frustrating to know what the problem is but not be able to fix it right away.
However, it’s worth the effort to be patient when it comes to front domino issues. If you go for a quick fix, you’ll inevitably find that issue cropping up again. And if you can’t act on the issue right now, take a deep breath and punt it. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
We teach all of our clients a 3-part framework to efficiently resolve issues inside their companies. Got a big problem you need help solving?
Contact us to see how we can help.