Recently, one of my clients was talking about a problem that seemed to constantly come up.  The leadership team would meet and invariably this issue would come up.  The team would talk about it and discuss it and try to close it out.  It seemed to take many different roads as the team wanted to resolve it.  After much discussion the team would finally move on.  A few weeks later, the same issue would come back.  The leadership team was always dealing with this issue and they could never seem to resolve it.  Usually, the team would address the symptoms and then move on; only to have it come back in a different form… again and again and again. Does this sound familiar?

As entrepreneurs and leaders, problems and issues pop up daily.  You will face many issues and your success depends on your ability to address the problem and resolve it.  Using a process introduced in Gino Wickman’s book, “Traction”, we coach our clients with the IDS methodology: Identify, Discuss, and Solve.  First, clearly Identify the real issue.  Second, Discuss the issue so everyone has the opportunity to say everything about the real issue. Third, Solve the issue by concluding it and set an action item for someone to do.

We agree with Wickman when he cautions that the “Discuss” phase cannot go on forever. The “Discuss” phase should go on long enough so that “the issue is clear.” As they say, “A problem well defined is half solved.” It just can’t get off on “tangents” on go on too long. Good advice.

To further emphasize the execution of the IDS model, we recommend them to follow the “Ten Commandments of Solving Problems”.  Here they are:

  1. Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus – you can’t always get everyone on the same page. Make the decision, deal with it, and move on.
  2. Thou Shalt Not Be a Weenie – the solution is easy to discuss, but always more difficult to implement. You must have strong will and resolve to see it through.10 steps
  3. Thou Shalt Be Decisive – it’s less important what you decide than it is that you decide – so decide!
  4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information – when dealing with multiple sources of secondhand information, get everyone together, discuss it and solve it.
  5. Thou Shalt Fight for the Greater Good – put egos, titles and past beliefs aside and focus on the vision of the greater good, the big picture.
  6. Thou Shalt Not Try to Solve Them All – prioritize issues and take them one at a time. Deal with the most pressing and important first, and then move on.
  7. Thou Shalt Live with it, End it, or Change it – those are the only three possible options and outcomes you have in solving an issue.
  8. Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering – if something is a problem for longer than 36 hours it’s your own fault. Solve it now rather than later.
  9. Thou Shalt Enter the Danger – deal first with the issue you fear most.
  10. Thou Shalt Take a Shot – “Take a shot” at the solution.  Suggest something, try something, do something, even it is wrong.

Issues will come up every day and in every business. The key to moving forward is to have a proven process to address these issues… Identify them, Discuss them and Solve them. Put the 10 commandments of solving problems in your toolkit.  By getting comfortable with and mastering problem solving, you can set yourself up for a much easier road to business success.

New Paradigm Advisors believes you deserve to enjoy the benefits of a profitable, growing and well-run business. We help you create successful framework to solve your issues and break out of the old way of doing things to press forward with a renewed passion and focus. For more information about this new paradigm for your business, please reach out to us at 972-979-3976.  We’d love to hear from you.


Photo courtesy of Jon Tyson on Unsplash