Everyone Has Issues!
Updated: Aug 1
You’ve completed the reporting section of your L10™ meeting. Now everyone is up to date on what happened last week (Scorecard™), the status of everyone’s Rocks (Rocks Review™), people news (People Headlines™), and how everyone did on their assigned To Dos from the prior week (To Do List™).
If you’ve kept to the times in the L10 agenda, you now have 60 minutes to solve Issues!
In their weekly L10 meeting, the Leadership Team gathers for 90 minutes to work ON the business. To do so, everyone steps out of their role as departmental managers and elevates themselves to a senior manager role. Working ON the business means solving Issues, so that is where we spend most of our time in an L10 Meeting™.
But what exactly is an Issue?
An Issue is anything relating to the business that the Leadership Team needs to address together. It could be a problem, like continued late deliveries, a past due customer, or escalating overtime costs. It could be an opportunity, like a cost-saving idea, new customer prospect, or potential new line of business. It could be a problem employee, unhappy customer, or equipment problem. It could even be a proactive step (what manufacturing companies call a preventative action) which a company can take to prevent a future problem.
The key is that an Issue is something that the Leadership Team must address together. An Issue goes beyond one team member’s span of control, authority, or ability to deal with alone. For example, a problem employee or a broken production process are not Issues for the Leadership Team unless the team member needs advice from the team on how to deal with it, or if another team member is calling this unaddressed Issue to the attention of the Leadership Team.
Where do Issues come from?
Issues come spontaneously to the members of the Leadership Team as a part of their daily management activities. They appear from careful observation, proactive thinking, and active engagement. They come from always looking for ways to make the company better and move it forward.
Issues also come from the reporting section of the L10 meeting. Is a metric on the Scorecard red, meaning off-track? Drop it down to the Issues List™. One of the Rocks is off-track? Drop it down. Problem with a key employee? Drop it down. A To-Do has gone uncompleted for two straight weeks? Drop it down.
Is it a good thing when we have no Issues?
NO! Absolutely not! Every business has Issues!
Issues are there, lurking in your business. They are waiting to trip you up, cause missed deliveries, increase your costs, destroy morale, or cause lost opportunities. If you don’t have any Issues on your Issues List, that is an Issue!
It is common for a Leadership Team to have a difficult time building their Issues List. They often must work hard at creating a dynamic Issues List. I tell my clients that as soon as they spot an Issue, go to the conference room and write it on the Issues List so we can address it.
The only business that could possibly have no Issues is one where sales and profits are growing, all employees are operating at their full potential, and there is 100% client satisfaction. Until you reach that enviable level, you need to find your Issues!
How do we develop an Issues List?
If you are having a difficult time building your Issues List, ask the team open-ended “How” and “What” questions. Here are a few ideas:
· What is keeping you awake at night?
· What’s in the back of your mind that you’re trying not to think about?
· What is not working properly? What could work better?
· How is your employees’ morale?
· How effective is your training?
· Can your employees state your Core Values?
· How must you change your organization to accommodate your growth plans?
· What are the weaknesses of your team or your company?
· Is there unhealthy friction on your Leadership Team?
· Where are you inefficient?
· Are your processes documented? Followed by all?
· How effectively do you solve Issues? *
· How effective is your Scorecard?
· Is your Accountability Chart up to date?
· Have you effectively communicated your Vision?
* Here's my blog on how to solve Issues.
If you still need help, reach out to me. I have been a fractional Integrator for five years and have run hundreds of L10s for my clients in a variety of industries. I have helped them reach their goals, starting with holding more effective L10 meetings. I can be your L10 Ninja! You can reach me at email@example.com or 651-247-1993 or my LinkedIn page.
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