Tips & Best Practices for Family Entertainment Centers
Tips to Process Issues, Get Clarity and Move Your Business Forward
Every quarter our leadership team spends a full day together planning for the upcoming quarter. We met last week and, as usual, it was a great learning experience.
A little over three years ago we started following the EOS® system and it has changed the way we do business. Like any other business that does EOS®, we continue to refine our processes and get better at it.
One process we all felt we did significantly well this past week was issue processing. The past few weeks we have talked about what it takes to have effective meetings, how to track progress and be accountable, and how to get the right people in the right seat. But does any of this matter if we don’t solve the issues holding our business back?
Let’s take a look at why acknowledging the issues and how to solve them is part of the success of your business.
Every company has issues. It’s normal. Being able to admit you have issues and seeing them as opportunities rather than something negative will help you grow your business.
The first step is to make sure you have a workplace where your team feels comfortable enough to call out issues that are standing in the way of the business moving forward. To get here, you need to make sure there is honesty and trust in your organization. Your leadership team has to be able to be open and honest.
If your team is not there yet, read Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Lencioni discusses that for your team to be healthy and function as a unit, there must be a high level of trust.
There are three steps to solving issues: Identify, Discuss, Solve.
In this step, we want to dig in to find the real issue. Think of the times an issue has occurred and, after attempting to solve it, you find there was something else causing it. For instance, a game keeps being repaired and never seems to be fixed. You begin to believe the game is the issue. After further investigation, you find the tech did not know how to fix the game properly. This may even lead you to realize your game tech is not in the right seat.
We find teams will spend more time in this phase, especially when the real issue has not been revealed. But once the root issue is clear, everyone gets the opportunity to say what they want about the issue. The key is to say what you have to say once, anything more than that is politicking. Everything about this issue should be said and on the table so everyone can get to the next step.
Finally, as a team, you agree on a plan to solve the issue. This includes actionable items that need to be complete for the issue to go away forever. To solve the issue, your team needs to have a clear vision to make the right plan. It will take time to solve issues. Some weeks we can solve three or four, others we may only get to one or two. But spending the time to solve issues now, we can eliminate other issues before they arise.
Process the Issue No Matter How Big or Small
I’m sure right now you are thinking that issues must mean the sky is falling but that’s not the case. Remember, issues don’t have to be huge; they can be all the small things that we put off because they don’t seem significant. Often they may be part of a bigger problem and the small issues help us identify them.
For instance, a client recently had on their issues list that they were using too much sauce on their wings. Too much sauce meant increasing food costs and, over time, food costs can play a big role in profitability. So, the group was able to brainstorm ways to keep costs down while providing a great product.
Another issue we have seen recently is how to create training programs that stick. Not having a training program is a big issue, but issue processing it and solving the issue also solves a lot of little issues. It can help create an efficient team that provides the best guest service as well as lower turnover.
I love the rock analogy. You can watch this video where Franklin Covey shows how we need to take care of the big things first and all the small ones will follow.
10 Commandments for Solving Issues
Identifying issues and solving issues is not easy. It takes practice and honesty. In Traction: Get A Grip On Your Business, Gino Wickman gives ten commandments of solving issues I find very helpful.
- Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus – you can’t always get everyone on the same page. Decide, deal with it, and move on.
- Thou Shalt Not Be a Weenie – the solution is easy to discuss, but always more difficult to implement. You must have a strong will and resolve to see it through.
- Thou Shalt Be Decisive – it’s less important what you decide than it is that you decide – so decide!
- Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information – when dealing with multiple sources of secondhand information, get everyone together, discuss it, and solve it.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering – if something is a problem for longer than 36 hours, it’s your fault. Solve it now rather than later.
- Thou Shalt Enter the Danger – deal first with the issue you fear most.
- Thou Shalt Take a Shot – suggest something, try something, do something, even it is wrong.
We hope this month’s series of articles have helped you look at your business and get it on track to meet your goals and move forward. If you want to dig in more, be sure to attend our Business Coaching Conference, October 11th and 12th in Arlington, Texas.