April 23, 2024
 - We've Got Issues
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April 23, 2024

For those running Weekly Meetings or EOS L10s, do you find your issue list keeps growing? Perhaps issues linger for months? Or do issues reappear time and time again without fully being resolved? If so, you've got issues with issues. Almost every team I coach has encountered this problem, and here is how we got through it.

Practicing Issue Hygiene

One key factor in managing issues effectively is practicing good issue hygiene. This involves taking the time to properly construct and define each issue before attempting to solve it.

Slow Down and Construct the Issue

Remember, slow is smooth, smooth is fast. By slowing down and taking the time to thoroughly understand and construct each issue, you'll be able to address them more effectively and efficiently in the long run. This means gathering all the necessary information, identifying the root cause, and clearly defining the problem at hand.

For example, instead of simply stating, "Our website is slow," take the time to investigate and construct the issue as a question. The example can be rephrased as "What steps can we take to optimize our website's performance and improve user experience?" Bonus points for those who want to add description notes to the issue, such as "Our website's load time has increased by 30% over the past month, causing a 20% drop in conversions."

Framing it as a question helps to focus the discussion and encourages the team to think critically about the problem. By asking the right questions, you'll be able to uncover the underlying causes and develop better responses. As Carl Jung put it, “To ask the right question is already half the solution to a problem."

1 Min with Eisenhower

Once you've constructed your issues, it's time to prioritize them. The Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool for this purpose. As a group, apply the matrix to each issue, filtering it from the lens of the company, not just the department or your individual perspective.

Urgent / Important

These issues require immediate attention and should be tackled first. They have a significant impact on the company and cannot be delayed.

Example: "How can we quickly develop and deploy a patch to protect our users' data?"

Non-Urgent / Important (Candidates to Kick to Monthly Meeting)

Consider moving these to your Monthly Meeting agenda, where you can discuss them in more depth and develop long-term strategies.

Example: "What steps can we take to better understand and address our customers' needs and improve their experience with our product?"


Some issues may not require action but are still important for the team to be aware of. These can be briefly mentioned as informs, keeping everyone in the loop without taking up too much time.

Example: "Our new product update is about to launch, here are the top features to highlight to our customers."


Finally, some issues may not be relevant or important enough to warrant discussion. Be ruthless in eliminating these from your list, as they can clutter your meetings and distract from more pressing matters.

Example: "The office coffee machine is out of order." This issue can be easily handled outside of the meeting and does not require the team's attention.

By taking a bit more time to build your issues list and applying these techniques, you'll find it much easier to maintain a manageable and effective issue list. Remember to slow down, construct issues as questions, and prioritize using the Eisenhower Matrix. With these tools in your arsenal, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of issue management in your Weekly Meetings and EOS L10's.

author avatar
George Morris
I use my 20+ years of entrepreneurial experience and training to coach businesses on scaling up rapidly using Verne Harnish's Scaling Up framework. By doing so, my clients are more efficient and profitable, giving them the ability to make bigger impacts in the world. I deeply believe entrepreneurs are the best equipped to be the vehicle for meaningful change, and in the decade ahead, we'll see a substantial shift in how business is done. We'll move to a model where company purpose, impact, curiosity, and team health will be differentiators in overall business success. As Simon Sinek has pointed out, the finite games are the legacy of the past; we're moving to an infinite game.