Stop Beating That Dead Horse!

Mike Kotsis EOS - Entrepreneurial Operating System, Leadership Leave a Comment

Stop beating that dead horse in your company meetings

Ever have meetings where your team is stuck on a topic? Worse yet, you can feel when it’s about to happen because it’s happened so many times before.  Every entrepreneurial team experiences this during the course of growing their business. But to move forward as a business, you need to stop beating the dead horse!

At the beginning of a journey with a new client of mine, the leadership team was stuck on an issue about how to grow their service business over the coming year. Multiple members of the leadership team were passionate about different approaches, causing a seemingly endless repetitive discussion. Every time the topic came up, they started beating the dead horse again.

How to Stop Beating Dead Horses in Company Meetings

Three simple techniques helped them to get unstuck.

1) The Issue Solving Track

The team learned a more effective approach to tackling issues, which resulted in an incredible time saver for them. It’s a simple framework that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute in a productive way. This process uses three simple steps that we teach in EOS: IDS – Identify, Discuss, Solve:

  1. First the team Identifies the issue at the root cause of the problem.
  2. Next, they Discuss it in a healthy way, offering proposed solutions.
  3. Finally, they Solve the issue for the greater good of the company and add it to their To-Dos (7-day action items).

2) Shared Vision

I also worked with my client to establish a vision in writing that was developed and agreed upon by the leadership team. This helped them to keep the big picture in mind when they were solving issues.

The big goal in their shared vision was to be a $50 million dollar company by the year 2020. By simply putting their issues into the context of their big goal, it helped them to quit beating the dead horse on issues like the one they were experiencing. The reality was that the team was stuck beating the dead horse because some people were thinking “quick fix/short term” while others were thinking “permanent fix/long term.”

Here’s a way to frame the conversation: “We all want to be a $50 million dollar company by 2020. How do we solve this issue to keep us on the path to achieving our big goal?“

3) The Horse

People are all creatures of habit, and old bad habits of repetitive discussion will ultimately resurface from time to time. My client started using a stress toy like the one pictured above as a friendly way to call each other out when they started to slip into old patterns of repetitive discussion. Someone would toss the dead horse in the air and say, “Stop beating the dead horse” as a way of getting the discussion back on track.

Tired of repetitive discussions? Implement the Issues Solving Track with your team, get your team to agree on a common vision in writing using the V/TO, or call me to schedule a free 90-Minute Meeting to help get everyone on the same page, fast!

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