The Issue Log. A Way to Bring Organizational Issues Up to The Surface.
Issues in an organization can be like tumors- if left unchecked, they will grow and metastasize.
In order to deal with organizational issues effectively, they must be brought up to the surface. This can be done in a variety of ways, but one of the most effective is through the use of an issue log. An issue log (via Ray Dalio in Principles) is a document that lists all of the known issues in an organization. It can be used as a tool to bring transparency to the issue-handling process, and it can help leaders track progress on resolving issues.
There are three parts of Dalio’s issue log:
- Describe the issue in detail. You must know what you’re dealing with. The more detailed, the more actions you can take to mitigate in the future.
- Severity of the Issue. How has this issue impacted the team and its ability to carry out its charter? Prioritize the most severe issues if time is limited. Leave the others for another time.
- Make clear who was responsible for the issue. This is an ongoing theme in Dalio’s book- tough feedback. Tough feedback is the hardest to dish out, but most important to progress. The more teams accept candid feedback as a cultural norm, the faster they can progress.
Looks good on paper, but difficult to implement. The hardest part will always be assigning a person, or small group, to an issue. How can you be more candid with your team while still preserving the relationship?
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