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Issues vs. Ideas

Issues vs. Ideas

In business, we must tackle the issues. However, we also need to generate ideas. In Good To Great, Jim Collins says we must preserve the core (tackle the issues) and stimulate progress (generate ideas). In the established, midsize companies I serve, I see a lot of structure in place to solve issues but little structure around creating ideas.

Serving as a Visionary (Kolbe 2486, Working Genius: Invention, Wonder) I have developed a deep appreciation for the operational side of the business. My companies and one of the non-profits I lead use the Entrepreneur’s Operating System to drive operational efficiency. One of the things I appreciate most is how the weekly Level 10 meetings focus on identifying, discussing, and solving issues.

Yes, issues need to be addressed. In any business, there will always be issues.

However, there is another word that starts with the letter “I” that is critical for businesses to address: ideas. While the operational team focuses on preserving the core by dealing with issues, there should be a team focusing on stimulating progress by generating ideas.

Ideas are the fuel for growth. Great ideas are the output of Strategic Innovation.

Patrick Lencioni’s Working Genius® model has revealed that some people get joy from solving issues (Galvanize, Enablement, Tenacity). Others get joy from creating ideas (Wonder, Invention, Discernment).



Here’s what I’ve been thinking:

  1. What could it look like if you tapped the ideal-generating genius of team members with the gifts of Wonder, Invention, and Discernment?

  2. What if you put these people on a team aimed at generating ideas: an Innovation Council?

  3. What if that council had a regular cadence in place to not only generate ideas but to also pilot, optimize, and package them up for implementation?

The result of this would be a steady stream of ideas to be rolled out in the business. Of course, implementing these ideas would create issues. Fortunately, you have a team in place to address issues.

Hats off if you have implemented an operating system in your business to deal with issues. (If you aren’t using an operating system like EOS, you should definitely put that in place in 2024.) Now that you have an operating system to deal with issues, maybe it’s time to put a system in place that generates ideas.


Darrell Amy is a growth architect, with a unique perspective on how to grow revenue. Most books are written from the perspective of either sales or marketing. Darrell brings both together to help companies develop and implement strategies to grow. He is the author of Revenue Growth Engine: How To Align Sales & Marketing To Accelerate Growth.

Darrell’s passion is to make the world a better place. Serving on the board of several non-profits, he has a front row seat to see the impact of financial gifts from successful businesses. Out of this, he helped launch the Grow4Good movement with the goal of helping 10,000 great businesses double revenue so they can grow employment while also giving back to their communities.

Over the past 25 years, Darrell has been deeply involved in both sales and marketing.  He has worked with hundreds of companies ranging from Fortune 100 organizations to local family-owned businesses. During that time, he’s trained thousands of sales people, most recently creating solutions sales training for a global technology company. He’s started several digital marketing agencies, helping companies implement inbound marketing strategies.

You may also contact Darrell at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.


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