All businesses face tough challenges at one point or another – a drop in sales, an increase in costs, a change in competition. Leaders can brainstorm effective approaches to solving these kinds of difficult issues by using this issue mapping tool. It may be used in conjunction with “A Method of Solving Tough Business Problems.” (3 pages)
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A. Identify Issues
Eighty percent of solving a tough problem is defining it correctly. This means bringing it into focus in the context of other, related issues – and then ranking the relative importance of all the issues.
Step 1: Take a first stab at identifying the problem needing resolution. For example, a primary issue facing textbook publishers is that the percentage of students buying new textbooks has dropped significantly, eroding profit margins and creating a downward spiral as prices are raised to compensate.
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