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The Impact of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®)

EOS® – the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, is based on the book, Traction, by Gino Wickman and brought to life in the parable book, Get a Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton.  If you are a small or medium-sized business owner familiar with these books, then you may have wondered how it can help you get what you want from your business. EOS® has been around for over 16 years with more than 80,000 companies operating on the system. As an EOS Implementer®, I have business owners, CEOs, and executive leaders frequently ask if EOS® is right for them. The answer is simple: when implemented with purity and discipline, the results are real. In this article, the discussion is focused on the impact of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) on your business: What it is, how implementation works, impact on team effectiveness, and why implementing EOS® in your business is the catalyst that breaks through ceilings. 

The most common question among business owners is: “can we implement EOS® ourselves”? The thing about EOS® is all the information is already publicly available, therefore it can be done. Of course, one follow-up question is this: do you have time to commit to first learning the process, then facilitating the implementation for the next 12-24 months? Granted, there are many businesses that successfully self-implement. It is a wise use of your time to speak with an EOS Implementer® to gauge the ROI – beyond simply saving the time. You may find having a partner in the process, and the objective perspective that comes with a trusted, collaborative partner, could help the process take root more quickly, grow more strongly, and attain health more quickly.

What is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®)

Simply put, EOS® is a way of organizing and running your business more transparently for you and your employees, which will make your business more efficient. It’s a process where you get clear on the six key components of every business:

  1. Vision – As a small business owner you must have a clear vision for the future of your business. Then you must share that vision with all your employees so they are on the same page regarding where you want to go and how you are planning to get there. 
  2. People – Making sure you have the right people working for your business and in the right role for them is essential. You cannot do great things alone and you will never achieve your vision if you are constantly hiring and firing or have the dead weight of the wrong people holding back your team. 
  3. Data – Get clarity regarding the health of your business. The way to do this is to track certain objective metrics that give you feedback to track the state of your business. 
  4. Issues – We all have them, so it’s time to list them out, face them head-on, and resolve them – permanently. 
  5. Process – Systemizing your business by identifying and documenting the standard operating procedures of your unique business. Having everyone following the same procedural steps allows the process to be replicated, yielding consistent results when you scale your business and give you the confidence to delegate work.
  6. Traction® – Instilling discipline and accountability into the organization – becoming great at execution – taking the vision down to the ground and making it real. 

The EOS Implementation Process

What does implementing EOS® look like? As an EOS Implementer®, the first step is for you and your leadership team to take the Organizational Checkup (it takes less than ten minutes, is complimentary, and results are immediately emailed to you. Please add Ken@kenkilday.com to also receive results and we will discuss during our introductory call). The results may or may not surprise you; however the first step in improvement is a courageous inventory of reality prior to creating an action plan. The EOS® Processis then implemented with the following steps:

  1. Introductory Call – A 30-minute meeting for us to meet, review your Organizational Checkup, and explore business coaching, EOS®, and how I may be able to help you and your business..  
  2. The 90 Minute Meeting – A complimentary consultation led by your EOS Implementer®  to discuss you and your business, my experience and qualifications, and an overview of the EOS system, which includes the tools and process both short and long term. 
  3. Focus Day™ – This is the first full day together with the leadership team introducing the EOS system. We will build an accountability chart so everyone knows what they are accountable for and who to go to for support or when delegating work. We will also create Rocks – these are essentially projects or goals that each person will work on over the next 90 days. We will also create a company and individual employee scorecards. A Scorecard is a list of objective metrics to gauge the health of your business and you will track these metrics on a weekly basis. 
  4. Vision Building™ Day 1 and 2 – Over the course of two additional full days (30-days apart), we will narrow down what the core values are of your business, get clarity on your 1 year plan, 3 year plan, and 10 year target. We will also establish a clear marketing strategy for your business, develop an issues list for you and your employees to confront head-on, and establish quarterly rocks so your business can continue to improve past the implementation period.  
  5. Quarterly Pulsing™ – Once your business has had some time operating on the EOS® system, it is crucial to continue to have quarterly meetings with your leadership team. These serve as check-ins where you examine focus and traction, team health, accountability and whether there should be changes to the accountability chart, how issue solving is going, and continue to set quarterly rocks. 
  6. Annual Planning Two days with your leadership team each year to work on team health and update the vision and plan for the next year and next quarter.


How does EOS
® Impact Team Effectiveness?

So, I have gone over the EOS implementation® process as well as the ongoing quarterly sessions between you and your leadership team, but you may be wondering what day-in-the-life operating on EOS® looks like. The EOS Toolbox is a complete set of tools addressing and strengthening all Six Key Components of any business. These management tools for business leaders are designed to be easy to learn and use, because complexity reduces effectiveness. While every tool in the EOS Toolbox has been proven time and time again in the real world – I am regularly asked about meetings. Enter the Level 10 Meeting (L-10); a structure so powerful you will wonder how you ever functioned without it. When done properly, it will elevate the quality of meetings from the low rating most team members give meetings to a level “10”. First you will commit to the same day every week, start and end at the same time (on time), and there will be an agenda to these meetings as follows:

  1. Segue (5 minutes) – A personal and professional “best” – good news shared by each attendee. 
  2. Scorecard (5 minutes) – Reviewing key metrics for each employee as well as that of the company. If there are any issues, they are added to the Issues List and are worked on later in the meeting. 
  3. Rock Review (5 minutes) – Checking on your Rocks (quarterly goals) making sure they are “on track,” (taking note when they are “off track,” or “done”). Again, if there is an issue, it is dropped down to the Issues List and worked on at the appropriate time.
  4. Customer/Employee Headlines (5 minutes) – Checking on your customers and employees to make sure they are happy.
  5. To-do list (5 minutes) – Everyone has a moment to review their list of things they need to do – driving weekly accountability at every level of the organization.
  6. IDS (Issue-Discuss-Solve) (60 minutes) – You will spend the vast majority of your meeting time in this activity. Actually identifying the root of the issue, discussing it as a group, and then solving it permanently. This process is what makes for great meetings, generates traction, and makes the time you spend together every week valuable, efficient and productive. 
  7. Conclude (5 minutes) – You will recap the to-do list, discuss the necessary cascading of messages, and then each person in attendance will rate the meeting on a scale of 1-10. Open discussion of low ratings creates the accountability necessary to hold the standard of a Level 10 Meeting. 

Well-run meetings are crucial for team effectiveness and profitability. Effective teamwork comes from making sure everyone is 100% on the same page – where everyone comes together, gets organized, discusses issues as a group, and has a plan for accountability. 

Why Should You Consider Implementing EOS® for Your Business?

You may be wondering how a business like yours has time to implement EOS®. Full-day training for several months in a row, then quarterly thereafter sounds like a huge commitment of time and resources.  As an entrepreneur, you may wonder how you can “afford” for your leadership team to stop what they are doing and spend an entire day committed to implementing EOS®? Because the most successful leaders, CEOs, and business owners take the time to step away to think about and work *on* rather than *in* their businesses. This is an investment in your business, in the long term productivity and efficiency of your employees and thus the long term success of your business.   

Conclusion

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair 

As a foundational investment in the long term, health and success of your business, successful EOS implementation® will depend on your level of commitment and application. Executive Coaching is a specialty career and it has been my pleasure to help business owners re-organize their companies, enhance their productivity, and achieve their short and long term goals. The most frequent feedback I receive from the business owners, CEOs, and executive leaders that I have had the pleasure of working with is that they wish they had implemented EOS® sooner. 

Ken Kilday, CEO/founder of Leader’s Cut: The Ken Kilday Coaching Experience, is an Executive Business Coach and EOS Implementer®. He works with leaders in companies of all sizes to implement actions, evaluate success, and adjust to new, improved habits and actions to produce repeatable and predictable outcomes independent of changing business cycles. Ken is an entrepreneur who has designed, built, launched, and rejuvenated successful businesses. Contact Ken to schedule a 15-minute Meet & Greet and discover how coaching can best serve you and your business.