Why Paul thinks EOS® is awesome (and you should, too)

For 25 years of my career, I was fortunate to work on leadership teams in businesses that applied management best practices from Jim Collins, Patrick Lencioni, Verne Harnish, and other experts, to build aligned organizations. While this was a great experience and yielded huge benefits, there was a lot of work involved. These thought leaders provided great, relevant wisdom… but we had to integrate all this wisdom into systems and processes across our business. It was a trial-and-error approach, and we always felt like there were gaps where we could be more effective. 

A few years ago, I discovered Gino Wickman’s Book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. It seems that Gino went through a similar process within his own business. Then Gino made it his mission to turn all this work into a complete and repeatable “operating system” that could efficiently run, grow and improve any entrepreneurial business. He called this EOS® – the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. Through his company EOS Worldwide, Gino built a network of coaches to lead the implementation of this system, and developed a body of tools and best practices over thousands of implementations. Today, EOS is enabling thousands of entrepreneurs to get what they want from their business. 

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But we had a PLAN!!!

(and it wasn't enough)

We’ve all heard (or said) this at some point in our careers… probably many times. A project, a program, or an entire business has gone off the rails. While this happens frequently due to a total lack of planning, that wasn’t the case here. Instead, you and your team put time and effort into formulating a plan to achieve your goal. But, somehow, things broke down during execution. But why? Perhaps your plans, however complete, were not fully aligned.

TooManyProjects

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Planning to Plan: Aligning Priorities, Part 2

Signpost_chaos

In my last post, I talked about the importance of a shared context, as a prerequisite for building consensus around a team’s priorities to move forward. I also reviewed some approaches to leading the team through developing this shared context. This shared context needs to include an understanding of:

  • what we really do
  • what we have
  • what we lack
  • our customers’ and stakeholders’ expectations of us
  • how we’re perceived by them currently
  • risks we face
  • opportunities we have to be more than we are

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Planning to Plan: Aligning Priorities, Part 1

ClingmansPanoramaLowIn the introduction to my “Planning to Plan” series, I proposed that leaders ask themselves a few tough questions about last year’s plan:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

In my last post, I shared some thoughts on tapping into the personal passion your team members already have. Once the team understands how the organizational vision aligns with their own passions and vision of the future, what’s next? Priorities.

The bottom line is, when people are crystal clear about the most important priorities of the organization and team they work with and prioritized their work around those top priorities, not only are they many times more productive, they discover they have the time they need to have a whole life.
– Steven Covey

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Planning to Plan: Aligning Passion

AlignPassion

Happy New Year! Many of you are finalizing goals for 2016, and planning how you’re going to accomplish them. I want all of you to have even more success this year… and helping your team align their passion, priorities, and actions toward your organization’s goals will be a key to your success.

In the introduction to my “Planning to Plan” series, I proposed that leaders ask themselves a few tough questions about last year’s plan:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

In my last post, I shared some thoughts on building and articulating a clear, compelling and attainable vision. Next, I’ll focus on how we get our teams aligned for action in pursuit of the vision. What do I mean by “aligned”? In this context, I believe alignment has a few key facets: passionpriorities, and action.

Passion is what gets your team members out of bed in the morning, what motivates them to care enough about the work to actually do it, and what keeps them working for you instead of someone else. While there are people who say they don’t have (or don’t even believe in) passion for their work, you really want team members who care.

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Planning to Plan: Aligning Purpose Through the Vision Story

Vision

In the introduction to my “Planning to Plan” series, I proposed that leaders ask themselves a few tough questions about this year’s plan:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

Today, let’s talk about a key foundational component of any good plan: a clear, compelling and attainable vision. One could write a whole book on developing and articulating a vision (and I may do that!), but let’s stick to the basics here.

In the context of business and organizational planning, what is “the vision”, where does it come from, and how do we maximize its value?

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Planning to Plan

ClingmansPanoramaNarrow

As you think about what worked (and what didn’t) for your team in 2015, and how to achieve more in 2016, ask yourself some tough questions:

  • Did we have a clear, compelling and attainable vision of what we wanted to accomplish?
  • Did our team truly and deeply believe in what we were doing, and why?
  • Did we clearly identify our priorities, and what was “out of bounds”?
  • Did we encourage our critical thinkers to think critically, and help us face the brutal facts?
  • Did our team buy in to an actionable plan that addressed their constraints?
  • Did our entire team review and adapt the plan throughout the year?

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