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.
I truly believe that for most entrepreneurial businesses, EOS can be the best way to build systemic alignment across your leadership team, and then across the entire organization. I wish our companies had EOS decades ago… it would have saved us literally years of time and prevented many costly missteps. We implemented EOS in my last business and it enabled an amazing transformation in a very short time. It’s incredibly practical and efficient.
While anyone can read Gino’s books, subscribe to the EOS Worldwide implementation tools, and apply EOS within their company, most businesses will have more success by partnering with an EOS Implementer to teach the EOS tools, facilitate planning, and coach the leadership team through the process. There are several reasons.
First, an EOS Implementer’s singular focus is to be an expert on EOS and how apply it for maximum value in your business. While simplicity is a fundamental tenet of EOS, there’s a lot of wisdom and nuance packed into the EOS process and supporting tools. As you might imagine, when hundreds of EOS Implementers lead thousands of clients through this journey, they learn things along the way. The highly collaborative EOS Implementer community shares experiences and best practices through quarterly meet-ups and online resources. Your Implementer will bring this experience and wisdom to your team.
Second, an EOS Implementer can ensure that you’re “purely” applying the EOS model and tools. EOS requires leadership teams to let go of old habits and processes, in favor of proven approaches that work across thousands of other companies. You won’t reap all the benefits of EOS if you try to “work around” the process or cling tightly to “the way we’ve always done things here.” The EOS Implementer will teach you proven and timeless tools, and help you apply them to your business the RIGHT way.
Third, an EOS Implementer (by staying pure to the model and process) will force a leadership team to identify and address ANY tough issues that are impeding success in the business. Such issues as inefficient organizational structures, wrong people in the wrong seats, people or behaviors that don’t fit the company culture, or lack of accountability are quickly identified and solved… even when (especially when!) this is hard and painful. In many cases, self-implementers find it difficult or impossible to do this. There’s a reason these issues haven’t been solved already!
Finally, an EOS Implementer will act as an accountability coach for your leadership team, driving everyone on the team to build “muscle memory” for the new ways of working, and to follow through on their commitments to the team. No one (and no issue) hides “below the radar.” Everyone benefits when there are no excuses!
I understand this all too well, from my personal experience as a “recovering EOS self-implementer.” While EOS made a great impact for us in my last business (and while I think we did a better job at it than most who self-implement), we would absolutely have benefited from partnering with an external implementer, for all these reasons. This is why I’ve made EOS Implementation my primary focus now, through my firm Alignment Associates. I want to help as many entrepreneurs as possible get what they want from their business, and I truly believe EOS is the way to do that. I love teaching, facilitating and coaching through this process, because I’ve seen the difference it can make!
Don’t just take my word for it… here’s a great video with Gino and some EOS clients!
If you’re a leader of an entrepreneurial business, I’d love to meet with you and share more details about EOS. It takes 90 minutes, it’s absolutely free, and you’ll leave with a much better understanding of what EOS is, how it works, and whether it’s right for your business.