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TRUST ME I’M AN EOS IMPLEMENTER™

During World War II, in the terrible days of the Blitz, a father, holding his small son by the hand, ran from a building that had been struck by a bomb. In the front yard was a shell hole. Seeking shelter as quickly as possible, the father jumped into the hole and held up his arms for his son to follow. Terrified, yet hearing his father’s voice telling him to jump, the boy replied, ‘I can’t see you!’ The father called to the silhouette of his son, ‘But I can see you. Jump!’ The boy jumped because he trusted his father.

Thankfully, during EOS® session days we are never dealing with anything as terrible as the Blitz. Things do however often get heated, and our clients will often question the process. As an implementer, a critical role I own is facilitation with the leadership team to build Trust – Trust in me, Trust in the EOS® process and most importantly Trust between the members of the leadership team.

Trust in me as an implementer begins early in the EOS process™ often right as a client is deciding to hire me and we discuss the flow of the first three session days; Focus Day™, Vision Building™ Day 1, and Vision Building™ Day 2. Clients will want to start with Vision Building™, they can’t fathom why we would start with Focus Day™ and by learning the 5 fundamental EOS™ tools – “Surely we have to build our Vision first they will frequently say”. The truth is Gino tried this both ways as he was building the EOS™ process and found that you have to build accountability first, to then be successful with Vision. The process works, as many thousands of successful companies running on EOS® have found. As an implementer my role is encouragement to ‘Trust the Process’, to ‘jump’.

 

Achieving true leadership team trust is a pivotal point for our clients. We begin this journey on the first day with tools and techniques then spaced throughout the EOS Process™ to take our clients on their journey to leadership strength built on a foundation of trust.

The key tool in the EOS Toolbox™ we use to achieve this is the Trust Builders™. Quite simply each quarter we work with our leadership teams and tackle a specific exercise to improve and strengthen vulnerability-based trust and team heath. These are things like reading and internalizing ‘The five dysfunctions of a Team’ by Patrick Lencioni, being comfortable tackling our ‘One Thing’ feedback exercise, understanding individual learning styles and sharing personal histories. Working these consistently into the process of our EOS® journey together gives our clients the strength and trust in each other to tackle the difficult situations which will inevitably arise in any organization.

So the question is “are you ready to Trust an EOS Implementer™ to help you and your leadership team achieve more of what you want from your company”?

Written by Richard Price on February 19, 2020

Several hands all holding a growing plant in soil

BOOST ACCOUNTABILITY, DRIVE PERFORMANCE!

Poor accountability could be the single greatest threat to your company’s future – creating a culture of excuses, confusion, and inefficiencies – ultimately resulting in poor performance.

According to Gallup, only 30% of employees are “engaged,” 50% are disengaged (just going through the motions) – and an incredible 20% are actively disengaged, or working against you every single day – all of which directly impacts a culture of accountability.

The Gallup survey uncovers a secret – employee engagement significantly boosts accountability leading to organizational performance. Why? Because engaged employees have an emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. They don’t just work for a paycheck. They care about their work and their company.

So why let poor accountability become an obstacle in the path to achieving better engagement and results?

10 Tips to Boost Accountability

Take action today to change the company’s DNA by creating a new culture of performance by embracing more accountability! Here are 10 ways good leaders foster accountability to grow great teams and strong cultures:

  1. Clarify your people’s roles – Employees who don’t understand the roles they play in the company’s success are more likely to become disengaged. Take the time to create the right structure for your organization, clarifying roles and responsibilities, so you have the right people in the right seats. Remember the rule of thumb: When 2 or more people are accountable for a position, nobody is accountable!
  2. Set great goals – Employees want to see how their work contributes to larger company objectives. Setting smart quarterly goals aligns everyone around what’s most important. In EOS® language, we call 90-day goals, “Rocks” – 3-7 top priorities that align everyone around what’s most important. Because “if everything is important, nothing is important!”
  3. Walk the talk – You and your leadership team have to be role models of accountability – because as you go, so does the rest of the organization. Never play the “blame game,” which is usually a ploy to control others or hand off responsibility. Accept the fact that all the company’s problems were created by you and your leadership team. But you must believe that the same team that created all the problems together can solve all of the problems together. That’s demonstrating 100% responsibility. That’s what inspires others to do the same.
  4. Communicate continuously – Make sure your expectations are clear and consistent. Remember the “Rule of 7” says people need to hear something 7 times before it sinks in. Eliminate the “I didn’t understand” excuse by using both verbal and written communications.
  5. Measure objectively – Accountability must be based on facts, not distorted by opinions, politics, and desire for power. Make sure to create a Scorecard, Dashboard or key Measurables to ensure your goals and objectives are creating the right impact. Remember, what gets measured, gets done!
  6. Give control before expecting accountability – If several levels of approvals are needed for a specific decision, no one will feel accountable, and no one can be held accountable. If more than one person is ultimately accountable, nobody is accountable.
  7. Align functional groups with business goals – If key functions aren’t under the control of the proper team, accountability will suffer. For example, if your sales group is measured on profitability, but is required to process leads from outside sources paid by volume, you have a conflict where everyone loses.
  8. Provide timely feedback on performance – High performers need regular quarterly coaching on how to improve, as well as annual full reviews. Help your people look in the mirror and see reality. Coach them to greatness!
  9. Use a process to solve your issues – Your ability to be successful and grow is directly proportionate to your ability to solve your issues. Getting to the root and solving problems should never be a “name and shame” game. Leaders need to provide a safe haven where difficult issues can be discussed and solved without assigning blame. The goal should always be to solve problems, not hurl accusations. (At EOS, we use an Issues Solving Track™ called IDS: Identify, Discuss, Solve – to knock down issues and make them go away forever).
  10. Improve trust – While accountability tools that measure data and results are important, you must also trust the people. Absolute dependence on tools leads to the abdication of personal responsibility. Build trust through strong and consistent leadership and management – all of which improves accountability!

Boost Engagement with Accountability

Can you imagine having employees who are “engaged?” Who are fully absorbed by and enthusiastic about their work and take positive action to further the organization’s reputation and interests?

If you and your leadership team are willing to be the best, you’ll realize that accountability makes it all happen. You’ll have more control over your business, build a strong, engaged and accountable culture – ultimately increasing the value of your business AND your peace of mind!

Written by Chris Naylor on October 5, 2017

Five professional people smiling both male and female

WHY MILLENNIALS WILL LOVE EOS® – PART 2

In Why Millennials Will Love EOS® – Part 1 we said that millennials, who were raised in a different time than we Boomers and Gen-Xers, think differently. They have very specific expectations for information and for their work environments. TheVision/Traction Organizer™ and the Accountability Chart provide the vision, big picture, and culture that millennials need to understand and to be engaged.

In Part 2 I want to share specific EOS Tools that will help you lead, manage, and hold millennials accountable, as well as the rest of your team.

Quarterly Rocks

Millennials need to see progress, completion, and evidence that they are building new skills. Setting priorities for the few most important things that must get done each quarter at the company level, by department, and for individuals creates clear alignment that everyone is rowing in the same direction. This quarterly rhythm shows completion of tasks more often, develops job skills and can provide a variety of work. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to lead without changing positions.

Weekly Level 10 Meetings™

Maintaining human connectivity is critical for digitally native millennials. The weekly pulse of reporting, holding each other accountable, and problem-solving is frankly the lifeblood of any healthy team regardless of the ages of its members. For millennials, using the IDS and the Issues Solving Track™ during this weekly problem-solving session gives the team opportunities to be creative, share, and be exposed to new ideas

Scorecards

A powerful currency for millennials is flexibility — when, where, and how to get the work done, as long as it gets done. Working remotely and flextime don’t work for everything, but they can work for certain roles. The key is how to hold people accountable. A weekly scorecard of activity-based metrics that track specific job responsibilities will provide the tool for many to self-manage their results and keep their boss and teammates plugged in.

Process

Documenting your handful of Core Processes brings consistency and scalability to how the work gets done. When followed by everyone on the team a consistent process also gives additional autonomy.

In addition to these tools, you need to master the Five Management Practices™ that speaks directly to the kind of feedback and direction millennials need to get.

  • Practice 1. Keeping expectations clear – yours and theirs
  • Practice 2. Communicating well – more listening than talking
  • Practice 3. Maintaining the right Meeting Pulse™
  • Practice 4. Having Quarterly Conversations – 1:1 meetings to talk about what’s working and what’s not
  • Practice 5. Rewarding and Recognizing – within 24 hours, open and honest, be their boss, not their buddy

Written by Clark Neuhoff on August 14, 2017

A woman drawing on a transparent board in a meeting room

WHAT’S YOUR SECRET SAUCE?

No one cares what you do.

I know this seems a bit harsh but it is a reality. There are many other companies that do what you do and can fulfill the need your company currently fills.

But can they do it HOW you do it?

It is not the “What” that your customers care about, it is the “How you do what you do” that makes you special. So, why is it that so few companies have documented their “How”?

It’s All In The “How”

There are a few of you right now who are saying, “Well that isn’t a problem at our company. We have very detailed standard operating processes.”

Then there are a few others that are thinking, “So what? My team generally understands our approach.”

We find that most of the businesses we work with are in one of these two camps:

  1. Overly-detailed processes documented
  2. Nothing at all documented

Or worse, they have both.

We find that the right approach is in the middle: Document the 20% that gets you 80% of the results.

That 20% would be the high-level steps for your handful of core processes. Not the 100 steps for each of your 20 “core” processes. This high-level approach is what ends up dialing in your secret sauce. This is the “How you do what you do.”

Keep It Simple

Taking this simplified approach is how you get the most return on your buck. If you are too detailed when documenting your processes, they will be difficult or onerous to follow and if they aren’t documented, they are impossible to follow.

Once you get your core processes down, then you need to start the hard part and get them followed-by-all. But understand that it is impossible to take this step if you haven’t taken the time and documented your secret sauce. So, get your handful of core processes down and start truly taking advantage of your How.

Written by Jim Coyle on November 14, 2019

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YOUR CORE BUSINESS PROCESSES

The Entrepreneurial Operating System’s (EOS) model has 6 key components. One of them is the Process Component.

Companies who use EOS document their 6-10 Core Business Processes – HR, Marketing, Sales, Operations (how you deliver your product or service), Finance, and Customer Support are chief among them. They document the steps in the processes in an entrepreneurial way – using the 20/80 rule. Then they insist that these core processes are followed by all employees – no exceptions.

Horizon Services, Inc. of Wilmington, DE (http://www.horizonservicesinc.com/) is great example of a company which exemplifies this best practice.

I was blown away two weeks ago when I was dealing with a malfunction in my home furnace. I decided to reach beyond the firm I had used in the past who always completed the work but never wowed me.

Horizon impressed me at every turn. It started with the person who answered my initial phone call. After I told her that I needed a furnace problem diagnosed, she asked if I was a current customer. When I said no, she asked my permission to mention a few things about Horizon which I might find interesting – that Horizon is 23 years in business, that they have a “AAA” Better Business Rating, and so on.

Every interaction was a pleasure. Next up was the “comfort consultant” who diagnosed the problem, then the sales rep, and finally the installation team. By the way, I bought a new furnace. Each person who entered my home put on “hospital footies” each and every time so as not to track dirt in from outside. Each was polite. Each was knowledgeable. Each was on time. No exceptions.

This doesn’t happen by chance. All their key processes must be documented and followed as a part of being a Horizon employee and they have more than 300 employees.

Are you documenting the Core Business Processes in your business? You should be.

Written by Ed Callahan on December 6, 2010

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REVIEWING CORE PROCESSES

After completing the 3-Step Process Documenter™, and before the Core Process can be Followed By All (FBA), it’s a best practice to do a review of the processes as a leadership team. One of the main reasons for doing this is that many processes integrate between departments and each department head will want to ensure they are in agreement with any departmental handoff points that have been defined.

I’ve had leadership teams hit a roadblock on their process documentation because they didn’t know when the process was complete or good enough to move forward. They simply weren’t sure what the final output was supposed to look like.

Ask These 5 Questions

Having worked with multiple teams to solve the issue of “hitting the ceiling” on their process documentation, here are some things I recommend you ask to make sure each process is simple, and your way of doing them is well defined.

  1. Secret Sauce. Have you included the unique actions and steps that make you special? Are you delivering on your uniques / differentiators?
  2. Issues. Have you identified any overlaps or gaps among processes? Have you made assumptions that another process is handling specific steps and is this correct? Are there any challenges in implementing these steps?
  3. Outcomes. Does each process deliver the outcome(s) you want to see? Is this the best way to achieve the end result?
  4. Accountability. Have you identified who is accountable for the steps and actions within each process? (Do you know who has the ball when your play is in action?)
  5. Customers. Have you remembered your customer interactions and communications within each process? Sometimes processes and procedures can have too much of an inward focus and forget about the customer. While it may work for you, it may not always work for your customers.

Once you complete your review and each process is documented, you are now ready to have them FBA. This will help you get the consistency, profitability, and peace of mind that the EOS Process Component™ can bring to an effective organization that is focused on achieving the Vision.

Written by Jeanet Wade on September 27, 2018

a broken ladder on industrial equipment

ARE YOU USING A BROKEN LADDER TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS?

If you’re struggling to identify and complete the Core Processes for your business, you’re not alone. Most entrepreneurs view completing a process with the same enthusiasm they have for a trip to the dentist for a root canal. However, the benefit of a well-defined process is consistency. And, when you document each of your 6 to 10 Core Processes and get everyone in your organization to follow them to the letter, you’re able to scale your business.

Why You Need to Define Your Core Processes

At a high level, a process clarifies:

In a recent EOS® Quarterly Meeting, we worked through one of ten Core Processes together as a team. As expected, this was met with a general lack of enthusiasm. Documenting processes is often one of those tasks that get kicked down the road because leaders think it will be too time-consuming, boring, onerous and of little value. They dread getting sucked into minutiae.

We identified seven steps in one particular process and clarified each of the items listed above. The entire exercise took an hour. That’s it. One hour invested by six leaders that got them on the same page with what needed to happen in the right sequence to deliver the result that they wanted.

It also revealed a glaring weakness in the first two steps of the process. Although Steps 3 through 7 were solid, steps 1 and 2 were broken.

A Broken Process Ladder

I’m a visual thinker and couldn’t help picture a ladder with the first two steps broken. How well could you do a job around the house without the first two steps of your ladder? It makes getting the job done that much harder. And think about all the people in your organization trying to use that ladder—or trying to do a job without any ladder.

So, slow down a bit. Take the time to complete your Core Processes and ensure that they are followed by all. Doing those two things will improve consistency, reduce frustrations and lead to a more predictable result.

Written by Rene Boer on April 3, 2017

a target and arrows drawn on a blackboard

WHY EMPLOYEES RESIST PROCESS (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)

“It’s consistency, not smiles that keep customers coming back.”

Well-documented processes, that are followed by all, ensure consistency for your customers and scalability of your business. However, it’s one thing to document a process but another thing entirely to have it followed by all. Embracing something new, such as a process, doesn’t come easily to people. If you’ve invested time, money and resources to implement a new reporting process to manage workflow and information, you probably know what I mean. Usually, just over half of the employees are using it a year later. Why?

Fear of Loss

Employees aren’t necessarily resistant to following a process, they are more likely afraid of losing something when asked to do so. The most common fears I hear are:

  • Loss of status – their role and importance to the organization will be diminished.
  • Loss of control – their freedom to do it THEIR way will be constrained.
  • Loss of certainty – there’s risk in trying something new that might not work, and there’s uncertainty that you will stay the course and finish what you start.
  • Loss of employment – improvement in efficiency and productivity will eliminate jobs.

Overcoming Resistance

Here are 5 suggestions to help employees overcome their resistance to following your Core Processes:

Explain Why – CORE Processes tie directly to the customer experience as illustrated by your PROVEN Process (part of your marketing strategy). Providing customers with a consistent experience earns their trust and builds loyalty which creates more business and opportunities to grow.

Get Their Input – The people who are doing the work should help determine the best way to deliver the desired result. Not involving them, asking them or getting them engaged is a sure way to build resentment and resistance to following any new process.

Begin with the END in Mind – Determine the desired outcome for the process and work backwards to identify each of the high-level steps necessary to drive that outcome, especially when you have a long revenue cycle;

Keep It Simple – There are a handful of CORE Processes that drive every business. Determine who has accountability for each one. Identify the high-level steps in each process, the owner of each step and the acceptable timeframe for completion.

Establish Metrics – Identify activities, review each step so that activities can be measured and inform you that the overall process is working.

Strengthen Your Process Component™

Believe it or not, your business already has processes that are getting things done. They may not be getting done in the best way, or on time, but they are getting done. However, if you’re not achieving the results you want, it should be apparent that your processes need review. Address them now before the need becomes more urgent.

Creating the best processes for your business requires input from a number of sources, particularly staff who have worked the processes for a long time. Ask yourself how many employees are retiring within the next three years? Have their knowledge, experiences and “way of doing things” been documented? How long will it take to train their replacements and who will do that training? Capture their input today, before you lose this great source of knowledge.

Begin strengthening the Process Component of your business today.

Written by Rene Boer on August 9, 2018

 

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GET MORE OUT OF YOUR CORE PROCESSES

When I first define The Process Component™ for entrepreneurial leadership teams, it is not uncommon to see some eyes roll at the thought of documenting the company’s Core Processes.

The word “document” is what gets people’s attention. They envision lengthy procedural manuals that, while well intended, require extensive work to develop and eventually sit on a shelf and gather dust. No one ever refers to them, and most employees don’t even know they exist.

Core Processes Make Your Business Great

In The EOS Process® we keep everything simple. You’ve heard the phrase before — less is more.

Your company has a handful of Core Processes that truly illustrates how the company provides its product or service. And when your Leadership Team agrees on what those Core Processes are, documents the 20% that yield 80% of your results, and has everyone in the company following the Core Processes — magic happens. The result looks something like this:

Make the Most of Your Core Processes

So you have a list of your Core Processes. Now what? Consider these 6 questions for each Core Process:

  1. What outcome do we want to achieve?
  2. Who can implement it?
  3. When may they implement it?
  4. How do we know we achieved the outcome?
  5. How do we know if it was effective?
  6. Are there any “next steps” when the outcome is achieved?

These questions will help clarify how your company provides its product or service and will eliminate legacy processes — those activities we do because it’s always been that way. They take up too much of our time, do not yield meaningful results, and can make us stray from our Core Focus™.

Written by Connie Chwan on April 24, 2017