What is the most efficient way to become more efficient? You want to start where the biggest return is, of course, but finding the best place to start can be a process in and of itself. Then, once you decide where to start, you basically have to invent systems for improvement. This is time consuming and frustrating. You want to just roll your sleeves up and get to work on fixing things. Instead, you find yourself writing the playbook first.
Retooling your operation is a big job. But you can accelerate much of it with pre-existing systems that have been developed by people who have faced the same exact struggle. We’ve been using EOS, or the Entrepreunerial Operating System. It’s helped us clean up loose ends, establish systems to make sure things don’t get overlooked, and come together as a team. We find ourselves in a more clearly defined roles and these roles all align with practical goals.
EOS is the playbook to writing your playbook. It takes the guess workout of growth by helping you identify the biggest areas to address. It helps you develop strategies to do so. You won’t waste time on low-return endeavors. You won’t have to invent anything from the ground up. You just just roll up your sleeves and execute a strategic process that makes your growth plan clear.
Our experience with the EOS process
The EOS process is highly structured, which is exactly what we were looking for. The steps (outlined below) guide a company through the growth process and help them navigate the coming challenges. EOS suggests two different ways to implement the system. One is self-implementing with the guidance of their book, Traction. The other is to partner with an EOS consultant, which is the path we hose.
90 Minute Meeting
EOS recommends starting with the free 90 Minute Meeting, whether you choose to self-implement or not. This can be done in person or over the phone. We met with Jon Kludt, who has been our guide throughout the process.
Connecting with a real person that has successfully used EOS in his own businesses took the ambiguity and uncertainty out of it. We realized its not just a theory; it's actually a practice that people have used with great success. We came face-to-face with practical tools that we were familiar with and saw how they’re packaged together into a system. The session was strictly informative -- there was no attempt to “sell” it, just a thorough explanation.
What to expect: You don’t do any actual work on your business, just discuss it. This is to help you understand what EOS is going to do, how its going to do it, what the process is like, and what its going to take.
This was where the EOS process really got underway. This day was about trying to capture the business as it currently is. It was a good kind of frustrating because of how undefined our operations were -- we found we were trying to create concrete ideas out of abstract and undefined ones. This is when we realized how much work we really had cut out for us. The floodgates of issues had been opened. This was a good thing, because we realized a ton of stuff we can do, all of which improved our business, and it gave us a realistic sense of how much work there was to be done. With that came a blessed sense of urgency. You will probably find yourself with plenty to do after this day.
Weekly Level 10 Meetings
We’ve been doing these since the focus day. We’ve had to to learn how to really make the most out of these meetings and it was a grind at first, but they get better each week. The better we get, the more results we see. This is the part where the EOS work actually gets done, where changes are actually made by capturing issues and creating to-dos to solve them. Our systems get better with each meeting and week by week we see tangible improvements within our operations.
2-Day Vision Building
This session is two full days held a month apart and focuses on building your vision of the future and planning how to get there. At this point, everything was still a bit vague for us, but with much of the things that needed our attention laid out in front of us from the last session it was beginning to crystallize. We addressed some “soft” qualities like what our brand’s values are. We also started defining some concrete things, like who our ideal customer is and what our unique offerings are. By the second day, we started getting into stuff we could implement immediately. This made the promise of EOS feel real.
These full-day sessions (two full days in the case of Annual Planning) are a re-vamp used for evaluating your progress and your approach, trying to set more effective goals, and learning new tools to implement. We are still in our first yearly cycle but so far we have experienced that these meetings give you a chance to redefine the purpose of all your EOS work which helps you become more effective at it. They also serve as a kind of a celebration of what you’ve accomplished, which is good for motivation. While some time is spent reflecting on the past quarter or year, more time is spent on determining future action.
EOS eliminates much of the thinking, plotting and scheming out of growth. You don’t have to worry about how much time you ought to spend, or how often, or what your progression should look like. You can just follow the format and be confident that your business is getting better. You’ll quickly catch on to the intent behind every part of the system. Your vision will begin to crystallize, which is a great feeling. Once you get traction you’ll experience the results daily.
What we’ve gained from implementing EOS:
- We’ve identified areas to focus on.
- We’ve developed systems to demand accountability.
- We’ve gotten better at knowing when/where/what to delegate.
- We’ve brought some things to the surface that wouldn’t have been addressed otherwise. Things that are important to optimizing our processes, but weren’t clearly identified and talked about. The whole team has the opportunity to voice what they need for their role.
- We’ve armed ourselves with some productivity hacks, like “keep-combine-kill.. There’s nothing complicated or revolutionary about this one; its just a rapid step-by-step brainstorming tactic that’s so simple and effective, it’s silly not to use.
- We’ve gotten better at holding productive meetings. Meetings can be inefficient. With EOS, we’ve begun to move past that into a place where our meetings are deliberate and efficient.
- We’ve called out our processes. In order to optimize, you have to identify procedures, roles and goals. We realized how undefined they were, and how they was hampering communication and leading us to set silly expectations.
- We’ve introspected on our value proposition. This helps us make sure that our time and resources are being invested into things that ultimately provide our customers value and make us money.
- As an organization, we’ve become more calm and methodical. Things get overlooked less. We don’t work on less important/urgent tasks as much. In short, we prioritize better.
The end goal is to do more in less time, and do it better than you ever have.
For more on EOS, visit the EOS Worldwide website.