Serve First! 1st Annual Holiday Share

Serve First! 1st Annual Holiday Share

Here is a summary of the Serve First! 1st Annual Holiday Share. This year it was for all active clients in lieu of doing a gift. It hit me through the year how this crisis was creating a bigger gap between those of us that have food, clothing, shelter, and hugs and those that do not. I added the ‘hugs’ in there as a metaphor for isolation. I hope to expand this to all graduated clients next year. Here are the list of organizations we impacted:

SERVE FIRST! First Annual Holiday Share
CharityAmount
Bridge Youth Center- Zeeland $        200
Family Promise Grand Rapids $        200
Father Fred Foundation $        200
Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation $        200
H.U.G.S. Ranch $        200
Ready for School $        200
Kids Hope USA $        200
Indianapolis Parks Foundation $        100
Junior Achievement $        200
Kids Food Basket – Grand Rapids $        600
Kids Foodbasket – Muskegon $        400
My Team Triumph $        200
Starlight Ministries $        200
Starlight Shores Family Camp $        200
United Way Heart of West MI $        200
Wellhouse GR $        200
Alzheimer’s Association of Indianapolis $        100
Total Share $     3,800
Serve First! 2020 Annual Holiday Share Program

Blake H. Phillips EQI, Ltd., President & CEO

The biggest benefit our implementation of EOS is the organization-wide alignment that comes with utilization of the VTO to drive and measure organizational performance.

Scott is that unique type of EOS implementer who unites groups while simultaneously driving them to challenge conventional wisdom and engage in constructive debate.  Scott has pushed EQI to embrace the EOS toolkit and use it as force multiplier across our US, China, and Indian teams.

Torrance Richardson, A.A.E. President and CEO, Gerald R. Ford International Airport Authority

Implementing EOS® has brought better focus on our team and our business. It has improved trust amongst the leadership team so we can have constructive critical conversations. It has also provided the clarity we need to sort between the tactical and strategic work we must accomplish. EOS has greatly improved our strategic planning resulting in an easy to read and understand strategic plan that is shared with our entire organization. Scott is a sincere, compassionate person that helped our team and business be candid about our current situation, our desired future, and partnered with us to map the course to get there. He knows our business well enough to ask those outsider perspective questions to ensure they are part of our discussions. He is a great facilitator that keeps us focused, having fun, and very productive.

One-on-ones: Yes or No?

One-on-ones: Yes or No?

In EOS – One-on-ones . . . Yes or No?

I have been getting this question lately, and so I want to answer it for all.

First, my early clients will attest that I was a pro one-on-one and EOS® person. After implementing EOS® with 30+ clients I have learned a few things:

  1. The most important time for interaction and feedback between leader/manager and team members are:
    1. Weekly connect points (L10 or set time with team)
    2. Quarterly 5-5-5™ (feedback / check-in conversation)
    3. Regular (never missed) same-page meetings between Visionary/Integrator
  2. Too often one-on-ones are used because team members don’t want to bring up issues in the L10.

If you are currently doing them and want to keep doing them, here are three tips to make sure they are having a positive impact on team health (building capacity for honesty, vulnerability-based trust, and teamwork) and alignment.

3 tips for keeping one-on-ones from derailing team health and making the Integrators job harder than it should be:

  1. Any issue brought up that involves teamwork with a peer should either: 1) go to the L10 Issues list, or 2) become a To Do to take the issue directly to the person who can help solve it.  If it is a conflict that needs the Integrator to be involved to solve it, then make it a Personal Issues Solving Session™ (see toolbox in your LT manual). In a healthy team this should almost never happen.
  2. Agenda should reflect what the team member needs. Just like the 5-5-5, the individual and not the leader should own the agenda.
  3. Objective should be to work to a point where these get less frequent or end altogether.

Situations where one-on-ones have been used effectively by EOS leaders I have worked with:

  1. New team member: having them weekly/bi-weekly for 3 to 6 months helps keep their onboarding plan (you all have one, right?) on-track and deals with any issues more quickly.
  2. Struggling leaders: more frequent check-ins for coaching and support helps leaders through a difficult situation, which is sometimes warranted.
  3. New leader: if you are a new leader to the team, these might be an effective way for your team to educate you on what they do, the decisions they face, and even gets you out to tour their operation on a regular basis for a while to learn the business.

I have come to see one-on-ones as not needed if all of the other EOS tools and habits are in place. If you do one-on-ones and want to come to an organizational agreement on when/how they will be used, put it on the IDS list and solve it at an L10 or an upcoming quarterly/annual.
Whatever you do, remember One Team, One Voice – so move together on whatever you decide.

Lead well! ~ Scott

EOS Integrators: Everyone should be in a great weekly meeting

EOS Integrators: Everyone should be in a great weekly meeting

Special topic for EOS Integrators

In recent meetings with a few clients—in one case doing a lunch and learn with some key managers around the L10 Meeting™—I have realized that a key learning has been missed. The concept of cascading L10 meetings has transformed into a belief that everyone has to be in an L10. In some cases, even every meeting must be an L10.

Here are the basics, and I go back to the Organizational Check-up that we review at every annual:

               Question 13: Everyone is engaged in regular weekly meetings.

The concept is that we use great meetings to keep everyone connected to the changing priorities of the business and provide an opportunity for messages and issues to be quickly cascaded up and down your accountability chart.

Some meetings will not fit the L10 format and that is okay, just review the points made in your Off-Line Meeting Track tool and make sure that it is still designed to be a great meeting for all attending.

If I can ever be a resource for your team please let me know – I love the interaction and it helps me hear what is working and not working in helping the leadership team achieve EOS Mastery.

Lead well . . . . ~ Scott
For Visionaries: 2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact

For Visionaries: 2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact

2 Tips to Maximize Your Impact on the Business AND Decrease Your Frustrations

You sit in the visionary seat because of your unique ability to see big trends, solve big problems, build/maintain important relationships, and generate ideas that will help your business get to the next level.

Lately I seem to be having conversations with visionaries that are seeing EOS® as a system that restricts their access and voice in the business. That is not the intent of EOS and of the accountability chart that created a much needed structure in your organization. Here are two key truths:

  1. Your opinion moves people when they hear it: I heard a story of a financial executive touring a trading desk one day when he made kind of an off-handed comment about gold looking interesting. When he revisited the area a week later he noticed the large positions they had taken up in gold. When he asked about the reasons for the shift, the team responded that they were just “following his advice.” A single comment had moved hundreds of millions of dollars! A leaders words move people, so choose them wisely.
  2. The Integrator – Visionary relationship is critical to your business: The reason Rocket Fuel was written was to equip you to do that. In the opening paragraph it says, “You will learn to utilize this partnership the right way to free yourself up, maximize your potential, and achieve everything you want from your business.”

Also recognize that all your ideas are not great, and some are gold and need to be done. Here are two things that will help you leverage your unique abilities and have a big impact on your business:

  1. Same page meeting with your Integrator: This is a critical time to prioritize your ideas, support each other, and IDS big topics that need to be supported by both of you before they hit the business. Follow the guidelines in Rocket Fuel to set this up, and call me if I can help refine this time for the two of you.
  2. Define the core processes that most impact your work: Generally it is either the sales or product development process that the Visionary spends the most time in. By defining the process and what parts or steps you will be the owner, it frees you up to be involved in the business without having to worry about the day to day follow through. Remember the story of the financial leader? Your voice just shared without the context of a process will most likely result in priorities being shifted without debate, and ultimately it will negatively impact the clarity and focus of the team.

Don’t stop being you because the strengths you possess are needed by the business. The lesson we all have to learn is that strengths overused become weaknesses, so put in the work to build up the relationship with your Integrator and refine the processes that will help your ideas get vetted and gain traction that you can see without having to be there every moment.Lead well . . . . ~ Scott

The 2021 EOS Conference in Houston is still open. Might be a good retreat to spend time ON the business and network with other visionaries.  Here is the link if you want to check it out.

IDS Like a Rock Star

IDS Like a Rock Star

Problem solving as a leadership team is the one of the most important skills you can build because the organization needs you to do it so the issues that get identified during your EOS® journey get solved. It is also critical as you cascade your L10 meetings that you facilitate it well to help all your people master the skill of IDS.

The reality, I see some teams do this really well, and yet I see others struggle with this. At my recent quarterly with all my EOS peers, Mike Paton did a deep dive on IDS that I wanted to review with you. Here are some key tips.

  1. Core Activity #1: Do the L10 Meeting Well –  Remember, the basic structure of the L10 with a scorecard, rock, people headlines, and To Do review should generate a strong issues list each day, including the brainstorm before IDS where the team bring other issues to consider. If this is not happening regularly the team needs to step up.
  2. Core Activity #2: Prioritize your issues to identify your top 3 first – Start with one, and don’t move on to #2 until the question is asked of the person that brought up the issue: Are we solved on this issue? and the next steps (usually a To Do) is documented).

Here are some tips from Mike Paton (past Visionary at EOS)

  1. Great IDS is not: 1) like a suggestion box in a lunchroom – throw a bunch of ideas in there and then never talk about them  2) A shoot the messenger activity – in a culture of courage people bring up tough things, stay to contribute to IDS, and work to solve the issue. Do you see that?
  2. Identify Best Practice #1: Ask lots of questions in I to get to the real issue – After the person bringing the issue up states the root cause of the issue in a single sentence, use these questions to drill down to the root cause:
    1. What is the REAL issue?
    1. I hear you saying the problem, what is the root cause?
    1. Can you restate that in a single sentence that focuses on the real issue?
    1. Tell me a little more about that?
    1. Could you unpack that a little more for us?
  3. Identify Best Practice #2: Use the EOS mode – The root cause of almost every issue is weakness in one of the core components of EOS. Go to the EOS model and ask: Is the root cause a weakness in the  Vision component? The People component? The Data component? The Issues component? The Process component? The Traction component? Once you get an answer go back to #2 and dig to the root cause. (I am having a local shop make a printed copy of a dry erase board that will have the model on it. if you want one email me.)
  4. Identify Best Practice #3: Be visual – Write all the Issue statement on a board. It is that simple and will help your teams focus on the root cause.

Here are some other tips:

  • Discuss: If it is going too long you are either 1) Not solving the real issue or 2) Not being open or honest 3) Repeating opinions/politicking  4) On a tangent (say Tangent Alert!)
  • Discuss: Some humorous statements to keep statements focuses: Your plane is running low on fuel so we need to land it.  Thank you Governor (their name), but you are not answering the question we are trying to answer.
  • Solve: Based on our accountability chart – who should know the answer? Look to that person to summarize the solution or next steps based on the discussion.
  • Stalling for more info: When people are asking for more info 90% of the time they are just stalling. Go to the staller, ask specifically what info they need, and ask if they would be willing to go get it. Make it a To Do if you have time, or if a decision needs to be made the Integrator is the tie breaker.

As you cascade your L10’s to your teams, remember to work hard to refine their skills in IDS. Teach, coach, and facilitate to the model I presented above. One thing I realized from Paton’s presentation is that I need to tighten up my own skills in our quarterlies so that you see an example of great IDS facilitation as you challenge yourself to grow in that area.

As always, if you want me to attend an L10 let me know. Another best practice is to have an outside leader attend your L10 to give you feedback, and maybe help you facilitate some of your IDS topics to strengthen this skill.

Especially for Visionaries: 3 Things to Watch and Listen for Now

Especially for Visionaries: 3 Things to Watch and Listen for Now

Your team needs you to help them make some critical shifts

In the last 3 months I have found myself repeating the same question: When you look around the organization do you see the team playing more defense or offense? One thing I have observed in some organizations because of the recent crisis, is a shift of things like cash, PPP, employee safety to the top of our list, and things like lead generation, client check-ins, and many of the activities that drive sales and deeper customer relationships have stopped.

the visionary for your organization, I challenge you to do the following 3 things over the next few weeks:

  1. Watch the organization(including your own activities): Do you see more defense or offense from the team?
  2. With your Integrator (at your same page meeting) take a look at your leadership team: Which departments are working well together and which ones actually had more communication/coordination issues over the past few months? Get it on the issue list and let’s work to solve it.
  3. Take a look at your accountabilities as the visionary: Are you spending enough time doing these? If not put it on the issues list and IDS it with the team so that you can get back to the big things your organization needs from you to grow and thrive. If they see you playing offense it will help them find the time and courage to make their own shift.  

Spend the next few weeks really watching and listening to your organization. Put some time in your clarity break to do some thinking about the culture and future of your leadership team and organization, and challenge things that need to be challenged. That is what the visionary does, and the organization needs you to put some of these unique abilities into action. As always, let me know how I can help.Lead well . . . . ~ Scott

Consider attending the 2021 EOS Conference in Houston next year. I attended the most recent one (it was virtual) and I was super impressed with the content and organization. It had all the passion I would expect from putting a bunch of EOS leaders in a facility for a couple of days. Here is the link if you want to check it out.

Integrators – One Tip for Strengthening EOS® In Your Business

Integrators – One Tip for Strengthening EOS® In Your Business

Consider using EOS® Software

I recently got some feedback from a couple integrators that using an EOS specific software has helped them immensely in their EOS launch, and some challenged me on why I don’t encourage new clients to consider implementing it when they launch EOS®. I originally believed doing it without technology first would result in a stronger understanding of the EOS tools and the process.  

Stepping back and really thinking about it, I was wrong and they are right, because I see clients being more effective using EOS when they use the software.  Although there is a cost to it, I have seen enough to believe there is a strong ROI for it. So as you ramp the business back up, here are some benefits I see with clients who have a software solution in place:

  1. More organized – With simple things link a timer on every section, being able to generate To Do’s/Issues easily, and one place for all the core tools, there is never any wasted time searching for information.
  2. Do EOS better – IDS, finishing To Do’s, increased accountability on rocks, and communication between teams are all things I see. The EOS process is built into the software, so teams develop those habits faster.
  3. Virtual L10’s and quarterlies – My teams that have had to go virtual have given me lots of feedback that these tools have helped make that easy. The tools have recently added functionality that makes virtual quarterlies easier. As Emily and I have done our L10’s on the phone while accessing the software, I have definitely experienced this first hand.
  4. Cascading core tools is easier and more effective – Issues can be pushed down to other L10 meetings or they can push them up to your meeting. As the integrator, you will see this and can inspect all the other L10’s to get a pulse on how other teams are doing. If you value being able to listen to your organization, this might be your ROI justification all by itself. With employee safety being a big topic in the coming months, pushing issues up quickly and effectively is going to be very important.
  5. Your time – As the integrator, the highest and best use of your time is not organizing meetings and reporting (remember our discussion about $15-$20/hr work vs $100 – $1000/hr work?). This will save someone on your team at least 30 minutes a week and likely add more IDS time to your meetings based on what I have seen.

I am not compensated by either company for this, so which one you choose is up to you. I use Ninety.io mainly because Emily was already using it with another implementer she supports so it was easy. I am glad to connect you with another EOS company using either tool if you have questions.

Lead well . . . . ~ Scott

Take a look at either tool: Ninety.io or Traction Tools, and if you want to connect with the implementer at an organization running one of these tools just send me a note.

2021 EOS Conference – I had a chance to attend the most recent conference for EOS Companies (it was virtual) and I thought it was very well done and worth the time. The conference next year is in Houston and I encourage you to consider it. Here is the link, so check it out and at our upcoming quarterlies let me know if you have any questions.

EOS®: Especially for Integrators – 1 Nugget

EOS®: Especially for Integrators – 1 Nugget

1 Nugget from the EOS Conference

Your busy, so let me keep this brief and focused. . . . 

Last week I attended the 100% virtual EOS Conference and it was great. More to come next month from the speakers and sessions, but I wanted to share one thing with you. Here is a link to a document called Integrating through a Crisis Checklist that was part of a session delivered by Don Tinney and Kelly Knight (past and current EOS World Wide Integrators). Take a look, and if you want to take a deeper dive on anything just call me and we can talk through it on the phone with my notes handy.

Also – You saw my note to your teams around clarity breaks, so if there is anything I can do to help your teams successfully adopt this practice let me know. In addition, here are the other two role specific notes I sent out this month to help develop your team:

  1. Visionary – 3 Tips for Increasing Your ON The Business Time
  2. Finance / HR – Using Your Fact Finder Unique Ability to Help Your Team

   (tip: I post all of my monthly notes in my blog so I can use them later to support development in my clients)

Make sure you talk with them a little to see if this note triggered any action for them, and if it did please help support them in following through on it.

Here to help ~ Scott