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.

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

Clarity Breaks!

Clarity Breaks!

#confidence #clarity #focus #gettingbacktoourbestself

I recently had a conversation with a visionary, and I ended it with the question, What else can I do to support you? His response – Anything you could do to encourage our team to continue their clarity breaks™ would be really helpful. He went on to say that they had all started doing them, and while the team was enjoying the new habit and experiencing the value, he worried they would stop.

Instead of getting preachy with you, let me share some feedback from two EOS® leaders I work with.

  1. In his blog post, The Power of the Clarity Break, Mike Kren (Operations – Bizstream) shares his journey from thinking Who has time for that?! to the realization that In the extremely fast-paced and busy world we live in, it is important to take time to relax and refocus no matter what you do for a living. Here is Mike’s full post.
  2. After just starting the clarity break habit as the assignment from our discussion on the LMA tool, Kelly Plawinski (Integrator – Adamy Valuation) shared: Yesterday’s clarity break lead to a breakthrough on something I have been pondering for a while no. Love it!!!

It has been called lots of different things, and if you have investigated mindfulness, been a regular at the practice of yoga or meditation, or read extensively in the self-help section of a bookstore, this is not a new topic. It is also a topic that was recommended by the likes of Stephen Covey and Peter Drucker.

The pushback I get from you most often is that your clarity break is in a pool or on a run. My response is always the same – it only counts if you document some sort of actions after so your thinking time results in increased clarity, confidence, and focus that you feel and the people around you see/experience in your actions. Keep exercising, taking breaks during the day, and days you unplug from the office, but those are not clarity breaks.

As things go fast, and the uncertainty results in you spending lots of time doing the things you don’t like to do (scrounging for cash, being ignored by customers, furloughing or firing team members, etc.) it is easy to get stuck. My passionate plea is to take care of yourself and stay focused, and clarity breaks are designed and endorsed for doing just that. If you need a reminder, take a look at page 25 in your Leadership Team manual or page 73 in How To Be A Great Boss by Gino Wickman and Rene Boer. If you don’t have either of these email me and I will send you copies.

Let me leave you with a great quote to ponder:

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably why so few engage in it.

Henry Ford


Stay healthy! . . .  and lead from that healthy place. ~ Scott

A few of extra links for continued learning:

  1. A video I made describing my clarity break. Don’t copy me, make it yours!
  2. Blog post: 5 Tips for Building Resilience (and we are all going to need more of it)
  3. NEW: A video from some of my experienced peers – some great tips and learnings! It is called Clarity Breaks in a Crisis, so it is very focused on the conditions you are leading in today.
EOS® for Everyone: How You Can Get to All Yes’s on LMA

EOS® for Everyone: How You Can Get to All Yes’s on LMA

As you look to 2020, consider the perpetual challenge for all leaders working in an EOS organization – Do you want to be a GREAT leader?

Remember the statements I shared in the 90 Minute Meeting about the assumptions we make about leaders? The two assumptions we make about leaders in EOS are:

  1. You genuinely care about your people
  2. You want to be a GREAT leader

If either of these are no, then likely the organization needs you to look for another seat.

Are you pushing yourself to be a GREAT leader? Prove it – give me two things you are doing outside of working in the business to become a more effective leader.

The good news is, in EOS we have something called LMA, which stands for Leadership + Management = Accountability. In addition, we give you checklists for both leadership and management (pp. 20 – 21 in the Toolbox tab of your orange binder) and a measuring system of yes or no (with feedback from your people). I can almost guarantee if you have some open and honest conversations, one of these will be a No and give you something to work on.

We also have the Back to the Basics checklist (p. 33 in the Toolbox tab of your orange binder) that helps you analyze why your Rock % is low, why your team is missing key metrics, or why you just feel a little out of control or unbalanced in your work/home life. The answers to these questions actually translate into key skills you might need to acquire with some outside training. (Call me if you want to talk through this.)

As you head into 2020, take some time to reflect on whether you put the necessary effort in to being a great leader in 2019? If not, take a look at both of these checklists and identify a couple of focus areas for 2020. We will do some of this work in an upcoming annual with the Team Health/1 Thing exercise, but why wait?

As always, how can I help?

(Top tip: If you are looking to do some leadership development with your managers, look no further than these lists!)
 

Book studies are also a great way to learn; here are 6 simple books that will provide input to help you become a GREAT leader:

Extra support:

Working on listening at the heart of being a great leader?
Here are some blog posts + TED talks to help:

EOS® for Operations: The Importance of Meeting Rhythms

EOS® for Operations: The Importance of Meeting Rhythms

In most organizations, your role has the most direct reports, the most key measures on the Scorecard, and – along with the sales team – the most pressure on it when the organization is not meeting financial targets. As a result, mastering the EOS tools and cascading them is really important for you and your team.

Have you cascaded the EOS meeting rhythm to your team?
This includes:

  • Weekly L10
  • Quarterly Planning
  • Annual Planning

If the answer is no and you have been doing EOS for over 18 months, my next question is: Why not?

As your company grows, your role will grow – and probably faster than any other area because you are at the heart of the product/service your company delivers. Your ability to delegate and elevate with your leadership team will allow your team to grow along with you. If you would rather stay in a more hands-on role, that is also great too if that is your unique ability. It takes courage to have that conversation. I have seen it happen twice, and it made everyone happier and more successful.

As we head into annual season for many of you, expect me to ask this question. If you aren’t doing it yet, it is time to start. As always, how can I help?

(PS: If you want to connect with leaders already doing this well, let me know and I will be glad to connect you.)

Extra Support:
I’m offering regular support on your journey toward people-centered leadership, with weekly reminders and a free coaching session. Bookmark this page to enroll on an experience when needed.

EOS® for Integrators: The 6 Key Areas You Need to Master

EOS® for Integrators: The 6 Key Areas You Need to Master

The one position that I see the most incredible growth in is the Integrator. It is also the one role that I am sometimes too easy on as an implementer, which I have been working on correcting for the last year.

The two themes you will hear a lot from me are 80% Rock completion and same page meetings. Here are 6 key areas all current or future Integrators need to make sure their team masters (if mastery is not happening, I urge you to look in the mirror first…):

  1. Regular same page meetings with the visionary: You define ‘regular’, but the feedback I get is at least every 2 weeks and weekly in critical times
  2. L10 meetings that are routinely a 9 or 10
  3. 5-5-5 Feedback sessions with the leadership team
  4. LMA checklists: Yes on all items for each leader, especially you!
  5. Your VTO being shared EVERY quarter with everyone
  6. Core documents always updated and accurate, plus constant pressure to be great (VTO, Accountability Chart, Rock sheet/plans, L10 Agenda, and Scorecard)

Your role is important. But remember – the 6 things above don’t have to be done by you alone. Sometimes the Integrator is not great at meetings, so you get someone else to run them. The Scorecard is often owned by the most detailed-oriented (high fact-finder) member on the team, and sharing the VTO is often done by the passionate Visionary.

As you end this year and look to improve in your role next year, look in the mirror and ask yourself if these are being done. If not, commit to making sure it happens.

Learning from Others:
I had a team go from sporadic Rock performance to straight 100%.
The difference?
A new Integrator that created a stronger sense of accountability within the team. The feedback from the team – thank you!

A mentor of mine has taught me that leaders create conditions where accountability can happen. Since learning that I have caught myself saying hold people accountable, and I realize that one you do with people, and one you do to people, so they are very different! We create the conditions with our actions, repeated often.

In the situation I referenced above, the conditions of accountability also came with supportive statements like “How can I help?” Seeing these outcomes, and looking in the mirror myself, has resulted in a personal change of becoming stronger in creating conditions where you feel challenged to be your best. Also, it will always be followed by the next important words: “How can I help?”

Extra Support:

I’m offering regular support on your journey toward people-centered leadership, with weekly reminders and a free coaching session. Bookmark this page to enroll on an experience when needed.

EOS® for Visionaries: The One Thing ALL Visionaries Need to Do

EOS® for Visionaries: The One Thing ALL Visionaries Need to Do

I teach and coach in a leadership development program through a company founded by Paul Doyle, a leader who I both like and respect. It is the one piece of non-EOS work I kept after I ‘burned the boats’ last year, and that is only because I like being around Paul. Hopefully you have a Paul in your circle.

In a recent class, he shared some of the wisdom of doing management by walking around. As a Visionary, your eyes see things differently than the Integrator or the other members of the leadership team, so give yourself a chance to go connect and observe.

Here are four things that Paul Doyle shared with a group of leaders that will help your walks provide a great return on time:

  1. Make the focus on learning, not problem solving (let people fight through their own problems – don’t direct them on how to fix it)
  2. Listen more than you talk
  3. Spread time equally over the whole organization, don’t just go to problem areas
  4. Comment on successes as often as you comment on problems

You know something is broken when people start saying things like, “Oh no, here he/she comes!” The Visionary is most often an owner too, so remember to take the owner hat off, get to know the people, and make sure they know this is your listening time to just check in and learn from the experts – them! The only way to work through the fear this new habit might generate is to just do it well for 6-12 months.

Don’t let fear of not knowing names, hating ‘small talk’, or not wanting to end around on the integrator keep you from spending time in the business with the people that run it each day. If you do it right, you stay connected, the people are inspired, and the learning will help you build a great culture and company.

As always – let me know how I can help if you have some restraining forces that need to be overcome.

Extra support:
If you’re not already taking weekly Me Time, I suggest you enroll in my Me Time for Leaders learning journey. Schedule this weekly time in conjunction with your walk around to allow you quiet time to digest what you learn and make notes to help you later. Find out more about this learning journey here.

EOS® for Everyone: Retention Strategy – Cascading EOS Rhythms

EOS® for Everyone: Retention Strategy – Cascading EOS Rhythms

Lots of companies are talking about retention strategies for their people. As an EOS company, here is a case for why doing EOS really well and cascading it is the best strategy for keeping your people.

The Gallup organization came up with 12 questions that assessed an organization’s strengths in customer satisfaction, profitability, productivity, and employee turnover. The four questions they ask that statistically tie to turnover are:
Q1 – I know what is expected of me at work
Q2 – I have the tools I need to do my job
Q3 – I have an opportunity to do what I do best
Q5 – Someone at work cares about me as a person
(Here are all twelve questions)

If improving retention/engagement is a goal for 2020, here is how the EOS rhythms will help:

 Q1 –
Expectations
Q2 – Needed ToolsQ3 – What I do bestQ5 – Cares
about me
100% RP/RSX XX
Quarterly
VTO sharing
XX X
Weekly L10XX X
MeasurablesXX  
Qtrly 5-5-5XXXX
RocksXXXX

The power of cascading these tools is that, if done well, it becomes a powerful tool to keep your entire team engaged in their work and contributing at a high level.

Extras:

  1. A great post about clarity breaks from one of my partners – Mike Kren at BizStream
  2. A quick video around Daniel Pinks book – Drive that gives a simple answer for What motivates people? I would point back to the EOS tools as actions that make this happen.
EOS® for Finance: Developing Financial Literacy in Your Organization

EOS® for Finance: Developing Financial Literacy in Your Organization

This is a note especially for those in the Finance seat.

Remember when we did the cash flow drivers tool?

In my experience, half of my teams roll their eyes like they don’t need it. I can only think of one team who told me there was no/little value in the activity.

My questions to you:

  • What is the financial literacy of your leaders?
  • What do you do every year and/or with every new hire to continue to build it?

In a past role, I spent five months of my life taking leadership teams through a financial literacy/cash flow activity. It was an 8-hour class, averaging 15 people per class, and I trained over 1,500 people across the US and Mexico. I will never forget when a plant manager told me, in an excited voice, that he finally understood EBITDA! The irony was that was a key metric in his bonus, and he did not really understand it. That experience taught me never to assume financial literacy and how it is such critical knowledge for the front-line leaders to possess so they can understand the CFO and make great business decisions.

Question for 2020: How are you assessing/building financial literacy in your leaders?

I encourage you to do the 8 cash flow drivers with your leaders and find other ways to repeat that learning event in creative ways. I would be glad to help co-facilitate it if that would help, and I have a few other ideas that I have seen work if you are interested.

Extra Tips: