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 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 Everyone: “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”

Albert Einstein famously said this, and it is particularly meaningful for the message I want to pass on to EOS leaders. Your #1 goal is learning.

The target market leader that thrives in EOS is entrepreneurial, growth minded, and open minded. Growth minded is simply someone who wants to be their best, and becoming their best means they are hungry for learning. A key part of this is demonstrating vulnerability-based trust by acknowledging when you don’t know something.

To be open and honest with you – I have not been great about pushing the reading list as part of implementing EOS. My mental excuse is that I see you being so busy that I have held back. But reflecting on this decision, I have let some of you who are not hungry enough to ‘be your best’ off the hook and for those of you who are hungry to learn, I have not helped you with key books that will deepen your knowledge of and skill in using the key EOS tools. As I take on new clients, that is no longer the case!

Here are the books that allow you to take a deeper dive into key EOS topic areas:

I also have some resources specifically around delegation, career development, overcoming loss, managing negative talk (in your head), managing conflict, effective communication, and lean thinking. Please contact me if you have a learning need.

I have watched with great joy the hunger for learning how to lead to growth which has allowed leaders to increase their own capacity (GWC) in their role to meet the needs of a growing organization.

I have also seen the effects of just working hard and not focusing on increasing knowledge and skills through learning. The impact of that is more subtle, but the result is leadership in a seat that becomes less proactive and more reactive.

One of the EOS values is Grow or Die, and I am constantly challenged by an amazing group of people to do this – you. My ability to be effective in my role requires me to get smarter faster so that I can effectively assist in handling some difficult situations. It is why I get on a call with 24-36 implementers every Monday to gather/share wisdom, why I read, and why I continue to do some non-EOS work to gather experience that makes me more effective for you.

Are you purposefully growing or stagnating?

Here are three things you can do today to start growing:

  1. Read How To Be A Great Boss again and commit to getting to all Yes answers.
  2. Start reading one list from the book and commit to completing the reading list this year.
  3. Set up a 30-60 minute call with me and let’s customize a plan based on where you are and where you want to go.
EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: The Big 3 – Core Processes / Measurables / Same Page Meeting

EOS® for Visionaries & Integrators: The Big 3 – Core Processes / Measurables / Same Page Meeting

Managing chaos is hard.

In working with entrepreneurial leaders and leadership teams, the word ‘chaos’ is often touted as ‘whatever it takes’ or ‘do the right thing’ or ‘act like a superhero’. If you think these sound like values, you are correct. My reason for sharing it is NOT to encourage you to disregard your values.

Let me take you back to your 90-Minute Meeting and repeat what I said about strengthening your Process component: “Your handful of core processes define your business model. These are the key things that need to be executed on every day, and if that is done your business will become more profitable, more manageable, and honestly more FUN to lead.”

For Visionaries:
A defined process tells you where the organization needs you to contribute and also tells you what to expect the organization to do when you move on to the next thing. It also gives you measurables that allow you to watch the progress and health of the organization without having to dive in the details.

For Integrators:
Processes help all of your leaders see what they are accountable for and allows you to delegate and focus your energy on helping them get unstuck when things stop working. They also help you manage the tension between groups that might see a process differently. Have you ever heard sales pushing for closing a deal and operations arguing about design or deliverables as not being realistic?

Defining core processes and measurables are part of the big 3 because strengthening these will provide a host of benefits to your organization. I have seen six-figure cost (and profit) impacts as well as leaders saying “I finally understand what my job is.” I have also seen RP/RS issues when a leader cannot demonstrate the GWC of their role by defining and implementing a core process. When an organization fixes that, things like growth and diversification start happening.

Finally, don’t forget the same page meeting. Maybe a good topic for your next one is to spend some time thinking about your process component.

Tips to get started: I have designed and delivered a workshop that takes 45-60 minutes per process to arrive at a draft definition, and another 30 minutes to draft measurables. I would be glad to demonstrate it to you if it would help you strengthen this key component in your organization. Get in touch if you would like to explore this option.


Resources launched for you

If you need extra support, take a look at these three guided journeys I’ve developed to help coach leaders to success in some of the fundamentals:

  • Onboarding
  • Implementing a clarity break
  • Getting to know your team (I call it People-Centered 101)
3 Tips for Self-Guiding/Facilitating your EOS® Journey

3 Tips for Self-Guiding/Facilitating your EOS® Journey

I was recently in a conversation with a visionary who asked about facilitating their own quarterly and ‘graduating’.

I did not hide my joy, and reminded him that they had ‘graduated’ a long time ago so it only makes sense for them to try facilitating their own quarterly. I reminded him that the whole plan of the EOS Journey is to graduate in 18 to 24 months which is the time it takes to:

  • Master the tools
  • Get to 80% strength in the 6 key components
  • Make progress toward 100% of right person in the right seat

But his next question really made me think. It was, “What do we need to do to facilitate ourselves effectively?”

It made me think because sometimes I take for granted what I do during a session. While I do lots of writing, asking questions, and moving around post-it notes, I see my role as a guide/facilitator. The simple language I use to describe what I do is helping teams have a productive conversation. I expand on ‘productive conversation’ with my mantra of having productive conversations that lead to thoughtful actions and improved performance. I have had this belief since I started my business 10 years ago (my anniversary is October 1).

Here are three key things that, if you are committed to and skilled at, will make self-facilitating a 9-10 quarterly a reality:

  1. Set the agenda and kick off preparations 2 weeks before the session: Look back at the emails I send and copy the message. Part of being a member of the leadership team is preparing for planning, which includes reviewing the SWOT, gathering issues and feedback from your team, finishing Rocks to 100%, and spending time THINKING about the key issues that need to be put on the issues list during the day.
  2. Prepare to manage as a ‘team’: The key things that have to be done are bringing the documents, leading the different parts of the agenda, and managing the conversations so they stay on track from a time perspective and are productive. Ultimately you want to hit the objectives for the day and meet the expectations of the team.

The two key roles are: 1) Preparation (email, copies of all documents, room/food) and 2) Tracking To Do’s in the session. Generally, the Integrator can decide how the agenda will go, but here are the three key phrases everyone on the team needs to be willing to say during the conversations to share the ownership in a 9/10 day:
a. Drop it down – Said whenever we get into IDS on something that needs to be solved in the Issues Solving Session that is always after Rocks. Record it on the board and keep going.
b. With all due love and respect – Said before anyone delivers feedback on a behavior that is holding the team or planning back. When delivering a truth that could be hard to hear, start with this to make sure LOVE is part of the equation.
c. All that being said . . . – The #1 thing that makes a session ineffective is getting off-track from the topic or not getting to the point with comments. It happens most in IDS time and Rock planning, so be ready to say this followed by:
i. What’s the issue?
ii. What’s the Rock?
iii. What does Success look like?

3. Enter the danger: A key thing I think about as an implementer is how to be ready to enter into the hard discussions a team needs to have and most often will avoid if I am not there.

This hit me in a recent moment of reflection from some feedback about the value I provide as a guide/facilitator of the EOS journey. Enter the danger is simply this: when someone is not being honest, a big issue is mentioned that we need to stop and talk about, or someone needs one more question to really get to the point of a key (and sometimes painful) issue that is being danced around – I have to stop the group and make sure it gets talked about. Since this revelation, I estimate I do this mentally 30+ times a session as I read the room, the people, and the words. It is a judgement call, and sometimes it leads to an emotional and hard conversation. Sometimes I have to pull the team in, and sometimes someone on the team beats me to it, much to my delight.

This is my ultimate gauge of team health, and the #1 thing I look for in teams that are ready to graduate. As you start facilitating your own sessions, this phrase and some of the phrases above should be on display to see for every quarterly and annual.

On the back of every Cairn I give to graduated clients I share this quote:

Always remember that mastery is a journey, not a destination. Lead well!

By doing the three points I mentioned above, I believe you will be successful leading your own EOS journey.

EOS® for Visionaries: Your Unique Abilities

EOS® for Visionaries: Your Unique Abilities

Remember Focus Day when your name went into the Visionary seat?
In watching visionaries grow into their roles, the top 2 frustrations I continue to hear are:

  1. I do not even know what I am supposed to do in this seat
  2. I feel like my input isn’t appreciated anymore

Do these feel familiar?

There is an answer for both, and if you need a reminder read Rocket Fuel. You should be reading it with your Integrator partner once a year to reset yourself on how critical your roles are and how even more critical your relationship is.

My continued piece of advice for my Visionary/Integrator teams are to do those same page meetings! Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you get those started.

This visionary-only post is also about introducing you to another resource Gino Wickman is about to publish called Leap: Do You Have What It Takes To Become An Entrepreneur.

I know many of you coach other entrepreneurs, and I think you might enjoy this book. Take a look at Gino’s recent post introducing it.

Excerpt from post: EOS® is Adderall for Visionaries. 😊

EOS® for Integrators: Three Tools for Integrators

EOS® for Integrators: Three Tools for Integrators

This is a post for integrators only, to remind you of three tools you should be revisiting with the team annually as a way of proactively helping them reset some of the habits we built during the first two years of your EOS journey.

  1. LMA Review – The 10 things leaders and managers DO (see pp. 20-21 in the toolbox tab of your Leadership Team Manual) is something we asked each leader to self-assess as Yes or No when considering all the people they had LMA responsibilities for (often called direct reports). As a habit, once a year ask each leader to read through the list and reaffirm they are all Yes or recommit to changing all No answers to Yes.
  2. Core Process Review – Take a deep dive at a quarterly/L10 into one of the handful of core processes to make sure the leadership team SBA’s it, the metrics are clear, and flush out any issues with it. Ideally each should be reviewed once a year to make sure it is accurate and any issues identified should be solved.
  3. Delegate and Elevate – The continuous issue that comes back is having a leader doing work that should be getting done by their team. Remember my challenge to move away from $20/hour work to the $100 – $1000/hr work that members of the leadership team should be focused on?

The given is that each of you are still doing 3 quarterlies a year and a 2-day annual off-site. Whether you are graduated or not, as the integrator each of these tools helps you more easily manage the business and develop your leadership team. Do any of these need to be reviewed?

If there is anything I can do to help you/support you, let me know – I have some sheets and a few tricks for facilitating these discussions with your group.