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.

The Case for Doing a Reverse Accountability Chart

The Case for Doing a Reverse Accountability Chart

I am blessed to be part of a community where people help each other. Over the past couple of weeks, my fellow EOSi’s (our name for other EOS® Implementers) have shared countless bits of wisdom that have helped me in the conversations I have been having with the leaders of companies that have been affected by the coronavirus and in my own business.

The Accountability Chart is designed as a key growth tool to cast a vision for the roles in your organization going forward (i.e., creating the right seats) and leveraging that and your values to make sure you have the right people in all those seats. In a dramatic downturn, this core tool of EOS can also be used to project needed changes, and we call that doing a reverse accountability chart. Here is a link to our lead coach, Mark O’Donnell, explaining how to do that activity. As we come up to our quarterlies, I will be putting that on all the issues lists and we will have a conversation about when or if we do it for your leadership team. In a recent conversation with a leader, they questioned the ‘humaneness’ and ‘awkwardness’ of doing such an activity with their leaders. Their question – What if a seat is eliminated? My return question is always – What if it isn’t and it should be?

This post is not about explaining how to do a reverse accountability chart because Mark does that in his post. I want to focus on the why, to make the case that being open and honest up front is actually less painful than hiding it. Let this be my Johari Window moment, and I will share a piece of my story that is actually at the root of my passion for the accountability chart, because I personally experienced a transition where it was not done in an open and honest way.

My role was leading people and strategy for a financial institution that made most of its income through mortgage products and the income off a nine-figure portfolio of loans. When the mortgage crisis started to unwind in 2008, our CEO reacted by coming in one day and making the declaration to the leadership team that we needed to stop offering our core loan product at our 3 non-Michigan sales offices, switch everyone to selling conventional mortgages, and stop opening new offices. It became clear to me almost instantly that my seat and accountabilities changed dramatically, and the part of the role that I really GWC’d was gone. Remember my role was to direct strategy and help achieve RP/RS, so almost immediately I knew the organization really did not need my role anymore. There was very little conversation around the change and we all quickly jumped into action mode of doing it.

As a father of four young children, and with my wife taking a break from her career as a nurse to stay at home with the kids, I kept my thoughts to myself and threw myself into helping the organization through the changes ahead. We retrained our salesforce to sell a new product and with a new customer experience, and later, through a similar decision directly from our CEO, implemented a 10% reduction in our staff. Finally, 7 months after that initial announcement, I set up a time to go talk to our CEO and shared with him that my job was really no longer needed and I needed to leave the organization. The first conversation was him trying to convince me that I had value and my assignment was to think about it. We set up a time to talk right after Christmas. The second conversation was short, because my mind did not change, and we picked a date of March 31 that I would leave the organization.

There’s more to this story, and in the end I look back and realize it was a necessary step for me ending up here, being an EOS partner with a handful of great companies and dozens of great leaders. But there was a personal and professional cost to this path, and it was one of the toughest things I ever did. It would take pages to share the personal pain and anguish it caused within me to take the road of silence and hidden realities. To reference a Robert Frost poem, my passionate plea is that in these situations the road less travelled is the open, honest, and vulnerable road of the reverse Accountability Chart. Speaking from experience, that road can make all the difference and when it comes to hard conversations, I work hard to make the road less travelled the one I take.

Take a look at Mark’s post, and I encourage all of you to think about how this tool could help you face some of the uncertainties that could hit us over the months ahead. Also know that when I am talking about it, it is not just a tool, but an option I wish I had in 2008 because I would have gladly chosen that option vs the road I travelled.

Several tips for navigating your work:

  1. Remember, this is a time when your values and culture can come alive despite the remote nature of our work – or even for those of you having to do temporary layoffs. Here is a post from me that will give you some actions to take: Leadership and Social Distancing: 5 Tips To Increase Trust and Team Health Despite Our Current Reality
  2. Wisdom from an EOS peer of mine, Ken DeWitt, about An EOS Company’s Guide To Surviving The Coronovirus
  3. There are opportunities in this situation, and part of seeing them as leaders is just stepping back and shifting our perspective. The two questions I have in front of me every day are: Why is this a gift to me? What is it offering that I don’t see?
  4. Finally, here is the post from Mark about the Reverse Accountability Chart. Keep it handy, and watch it when it is time. If you don’t get the blog posts from EOS worldwide, it would be a good time to sign up as they are particularly helpful right now.

Final Tip: Sometimes kids have the answer for all of us. Here is a timeless YouTube video that reminds me of that and always makes me smile. Jessica’s Daily Affirmation

Stay healthy and lead well!

EOS Partner Gift: Learn how FBA = Change Management

EOS Partner Gift: Learn how FBA = Change Management

One of my favorite quotes from Seth Godin (Tribes) is:

Leaders have followers. Managers have employees.

Managers make widgets. Leaders make change.

Leading effectively through the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS) requires you to become good at implementing changes until they become part of the day-to-day work of the organization. How many of you have committed to a rock and the end point was sending the email to everyone? That might get you to SBA (Shared By All), but it will not even get you close to FBA (Followed By All).

I sent each of my EOS partner companies a copy of Bottom-Line Change by Ari Weinszweig. I am sharing this with you because I believe each EOS team needs one person that is great at helping the team think through changes so that the plan to get to FBA (Followed By All) is clear. It does not have to be the Integrator, so maybe it should be you? If you have a passion to be that person for your team, know that some of you have a copy of that book floating around your organization which is likely generating guilt or some other kind of burden for one of your teammates. 🙂

This pamphlet (named that because it is less than 80 pages) outlines a proven process Zingerman’s uses at all levels of their organization to manage change. Also, if you like food, most of the examples in the book are related to food so it will be easy reading. Here is a link to purchase your own if you do not have one.

Listen . . . Lead. Repeat often!

Note: I also shared some guidelines with your Integrator about some specific things I do, or could do, to provide ongoing support for my EOS clients.  Here is a link to that document if you are interested.

trUTips

trUTips

trUTips are published 9-10 times per year. Do you want to receive trUTips automatically? Sign up here.

Worried about getting on a spam list? Read The trU Group privacy policy. For daily or weekly thoughts, please subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter.

  • trUTips #41—20 Powerful Questions™ People-Centered Leaders Ask

    Asking people questions has the same effect as giving them food and money. People-centered leaders ask powerful questions, here are 20 questions that will help you master the 5 moments that are critical to getting the best performance from you and your team. Entrepreneurial Operating System™ Leaders – please read! Read trUTips #41.

  • trUTips #40—The Cornerstone of Engagement – Empathy: 2 Tips to Show It

    What is the importance of showing empathy as a leader? As a coach, I can speak to the impact of not showing it, and it is people coming to work thinking “My leader does not care about me as a person.” Do you really think they are bringing their best if that is how they feel about the relationship with their leader? Here is a lesson an emerging leader taught me and 2 tips for practicing(and building) empathy as a leader. Read trUTips #40.

  • trUTips #39—3 Tips for Creating a Safe Culture for Truth to be Shared

    How can I create an environment and culture in which my people feel safe sharing and dialoguing in an open and honest manner? People-centered leaders recognize the need for safety, and it show up as trust that alllows the truth to be spoken, sometimes in very difficult situations.  Here are 4 tips to see if it is present and 3 tips to creating it. Read trUTips #39.

  • trUTips #38—3 Tips for Successfully Delegating

    Delegating is critical for leaders, and it is not easy to do for many reasons.  Here are the 3 barriers to delegating and how to overcome them with action. Hidden truth – it is almost impossible to make this shift for a leader without help. It has become the top development areas for my coaching practice.  Read trUTips #38.

  • trUTips #37—7 Books for a Leadership Book Study Group

    Here are my 7 favorite books for a leadership book study group. All these topics are relevant for leaders, and as a bonus I include tips for make the study be about my core value – Learning + Doing  = Growth.  Read trUTips #37.

  • trUTips #36—FREE articles to help you grow as a leader

    Don’t Avoid Gaps, Lead Through Them

    Demystifying Strategic Planning: How to Create One and Effectively Lead Through The Gap

    Own It! 5 Tips for Managing Your Career and Performance

  • trUTips #35—How do I increase accountability in my organization?

    In seven years of working with leaders and leadership teams, no one has ever started a conversation this way. Here are four ways the conversation starts and actions leaders can take tomorrow to increase accountability.  Read trUTips #35.

  • trUTips #34—Your People Want A Career Plan: How to do it

    The often overlooked key to retention?  Helping your people clearly see a career path for themselves AND understand the work they need to be doing to prepare for it.  Here are tips for leader to guide the process to ensure it is clear and owned by the individual.  Read trUTips #34.

  • trUTips #33—Right People in the Right Seats: How to do it

    Organizations cannot grow effectively if they do not have the right people in the right seats. Getting to that point is hard work, and the most important work that a CEO/Leadership Team can do to start the process of healthy growth for their organization. Here are some tips about how to work through the process of Right People in the Right Seats.  Read trUTips #33.

  • trUTips #32—8 Great Leadership Books for a Summer Vacation

    It is important to reset as a leader, and summer vacation is a time to do that.  Part of resetting for me is reading, and based on your attention span and time, here are 8 books I recommend.  I also created a special page to get some expanded descriptions of each book and an easy link if you want to order them.  Read trUTips #32.

  • trUTips #31—trUMoments™:  Someone needs something from you

    It is easy to get lost in concepts like Servant Leader.  New leaders are especially challenged because the important part of their job is the do, and too often they are buried with books and catchy phrases like “Right people/right seats” or “It’s your ship!”  My goal of truMoments™  is to focus on recognizing when you are in a place that is important and doing something significant.  Someone needs something from you is one of those trUMoments™  that happens all the time, and more important than listening for it is to create time to hear it so you can respond effectively.  Here are some tips and questions to do that.  Read trUTips #31.

  • trUTips #30—What Kind of Leader Do I Want to Be?  Introducing trUMoments™

    Leadership has been called a job, a skill, a calling, and many other words that elevate it to a place in our minds where we often get lost in the theory of what it takes to be a leader.  I call leadership a choice, and share some thoughts on what key moments leaders need to learn to be present for.  These are trUMoments™.  Read trUTips #30.

  • trUTips #29—Tools to Develop as a Leader: Listening and the Johari Window

It is critical to have One-on-One conversations with your people.  When we do have these conversations how do we make the most of that time together so we listen well and they feel comfortable and hear what they need to hear?  The Johari Window is a tool that can help leaders see their time with others differently and learn tips to build great relationships using that time.  This includes two videos and an exercise to use the videos to learn with your teams.  Read trUTips #29.

  • trUTips #28—A Case For Face to Face Leadership – The One-on-One

Why should I take the time to do one-on-ones with my team?  It is a great question, and by answering it a conversation emerges that will change you.  At the core of this question is an equally important question – What kind of leader do I want to be?  This trUTips makes a case for the one-on-one and why it is the most important time a leader has with his/her team.  Read trUTips #28.

  • trUTips #27—Mentoring

Too often people go searching for learning in a classroom or a book, when the more effective answer is ‘find a mentor’.  Here is some advice for both individuals and leaders about how to make mentoring work for them.  Read trUTips #27.

  • trUTips #26—5 Steps to Make Personal Change Stick

After making a key note on time management this summer, I had some conversations that made me realize people had lots of questions about how to define the changes they want and make those changes.  Here are 5 Steps for making those changes.  Read trUTips #26  Here is a link to the key note presentation if you are interested.

  • trUTips #25—Time. Have enough?

Talent management is about great conversations. I find myself this summer having 3 different conversations that all have a common theme. How should I be spending my time? Here are three tips for being more effective with your time. Read trUTips #25

  • trUTips #24—Problems finding the right people?  Here are some tips that will help

Are you struggling to find the right talent?  There is a talent shortage and it will probably get worse as the economy recovers.  Finding the right people when your business needs them requires a more proactive approach.  Here are tips to help you find the right people regardless of the economy .  Read trUTips  #24

  • trUTips #23—You tired?

Talent management is about great conversations.  Sometimes the things we see and feel need to first be understood.  Then we need to find a compelling reason to change.  Learn how to deal with leader burn-out or a tired team.  Learn how coaching can help.  Learn how to have the right conversations to direct your efforts as a leader to raise the energy and engagement of your team.  Read trUTips  #23

  • trUTips #22—Making One-on-Ones Cherished and Invaluable

Talent management is about great conversations.  The One-on-One should be the most valuable time for you as a leader and the most cherished time for your people to get what they need to be their best.  Here are simple tips to make cherished and invaluable a reality.  Read trUTips  #22

  • trUTips #21—Building A Leadership Development Program From Scratch

When we think of leadership development, we often think of world class organizations like the Center for Creative Leadership or some executive MBA from a top school like Harvard, Northwestern, or Michigan.  There is a way to do great leadership development no matter what size your organization.  It will cost one very valuable thing – your time. Read trUTips  #21

  • trUTips #20—Book Review:  Great On The Job / Interview with Author Jodi Glickman

There are lots of things we do not know.  How do we handle those situations where we are asked something but do not know the answer?  This situation and several others are addressed in this great book for people who are starting a new role or career and want to be successful.  The central theme in this book is creating forward momentum with all of your communication.  This book should be a key resource for all talent management professionals, leaders who are mentoring high potentials, or anyone looking to move their career forward.  I am also giving away some free books. Read trUTips  #20

  • trUTips #19—Succession Planning:  What It Is and How To Do It

There are many reasons not to do succession planning, which is why only 35% of organizations have one for their CEO.  The reasons are also similar behind the fact that only 45% of Americans have a will when they die.  Here is some practical advice about how you can do succession planning and what some logical first steps might look like.  I also included a document with some questions any leader should answer before starting the process.  Read trUTips  #19 Any leader should first answer these questions before they start succession planning.

  • trUTips #18—Choosing the Right Assessment For Developing Your Teams and People (ie: Talent Management)

Assessments can have great value for organizations.  Birkman Method, DiSC, Myers Briggs – there are lots of choices.  However, the complaints and frustrations I hear from organizations are always the same.  Here are some key questions that leaders can use to make the right choice for their people and their ROI.  Included is a table where I compare 9 assessment tools that I have used in my own career.  Whether it is leadership development, career development, or some other area of talent management – this will help you make a great buy.  Read trUTips  #18

  • trUTips #17—A Talent Management Calendar:  Here is a talent management map for a leader and how how the pieces fit.

Leadership takes time, and there is always too much to do.  Talent management activities like one-on-ones, performance conversations, and development discussions often get sacrificed because other things are more urgent.  There is lots of research that says if basic needs are met it will have a positive impact on the business.  Here is a map to those activities that will have the biggest impact on the business.  Read trUTips  #17

  • trUTips #16—One on Ones: Making the most of limited time with your people PLUS a template to help

Are you a leader with limited time that wants to make sure people are getting what they need to be successful AND you are hearing about things before they become issues? (and helping your people learn to solve most of their key problems. . . )  The bonus here is I provide a template to help you get started.  Read trUTips #16

  • trUTips #15—Development Plans: Why they are critical and How to do them

I was shocked when a group of HR leaders told me 80% of their executive teams had at least one person on it without a development plan.  This is one of the most critical pieces of talent management and probably the least used based on my research.  Here is the WHY they are important and HOW to do them.  I include links to some templates that anyone can use to start and complete these conversations with their people.  I also introduce an on-line version of the Talent Scorecard so  leaders can do a self check on how healthy their habits are around talent management.
Read trUTips #15

  • trUTips #14—Resilience

Hope > fear + anger + despair + frustration + worry + hunger + mistrust + ___________ (fill in the blank)
In a slow recovery, growing the resilience of your organization is more important than cash.  This trUTips is about what leaders can do to grow the resilience in their organization.
Read trUTips #14 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #13—Making Evaluations More Effective

Frustrated with your evaluation?  Maybe it is the time it takes or the value it creates.  Looking to start or restart a process at your organization.  It does not have to be complicate, but it has to be a conversation.  Learn some simple tips that will make it much easier and more impactful.
Read trUTip #13

  • trUTips #12—Followership

Lots of focus is put on leadership?  What about the people they lead?  With constantly shifting jobs and leaders, becoming a great follower is a critical skill.  The funny thing about followership, when it is done really well it looks a lot like leadership.
Read trUTips #12 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #11—Talent Scorecard

How well are you managing the talent in your organization? Here is a tool for a CEO, board member, or leader at any level to do a quick assessment of how an individual or organization is performing.Read trUTips #11 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #10—The Virtual Leader as the New Servant Leader

Do we need leaders when teams can get work done virtually? Yes and No.
Read trUTips #10.

  • trUTips #9—Why There Has to be an “I” in Team

There is no “I” in team. Popular slogan, but it is wrong. Bringing individual stars together to form a team is a challenge. Here is some practical advice on how to do it.
Read trUTips #9 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #8—What to Do With Your B-Players?

Those steady performers, priceless and frustrating at the same time. Here are three strategies to increase the engagement and productivity of this group.
Read trUTips #8 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #7—Dealing With Low Performers

Some call them C-players, but whatever you call them they drain your personal energy and hurt the performance of your team and business. Here are some tips for dealing with people that are not performing well on your team.
Read trUTips #7 and watch the video extra.

  • trUTips #6—Leadership Lessons from Greg Mortenson

He wrote a book called “Three Cups of Tea” to stress the importance of education in ending much of the violence we see in the world. In the process, he had some great things to say about leadership. Here are some tips that will help you handle your next merger, promotion, or key change project.
Read trUTips #6.

  • trUTips #5—Leadership Can Be Lonely

Leadership is, ultimately, about making decisions and keeping a team moving toward a goal. In the end, the leader has full responsibility for failure, and most of the time gets some credit for the success of the team. But it can be a lonely role. Here are strategies to keep your health and sanity as a leader.
Read trUTips #5.

  • trUTips #4—What Motivates People and How a Leader Can Help

When people are not performing or are not clear on what their job is, it is easy to stand back and blame them. Leaders need to step back, remember what motivates people, and do a couple of things to get them refocused. Executing these habits regularly will keep most people on track.
Read trUTips #4.

  • trUTips #3—Want to Increase Your Training ROI?

Focus on the why. Often times, 70% of people that go to training do not know why they are there when they walk in. That is a big problem, but an easy one to fix. Here are some simple tips to increase the return on your training investment.
Read trUTips #3.

  • trUTips #2—Connecting Your Best People With Your Biggest Problem

What motivates your high performers and high-potential employees? It is not money. Learn more about what they need and how their needs can help your business. You want these people engaged!Read trUTips #2.

  • trUTips #1—How the Recession Has Impacted Your People…and How to Fix It

The recent downturn has left your people shaken, and your best people are now more ready to move than they were four years ago. Here are some strategies to make sure they stay to help your business grow in the future.
Read trUTips #1.