If you have not heard about EOS™ yet, you probably will. EOS stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System and if you are not currently using it or heard about it, you likely will. This article addresses some questions you may have.
The origin of EOS is a best-selling book, “Traction: Get A Grip on Your Business”, authored by Gino Wickman. As Wickman summaries: “Life is much easier for everyone when you have people around you who genuinely get it, want it, and have the capacity to do it.”
More than 80,000 North American companies have adopted at least some the EOS philosophy and tools, including hundreds in the roofing contractor business. Being a board member, I know that National Roofing Partners (NRP) utilizes EOS and I estimate that 30% of the 250-plus roofing and waterproofing contractor membership do as well. If you hear the term “Level 10” (process for their meetings), they are using some aspect of EOS.
Experienced leadership teams utilizing EOS concepts claim that improved results become contagious. You will hear owners share significant improvement in time management, allowing them to focus more on their business versus overwhelmed with details.
What is EOS?
Frankly, EOS is not anything new. You may recognize the core components are based on a variety of business leadership best practices that have evolved over 50 years. These best practices have been created by various industry gurus and successfully implemented across multiple industries. Specifically, already proven concepts embedded in the foundation of EOS, including Unique Selling Proposition (strategic advantage), TQM (continuous improvement), Reengineering (process development and documentation), Balanced Scorecard (key performance indicators), SMART Objectives (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-based) and Purpose Driven Teams (mission, vision integrated with strategy).
Is EOS Right for You?
Maybe. It is a well packaged philosophy and tools. Your investment of time to gain insight will at worst be interesting and helpful, and at best, make you a convert. Implementing a comprehensive EOS is primarily a one-year journey with one of their franchised coaches and is a significant investment in time and investment that often exceeds $50,000 and can range to over $100,000.
At Hayne Coaching, EOS concepts are a common topic among the over 60 contractor clients actively participating in one of our rigorous roofing contractor peer groups. We collaboratively supplement the EOS Franchise Coach’s initiatives; for others we explore, discuss and custom fit core concepts leading to significant capability enhancement and profitability growth. I have not witnessed a contractor that did not find value with at least some components of the EOS philosophy and tools. However, I have met several that want to move beyond the EOS foundation to the next level of enrichment.
What EOS is Not?
It’s not a magic pill that takes a good company to great without much effort. It’s not a training program that transforms the entire management team into formidable leaders. It’s not a set of tools that results in a guarantee of tremendous success. It’s not effortless — it’s not for everybody.
What is the Primary Attraction to the EOS Philosophy?
Ask yourself, will you and your team benefit from improved leadership, more effective alignment of resources, fact-based decision making, prioritized plans and processes and a resulting empowering and success-oriented culture? You will be responsible for initiating a foundation that includes a sharp vision of the future, defined core values, data-driven accountability, commitment of collaborative leaders, a rigorous client focused strategy, and a combination of prioritized initiatives and issue resolutions that hold team members accountable. The most common testimonials share that their leadership team meetings are drastically different, significantly more effective and produce superior direction and results.
What is the Pay-Off?
Experienced leadership teams utilizing EOS concepts claim that improved results become contagious. You will hear owners share significant improvement in time management, allowing them to focus more on their business versus overwhelmed with details. When successfully implemented, you will hear employees talking about their company pride, a culture that they enjoy and a career they value. Whether you are a one-person start-up or a multi-million-dollar company that is exploding with growth, EOS insights will be effective for you.
As an alternative to an EOS franchise coach, you might find it more practical and cost effective to utilize a no-nonsense, experienced and practical personal leadership coach or collaborate in a peer group with owners whose companies, values and ambitions may be like yours. Coaches can custom fit select initiatives without a comprehensive EOS implementation. Beyond saving money and leveraging expertise long distance through video conferencing, the result will be improvement in your leadership effectiveness and your financial results. Most importantly, a coach can help you prioritize best practices and avoid common mistakes.
What are Three EOS Imperfections to Consider?
The most common imperfection is establishing criteria of a coach to help guide you and your team towards success. Do you want a one-size-fits-all franchise experience or a custom-fitting focus on you? Using religion as an analogy, the same message can sound vastly different based on the clergy and the culture within their congregation. Each advisor’s capability, experience, and ability to understand your specific company’s experience will be unique and create differing results. Ask yourself if their uniqueness will allow them to effectively tailor their mentoring to your needs, budget, time, and resources.
The second most common imperfection and obstacle to success is that EOS will expose people that are not fully capable in their leadership positions. Quite often, you will realize a big problem: not all current leaders are capable of personal growth required to support your company’s requirements for success. In an entrepreneurial environment where long standing friendships and business overlap and finding talent is difficult, this exposure can be embarrassing and lead to uncomfortable choices. If you are not capable of making emotionally hard and difficult people decisions, do not move forward with EOS.
The third most common obstacle to success is that after the first year, the leadership team is often asked, “What’s next?” They may be disappointed in a void and repetition that feels stale and can lead to disillusionment and complacency. EOS philosophies cover the broad elements of healthy business and leadership principles. However, within a year, most contractors will require a shift to more rigorous and capability development that is more focused based on their unique business strategy, market conditions and personal goals and ambitions.