Recently I was catching up with one of my clients at a cocktail reception. In our conversation, he said, “Do you know what you’ve helped us to do in our business? When we first started working with you, we only had two weeks’ worth of cash on hand. No one was on the same page, and several lines of our business were losing money. Now, two and a half years later, we have over six months of cash reserve built up. We have a shared vision in writing that we all believe in, and we’ve beat 65-year sales and profit records for the company this year.
“If you told me back then where our company would be at now, I would have thought that was impossible and that you’re full of it. It is truly amazing what we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.”
What did this entrepreneur and his team do to turn around their business?
Top 7 Most Impactful Tools
The company used seven highly effective tools to take business from limping to soaring. Here’s their story in my client’s own words.
1) Shared Vision
Before implementing EOS®, we definitely did not have a shared vision. We had different lines of business that didn’t fit, which caused lots of confusion throughout the company. One of the owners would always be bringing something new to the company, but we had no agreed-upon way to decide whether it was a good idea that fit, or wasn’t. Now with the leadership team being on the same page with the Vision/Traction Organizer, we eliminated all lines of business that did not fit—and we have a tool to filter through all the new ideas that are brought to the table to prevent us from getting distracted. It’s so rewarding to see everyone else in the organization genuinely excited by the vision, and now they are coming to us with ideas and ways they can personally help.
2) Accountability Chart
Previously we all did a little bit of everything. We didn’t have clearly defined roles and responsibilities or a clear structure to operate within. It felt chaotic for sure. Going through the exercise of building our Accountability Chart was one of the most painful experiences of the process, yet it was one of the most rewarding. The Accountability Chart helped us to simplify our structure and clearly define the top five roles and responsibilities for every single position in our company.
3) People Analyzer
Early on, we had a huge list of people issues – like, over 30 of them. The People Analyzer helped us to pinpoint with clarity when someone didn’t “feel right in our culture.” It has saved us a tremendous amount of time as a leadership team to agree on when someone doesn’t fit into our culture (i.e,. they don’t share our core values), and when they aren’t in the right seats (i.e., they don’t Get It, Want It or have the Capacity to do the job).
4) Weekly Meeting Pulse
We didn’t have effective meetings as a leadership team, previously. They were inconsistent at best. Now we’ve got a regular day and time that the leadership team meets, with a consistent agenda where everyone knows what to expect every step of the way. Besides a consistent agenda, I love the feedback mechanism that’s built right into the Level 10 Meeting where we rate the meeting on a 1-10 scale – this helps us quickly get a pulse on everyone’s perspective on how they felt about the meeting.
We didn’t have any consistent sharing of the numbers as a leadership team prior to this process. Now looking back on it, we definitely weren’t looking at the right numbers. Now with the scorecard, our leadership team has an absolute pulse on the business each and every week – and it’s baked right into our level 10 meeting agenda.
6) Quarterly Offsite
Our leadership team never had any consistent meetings outside of the business. Now we get out of the business to work on it, once every 90 days. This is our Quarterly Planning Session.
Near the end of a quarter, we definitely feel the team getting a bit frayed and disconnected. Getting out of the business to reflect on the last 90 days, review our vision, and reset our 90-day priorities (Rocks). Solving big issues has been invaluable and has helped us to move forward faster together as a team.
7) State of the Company
Previously we didn’t have a way to consistently share and communicate messaging throughout our company. Now with EOS, we rely on our State of the Company every 90 days. After we meet for our quarterly offsite, we now cascade our results from last quarter, key learnings, our vision and plan going forward. It was awkward and tough at first, but now our people look forward to it. They want to know how we did and what we’re focusing on next.
My client’s team and company have experienced great results, thanks to EOS. Unfortunately, most teams can’t get to the same place that this team did. They don’t have the right mindset for this to work effectively.
The mindset of this team is that they’re open-minded, respectful, appreciative, respectful, growth-oriented, frustrated, and want help. Their most important quality is that they have a willingness to be vulnerable with one another. They weren’t good at it, but they had the willingness. This mindset combined with discipline got them amazing results.