Most people think once you implement the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, your biggest problems are behind you for good. Ironically, that’s exactly when your greatest challenges can strike.
I have a client in Saginaw, Michigan—a 20+ year-old company that had just seen its best sales and profits in the company’s history. The leadership team was as cohesive as it had ever been, and they were solving Issue upon Issue and moving forward together. But it wouldn’t last.
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Stalling Out on EOS®
This company saw the success that EOS was bringing, and they got complacent. Soon they started skipping Level 10 Meetings™. At one point, a scheduling conflict came up and they postponed their Annual Planning Meeting™. And because they were enjoying such great success, they didn’t notice leading indicators on their Scorecard that revealed the sales pipeline was beginning to dry up.
That’s when the wheels came off. They stopped working as a leadership team, and they began experiencing personality conflicts because they were no longer aligned or on the same page. They needed to go back to the basics to get glued back together, reset and recalibrated.
Back to the Basics with EOS
The Back to the Basics Checklist™ is one of the lesser-known tools in the EOS Toolbox™, but it’s incredibly valuable. I usually pull this out when teams are feeling stuck and they can’t figure out why. They have fallen off-track with some of the foundational EOS Tools, but it’s not clear how or why. This checklists helps them take a simple self-assessment to embrace why they’re stuck and identify how to overcome it.
When I walk teams through the Back to the Basics Checklist, we go through the exercise thinking not only about the leadership team, but their departments as well. Often, if the leadership team has gotten stuck, their departments are also off-track.
In my client’s case, several things stuck out:
- They had been making things more complicated than necessary.
- They hadn’t been taking their Clarity Breaks™ and didn’t take the time to actually stop and think about the business.
- Not everyone was running productive meetings, and not everyone was following the Accountability Chart™ to determine who should attend meetings.
- They hadn’t focused on developing their mid-level managers, and hadn’t invested in LMA™.
The Back to the Basics Checklist helped them to cut through the confusion, eliminate the noise and refocus on what is most important. Dug down to the root cause of why they were stuck. They created several Rocks to strengthen mid-level management and recommitted to Clarity Breaks.
At the end of the session, the team was refreshed and centered. They felt glued back together, their energy was back up in the right place and they were clear on what’s most important—and what wasn’t important to focus on.
Whereas they didn’t even know what their Issues were at the beginning of the day, by the end of our time together they had a clear path to the next 90 days. And they’re ready to get after it.
Need to Get Back on Track?
The Back to Basics Checklist is a powerful tool for companies that get stuck while running on EOS. If your company runs on EOS but you’ve gotten off track, let’s walk through the Back to Basics Checklist together and get you humming along again.