EOS is a comprehensive tool kit to help leadership teams improve, gain traction, and grow their companies. To learn more, Gino Wickman has detailed EOS in his book, Traction, which we have summarized here.
You, as the employee, play a crucial role in the success of your company. These EOS tools help individuals within the company solve issues, plan and prioritize work, follow processes, communicate with one another, measure data, clarify roles, and lead and manage projects and people.
The authors wrote What the Heck is EOS for the employees to be more successful in a company using EOS.
What The Heck Is EOS?
Your company has an Operating System:
Operating System – the way that a company organizes its human capital, including how it holds meetings, solves issues, plans, and structures itself
If you are reading What the Heck is EOS, your company probably runs on the Entrepreneurial Operating System:
Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) – the corporate structure that provides consistency of process to an organization and allows its employees to grow, to be fulfilled, and achieve their goals
EOS is specially designed for entrepreneurial companies that have 10 to 250 employees, is open-minded, and growth-oriented.
The EOS Model
How Does EOS Work?
First, you need to understand the big picture of the EOS model:
Six Key Components
When the Six Key Components are strong, then everyone in the organization will be moving in the same direction:
- Vision – component to get everyone aligned and focused on the same vision
- People – component to get the right people in the right seats
- Data – component to objectively measure performance and have a pulse
- Issues – component to identify, discuss, and solve issues
- Process – component to standardize and document the way that tasks are performed
- Traction – work toward achieving your Rocks and actively participate in meetings
- Vision: Understand and trust in the vision laid out by the leadership team.
- People: Ask yourself if you are the Right Person in the Right Seat.
- Data: Establish and achieve your metrics.
- Issues: Raise problems to managers and help solve them.
- Process: Understand, follow, and improve the major processes.
- Traction: Achieve your Rocks and participate in meetings.
Ask Your Manager:
- What is our weakest component? How can I help improve it?
- What is our strongest component? Why do you think it’s the strongest?
- What is the first step you want me to take to help implement EOS in our organization?
The Vision/Traction Organizer
Do You See What They Are Saying?
As an employee, you should understand and believe in your company’s Vision, which is codified in the Vision/Traction Organizer:
Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO) – an EOS tool to help your leadership team define, document, align upon, and disseminate the organization’s Vision
Eight Vision Questions
The leadership establishes the V/TO by answering the following eight questions:
- What are your Core Values? The Core Values define who you are as an organization within three to seven guiding principles. They codify behavior, define corporate culture, and the show uniqueness of the organization.
- What is your Core Focus? The Core Focus explains why your company exists and what you do in the world. Your why (Purpose, Cause, or Passion) is an overriding belief that empowers you to work. Your what is known as a Niche, which defines the domain in which you do business.
- What is your 10-Year Target? The 10-Year Target™ is the long-term, colossal goal for where your organization is going. It will improve how you focus efforts, allocate resources, and make decisions.
- What is your Marketing Strategy? The Marketing Strategy is the sales messaging that you are communicating with your potential customers. There are four elements for Marketing Strategy:
- Target Market, or the attributes of your ideal customers;
- Three Uniques, or the three characteristics that differentiate your company in your niche;
- Proven Process, or the consistent process of delivering your product or service to your customer; and
- Guarantee, or the promise you make to your customers to ease them to buy.
- What is your 3-Year Picture? The 3-Year Picture™ is the mid-term goal for where the organization is going in the next three years. Derived from the 10-Year Target, it creates a vivid picture for three years, including revenue, profit, and measurables.
- What is your 1-Year Plan? The 1-Year Plan encompasses the three to seven company objectives for the next 12 months. Derived from the 3-Year Picture, it establishes yearly targets for revenue, profit, and measurables.
- What are your Rocks? Rocks are the company’s three to seven priorities for the next quarter. They break down yearly goals into smaller, manageable projects to maximize individual focus and energy.
- What are your Issues? Issues are the obstacles that will prevent you from achieving your Vision. The V/TO Issues List stores your problems to help your company identify, prioritize, and solve them one at a time.
- Understand and believe in your company’s Vision, which is codified in the V/TO.
- Align all your efforts toward helping achieve that Vision.
Ask Your Manager:
- How can our department help achieve the organization’s Vision?
- How do I contribute to accomplishing the Vision?
- What is our greatest challenge in realizing our Vision?
What Is Most Important Right Now?
Every quarter, you should establish one to three Rocks through discussions with your manager and team:
Rocks – the most important goals or priorities that must get done in the next 90 days
- For the company and leadership team: about three to seven Rocks aligned with the company’s Rocks
- For employees: about one to three Rocks aligned with your manager or company’s Rocks
90-Day World – quarterly time interval in which to set Rocks for the company and its employees
Rocks are set every 90 days due to human nature. After 90 days of working on projects, the human mind tends to lose focus and become distracted.
You should establish your Rocks using the SMART framework:
- S – Simple: Do you know what you need to do to get started to work on the Rock?
- M – Meaningful: Do you have a quick understanding of the importance of completing that Rock?
- A – Actionable: Do you know what actions you need to take to accomplish the Rock?
- R – Realistic: Can you achieve the Rock in 90 days with the resources you have available?
- T – Trackable: Can you quantitatively measure the progress toward completing the Rock?
- Establish one to three quarterly Rocks through discussions with your manager and team.
- Work to complete your Rocks using the SMART framework.
Ask Your Manager:
- When will we start establishing Rocks (if not doing so already)?
- Do you think my Rocks are appropriate for me?
- What are your Rocks? How can I help you achieve them?
The Weekly Meeting Pulse
Why Do We Have To Have Meetings?
Most of the time, humans procrastinate, so we can harness this procrastination on a regular basis using the Weekly Meeting Pulse:
Weekly Meeting Pulse – the process of holding consistent meetings, which causes increases in work produced, improves communication, and holds people accountable within an organization
You should participate and raise issues in your team’s Level 10 Meeting:
Level 10 Meeting (L10) – the 90-minute meeting for your leadership and departmental teams that your employees rate a “10” (scale from 1 to 10) for productivity and effectiveness; key attributes include:
- Keep you focused on what is essential and help you resolve issues;
- Should be held at the same time and day each week;
- Follow the same meeting agenda, and
- Start and end on time.
Two roles are crucial for running team meetings:
- Meeting Facilitator – the person responsible for running the meeting and keeping everyone working on schedule and time
- Document Manager – the person responsible for updating the meeting agenda, datasheet, and priorities, and Rocks
Level 10 Meeting Agenda
The Level 10 Meeting follows this agenda:
- Introduction: Start the meeting on time.
- Segue (Share Good News): Transition from work mode, in which team members can share positive news, either professional or personal.
- Scorecard (Datasheet): Review each of the team’s Measurables or metrics to be accountable to whether they are tracking for a specific objective.
- Rocks (Objectives): Review each team member’s Rocks to be accountable to whether they are tracking to accomplish them.
- Customer or Employee News: Provides time for anyone to share important news regarding work, employees, or customers.
- To-dos (Tasks): Review each to-do or weekly action item to confirm that it was done in the past week.
- Solve Issues: Review the Issues List (see below) and use the IDS (see below) framework to solve your team’s three major problems.
- Conclusion: Recap the significant parts of the meeting, including public announcements and action items. End the session on time, tie up loose ends, and rate the meeting.
You your meeting, your team should be open to discussing problems and review the Issues List:
Issues List – catalog for the problems in your team or company in which decisions have to be made, information has to be shared, or information is required to take action
Then, you should use the IDS framework to work through and resolve your most significant issues:
Identify, Discuss, and Solve (IDS) – a framework to solve issues using the following process:
- Identify major weekly problems and underlying causes.
- Discuss the solution to those issues.
- Solve the problems and assign someone to be responsible.
- Participate and bring up problems in your team’s Level 10 Meeting.
- Be open when discussing issues in your team’s Level 10 Meeting.
- Fight for the best interest of your team and organization.
- Hold yourself and the team accountable on Rocks, measurables, and tasks.
Ask Your Manager:
- Will I be punished for bringing up any issues in the Level 10 Meeting?
- Will you get upset if I grade the meeting with a low score?
- How can we improve our Level 10 Meeting?
Scorecard & Measurables
What’s My Number?
Each week in your Level 10 Meeting, you and team will review the department’s Scorecard:
Scorecard – datasheet containing the metrics or data to show how the organization (5-15 metrics) or department (3-5 metrics) is performing, identify and solve issues, and remove subjectivity from communication; it should include the following:
- Who – person responsible for each of the metrics
- Measurables – the 3 to 5 metrics that are recorded weekly on the Scorecard
- Goal – the target number that must be reached every week
- Date – the week that you are reporting on
Your department can use the IDS framework to resolve any numbers that are not on track.
Lastly, you should know your specific Measurables and constantly work to achieve them:
Measurable – a metric or data point that is being tracked for an employee, department, or company; preferably be an activity-based leading indicator
- Review your department’s Scorecard each week in your Level 10 Meeting.
- Help to resolve any numbers that are not on track using the IDS framework.
- Know your specific Measurables or metrics and constantly hit them.
Ask Your Manager:
- Does our departmental Scorecard contain the right metrics and objectives?
- From these suggestions, which one is a good Measurable or metric for me?
- What are your Measurables or metrics? How do I help you hit them?
How Am I Doing?
You should evaluate yourself honestly as an employee, using the People Analyzer:
People Analyzer – an EOS tool that gets the Right People in the Right Seats in your organization using the following two steps:
Step 1. Right People
Evaluate if you, the candidate, embody your organization’s Core Values using the EOS Rating System:
EOS Rating System – want a minimum threshold of three +’s and two +/-’s for the Core Values:
- Plus (+) = Candidate mostly embodies the Core Value
- Plus/Minus (+/−) = Candidate sometimes embodies the Core Value
- Minus (−) = Candidate rarely embodies the Core Value
Step 2. Right Seat
Determine if you, the candidate, fit into the roles and responsibilities of your seat using the GWC tool:
Get It, Want It, and Capacity To Do It (GWC):
- Get It: Do you, the candidate, understand the position and how it fits within the organization?
- Want It: Do you, the candidate, have a genuine desire and passion for the position?
- Capacity To Do It: Do you, the candidate, have the emotional, intellectual, physical, and timely ability for the position?
If you are wondering how your manager views your performance, then you should meet with your manager for your Quarterly Conversation:
Quarterly Conversation – informal, face-to-face, one-on-one 60-minute meeting between you and your boss to discuss projects, clarify expectations, communicate well, and resolve issues, if necessary
- Evaluate yourself honestly, using the People Analyzer.
- Meet with your manager to have your Quarterly Conversation.
Ask Your Manager:
- What was your analysis of me, using the People Analyzer?
- When will we start having Quarterly Conversations?
- What do you think is working, and what is not working?
Conclusion: Organizational Checkup
What Do I Do Next?
Lastly, to figure out whether your organization is successful on EOS, conduct an Organizational Checkup:
Organizational Checkup – an EOS tool consisting of 20 questions to determine the current state of your company
Great employees allow for entrepreneurs to grow and scale their companies. I hope this post will help you be more successful within your organization using the EOS Model. Also, I hope you are inspired to get your own copy of What the Heck is EOS.
If you have any further questions or need additional help, feel free to comment below or send me an email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you are wanting more Process Hacker content, you can subscribe to our short weekly newsletter on Productivity, Habits, and Resources.