EOS® roll out is the phrase most EOS Implementers use to describe the ongoing process of introducing the Entrepreneurial Operating System® indto your business. I don’t mean just the leadership team. That’s what an EOS Implementation is for. No, I’m talking about introducing the tools to every member of your company and making sure they use them on a daily basis. Leadership teams often ask for my advice on how to roll out EOS.
Sometimes they are concerned with the logistics. Other times they have questions about specific EOS tools. But the real problem usually stems from forgetting one of the most important lessons of EOS: you’ve got to trust the people that work with you. That doesn’t just mean your leadership team. That means every person right down to the independent contractors. If someone asks me how to roll out EOS, I tell them they’re asking the wrong person. They should be asking the person who is going to actually handle EOS roll out.
What Causes The Problem?
Most leadership teams get tripped up by assuming that they are the ones who have to handle the roll out. Sure, they could be. But there is no reason for them to think they are alone in doing that. Just like any member of the leadership team isn’t alone in achieving an EOS Rock™, the leadership team isn’t alone in achieving a successful roll out. A truly successful roll out will involve trusting the people who will be using the tools to put them in place in their own departments and teams.
Still not ready to loosen that death grip?
I’m kidding…partially. If you are actually struggling with knowing how to roll out EOS, read on and follow these steps.
Step 1: Use Your EOS Accountability Chart™
The Accountability Chart isn’t just for your leadership team. It’s a tool to employ across your entire organization.
The EOS journey is one that the leadership team guides. They learn how to use each tool in the EOS Toolbox™ from an implementer. Then, they teach those tools to the greater organization. Usually the first tool that gets sent out into the company is the Core Values, by way of the Core Values Speech. By the time you’re planning how to roll out EOS in your company, individual departments should already have Accountability Charts. Even if those Accountability Charts aren’t official or complete, your leadership team probably has them planned out in their heads.
Whatever the state of the departmental Accountability Charts, prioritize getting them hammered out before moving forward with an EOS roll out? Why? Because that is how you will know who’s job it will be to handle pieces of roll out on a departmental level.
The Accountability Chart is the perfect tool to understand that no one person is in charge of EOS roll out. Quite the opposite. You’ll need signs designed to put on the walls. That’s Ted, the graphic designer. You’ll need those signs printed. Sally from operations. Roll out isn’t some burden that only you bear. It’s an Issue, and you should know how to handle issues. You Identify the Issue. You Discuss. And you solve.
So, step 1: use that Accountability Chart and your IDS Process™ to assign tasks to people not just on your leadership team, but around your organization.
Step 2: Train Your Managers To Use EOS
The most critical people in your EOS roll out are not on the leadership team. Sorry to burst that bubble. No, they are the managers.
Companies come in all shapes and sizes. But most companies using EOS should be somewhere in the 20-200 employee range. If you’re on the low end of that slider, it may be that the leadership team members are the managers. In that case, congratulations. You’ve completed step 2. If not, keep reading.
For larger organizations, one of the harder steps on the EOS journey is getting the troops to start using the EOS tools in a way that gets the real value out of them. I really can’t overstate the importance of the “real value” part. It’s easy to hand the tools off to the managers and say, “go forth and EOS your teams.” However, that probably won’t actually improve the situation.
Thousands of leadership teams have looked at the Entrepreneurial Operating System and decided to bring in an expert, a Certified EOS Implmenter, to train them. But once roll out has come around, you are the resident experts on EOS. And it’s up to you to train your managers, so they can be the EOS expert for their team. There are plenty of ways to get managers up to par on EOS.
Get your managers the training they need by:
- Make What The Heck Is EOS required reading for the managers
- Institute a long-term EOS training program
- Schedule an intense EOS training retreat
- Have managers report on their Level 10 Meeting progress
- Employ an outside instructional technologist
- Use the EOS tools to conduct meetings publicly
However you do it, make sure those managers get the training they need. Once they feel comfortable with the EOS tools, the rest of the company will follow. And that’s the main point here. It’s not your job to train every single person in the organization. It’s your job to coordinate the training of your immediate reports. That’s it.
Step 3: Get Out Of The Way
Seriously. Get out of the way.
Once your organization starts getting a feel for the Entrepreneurial Operating System, it’s your job to let them do their jobs. EOS is about empowering teams to make decisions and act on them. They can’t do that if they are being micromanaged or second guessed. Once they have the tools and the training, all they need is the freedom to use them. If you’re uncomfortable providing that, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Despite that discomfort, though, you need to give them the power to solve their own issues. If you find you really aren’t capable of doing so, it’s time to determine the source of that discomfort. Sometimes it’s internal (personal issues losing control of the company.) Sometimes it’s external (lack of confidence in the people working for you.) Whatever the case, you have to address that issue, if you ever want EOS to truly be a part of your business.
Meet the Founder
Jeff Whittle founded and launched Whittle & Partners in 2011. Before that, Jeff practiced law in Dallas for 15 years and has an additional 20 years of executive business experience. He has run businesses ranging from startups to 300-employee operations.