I was at an event recently and someone asked me, “What is the Entrepreneurial Operating System ®?” For a minute I thought about giving them the canned answer that you (my clients and readers) have probably heard before. You know the one: EOS® is a complete set of tools that helps you get what you want out of your business by improving Vision™, Traction™, and Health.
Sure that’s a factual definition. It conveys the basis of how to conceptualize it. But I just don’t think that answer does it justice. Not after I’ve seen so many businesses accomplish so much using it. I think my definition has grown.
And I’d like to share that new definition with you. Why? Because I think this definition can truly impact how you implement it in your own business. Whether you’re one of my clients, a regular reader, or just landed here by accident, doesn’t matter. The Entrepreneurial Operating System is more than just a set of tools. When you learn to interact with it based on this new definition, I honestly believe you will get more out of it.
And if you still aren’t using EOS in your business? Well this is just about the best sales pitch I’ve ever written.
So What Is The Entrepreneurial Operating System?
To give a bit of a preview, my definition comes in three parts. EOS derives its value from being simple. And simple things deserve simple, but exact explanations. To that end I will do my best not to over-complicate things.
1: EOS is a way for your plans to survive contact with the enemy
As the saying goes, no plan survives contact with the enemy. In the world of for profit business the enemy can be a lot of different things. Sure, the enemy can be competing companies. It can be a lack of time or money. The enemy can be an act of god or shift of the market.
But the enemy can be much more subtle. The enemy can be internal uncertainty. It can be indecision or over-commitment. The enemy can be ineptitude, lack of focus, lack of accountability, or any one of a million tiny problems that can kill an unwary company in a matter of months.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System takes those enemies and turns them into allies. It turns your surprises into Scorecards™. Your lack of focus becomes a Vision/Traction Organizer™. Problems with accountability become the Level 10 Meeting™ and the Accountability Chart™.
In short, EOS is the tool that lets your company not only survive contact with the enemy, but thrive in it.
2: EOS is the ultimate communication tool
No doubt you’ve been pitched about 500 communication tools for your business by now. Email organizers, project managers, video call platforms, and everything in between. Some of them are useful, certainly. I know that my business would be very different if we couldn’t do video calls.
But, are those really communication tools? Do they improve your ability to communicate or do they simply make it more convenient? Less like tools and more like…toys.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System is the ultimate communication tool. And I don’t mean that as a sales pitch. If you’re reading this blog, you’re probably already using EOS. What I want you take away is that EOS is meant to empower total honesty and openness.
It builds a communication network that encourages every person in the organization to communicate everything they can or should by:
- Streamlining reporting with the L10 Meeting
- Asking people to honestly analyze each other as employees
- Putting in place regular direct report conversations
- Making the Core Values part of the company’s daily vocabulary
- Communicating what is expected to potential hires
- Giving the leadership team a forum for discussing issues
- And like a million other things.
The point is that EOS is communication. It’s an entire system for communicating in a healthy, efficient manner on an organizational level.
3: EOS is a blueprint for a business that is bigger than any single employee
That’s the word we are all chasing as entrepreneurs. We want to scale, to grow, to be a house hold name. We want our business to grow big and old and outlive us by a hundred years.
Well, for a lot of reasons. Some of us are driven by pride in our work, dedication to a mission, or a passion for the industry. Heck, some of us just care about the company and the people that work for us like they were our families. That’s how I feel. Spoiler: my sons work for me, so I have a very good excuse.
The point is that EOS is the path to the question of how to scale. If scaling is the destination, EOS gives us both the road map and the car to get there.
Answer: A tool set for making sure you plans survive contact with the enemy. Who’s the enemy? indecision, ineptitude, uncertainty, acts of god, whatever
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.