I’ve been around the executive block a few times in Dallas. I’ve been a CEO, CTO, a corporate litigator, and everything in between. The Dallas change management consulting style always irked me. With the cookie cutter solutions and focus on quick-fix changes, I knew there was something better out there.
About 10 years ago now (has it been that long?) I met Gino Wickman, author of the book Traction. And, he introduced me to a whole new style of change management called the Entrepreneurial Operating System. The system, called EOS for short, was designed to help successful companies create meaningful and lasting changes that improved everything from company culture to quarterly growth.
Honestly, I think it’s a miracle system. Don’t get me wrong, it takes work. Hard work. But, when you put the effort in, the system build a business that just absolutely leaves competitors in the dust. I loved the system so much I quit my old job and started working for Gino’s organization full time. And, I never looked back.
But, so many companies are still stuck using the old change management style. They’re missing out, because they just don’t know how much of a difference EOS can make. So, in the interest of drawing a comparison, I put together a quick little “old v new” article for my readers to spread the good word:
Old Vs New: Longevity
Old Change Management: Quick Change With Little Longevity
The old style of change management that businesses in Dallas or elsewhere used to go through involved a lot of up-front work that never really stuck around. Consultants come in with some fresh new ideas and take a measure of your business. After about a few weeks of changing just about everything in the company, they walk away.
Grant it, they had good ideas. These people don’t charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for bad ideas. The problem is that short-term changes are all on paper. Sure the new policy says “now we do things this more efficient way”, but that means nothing to the people on the ground floor. After a few months, a year at most, most of these changes are forgotten, because few people adhered to them.
EOS Style Change Management: Long-Term Changes Taking Place Over Years
The Dallas Entrepreneurial Operating System, on the other hand, is 100% focused on the long game. The process takes 2-3 years to complete. And while that sounds like a long time, that’s because the changes come in small steps. The EOS model doesn’t look for big, flash in the pan changes. Instead, you take the time to understand and internalize one change before moving on to the next.
That doesn’t mean the changes aren’t big and dramatic. They are. They just don’t get dumped on you all at once.
Old v New: Voice
Old Change Management: Telling You Who You Are And What You Need
There’s nothing that annoys me more than someone who walks into a room with a preexisting idea and then crams everything they see into that idea. And that’s what a lot of those old Dallas change management consulting firms would do.
They tell you who you are, what you believe, what your core values are, and how to fix your problems. The more…ambitions ones would even claim they would “become an expert in your business”. As if they could understand your business better than you could. They weren’t interested in coming up with a unique solution, because that takes time and effort.
EOS Style Change Management: Guides Your Team To Find The Solutions Perfect For You
Heck, even Burger King lets me have it my way. That’s why I felt there was something better out there.
With the Entrepreneurial Operating System, Dallas change management consulting changed from a pre-packaged hamburger to a custom built Dodge Viper with after market everything. Instead of telling you what you need to do, EOS is a system built to help your team find their own solutions. This results in two major benefits.
First, your team gets the solution they needed. You define your own Core Values and how you’ll enforce them. Your team identifies problems and comes up with appropriate solutions. The certified EOS Implementer is there to act as a guide, an expert in using the EOS Toolbox, not in running your business. They know you understand your business far better than any consultant ever would. They just want to help you get the solutions enacted.
Second, building the skills your team needs to find their own solutions is a huge benefit in itself. When consultants used to come in and “fix things”, your team would eventually need them again. Using the EOS approach, you build a team that can lead your business for years to come without outside help.
Old v New: Vision Without Traction
Old Change Management: Cultural And Strategic Change Without Tactical Achievement
One of the biggest complaints I’ve had with Dallas change management consulting is the focus on grand strategy. The consultants build a huge, long-term plan for your business that helps unite your team towards a common goal.
That’s a good thing. But, as someone more clever than me once said: “vision without execution is hallucination“. Without the down-in-the-mud tools you need to make each and every quarter a great one, your grand dream is just that, a dream. What I never got was how people thought a 15 year vision was going to save them from going out of business next year. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.
EOS Style Change Management: Strategy And Tactics
Far and away my favorite thing about the Entrepreneurial Operating System is its focus on both strategy and tactics. Or, as we call it: Vision™ and Traction™.
When you start using EOS instead of some change management consulting group, your first day involves building the necessary skills to tackle today’s problems. Why? Well, Traction understands that you need to start moving forward instead of staring off into the future. When your team starts getting some momentum, you can build a much more complete strategic plan and actually have a shot at achieving it.
That’s why EOS starts with things like the Accountability Chart™ and the Level 10 Meeting™. These give you what you need to put a few wins on the board, so that the long-term change doesn’t feel so hard.
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.