How EOS Changes Executive Communication
The Entrepreneurial Operating System® can make big changes within an organization. In some cases, EOS® sparks radical rethinking of an organization’s entire management structure. People may find their jobs changing in dramatic ways. The old, inefficient way of doing things often is replaced by a whole new paradigm.
Amidst all these big changes, the more subtle ways EOS operates can be easy to miss. One of my favorite examples is how the system inspires executives to change the way they communicate—both within the executive team and between executives and their staff.
Here are two anecdotes illustrating what I mean:
• Moving from a one-way arrow to a circle
In every in-person session I hold with clients, I like to emphasize the importance of open and honest communication. Setting a trusting and open tone at the start of meetings is an important part of the EOS Model®.
Businesses running EOS find that the open communication habits of the big meetings—from the early Vision Building™ days to quarterly and annual sessions—also work in their weekly Level 10 Meetings™, and even in their day-to-day interactions.
I work with a consulting firm that has experienced a transformation in the way their executives communicate with their teams, thanks to EOS. Their CEO asked me to help them implement EOS after they had several key personnel resign. The employees who left all had complained that their voices weren’t being heard by management. The CEO saw the communication model of EOS as part of the solution she needed to turn the business around.
She told me, “We were running the business like a dictatorship, only we didn’t know it.” The executive team was pushing its ideas in a strictly top-down structure while only giving lip service to feedback from the team. “EOS forced us to break the habit of shutting out the dialogue from the bottom up.”
The results have been exciting. Their staff has grown and their troubles with retention are behind them. What’s more, important processes are working better because the people who make them happen are actively part of improving them. “We’ve turned our communication into a circle,” their CEO said.
• Pulling in the same direction
The relationship of the Visionary and Integrator™ is often a source of surprises for organizations that adopt EOS. Many visionary CEOs get attracted to EOS because they’re spending so much of their time managing how their team is implementing their ideas. With their energy spread across the business, they have struggled to accomplish their goals. By putting an Integrator between themselves and the rest of the organization, CEOs unleash the potential both within themselves and within their teams.
In Rocket Fuel, Gino Wickman and Mark Winters prescribe Same Page Meetings™ for every Visionary/Integrator pair. Like the other important recurring meetings that form the backbone of the EOS Model, the Same Page Meeting can have transformative effects, in this case on how top leadership talk to each other.
I work with a small marketing company that described itself as “a two-headed monster” before we implemented EOS for them. Their cofounders essentially were acting as joint CEOs, and that approach had worked to get them to a certain growth point. But moving past it required adding staff and formalizing processes. Suddenly the “two heads” couldn’t agree about anything. They brought me in to help.
Settling who would be the Visionary and who would be the Integrator was not an easy process for them. But once they settled into it, a big switch happened in the way the two executives solved problems.
“We’d been tiptoeing around issues because we thought the other one was handling them,” their Integrator explained to me. “Once we cleared up our roles, it got so much easier to confront our problems. We didn’t think of them as ‘your problem’ or ‘my problem’ anymore. They were all our problems.”
Their Same Page Meetings have been key to that change of tone. They hold them every week at the same time, no matter what else is going on. Their Integrator credits the meetings with keeping their partnership going. “I had thought about leaving to start something new,” he told me. “This simple idea of just having regular meetings to talk through the stuff that’s on our mind was all we needed to get squared away.”
Transform your communication with EOS!
I like to think that becoming a better communicator is a life-long process. With EOS, executives gain a clear framework for improving the effectiveness of their communication, both with their staff and amongst themselves. Does your team need the kind of boost that EOS can provide? As a Professional EOS Implementer® I will guide you through the process of becoming a stronger and more cohesive unit. Send me an email or give me a call at (818) 649-1103 to start a conversation today.