Vision + EOS08 Mar 2021
This article is part of a series on Traction and the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). EOS is a set of tools that enables a business leader to grow a company while maintaining sanity. Today’s EOS component: Vision.
Most entrepreneurs can see their vision clearly. Problems arise if they assume that everyone else in the organization can see it, too. But humans are not mind-readers. We can only see the vision of another person if that vision is communicated clearly and with intention. EOS solves the vision problem with the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO). Let’s explore.
Decide on the Vision
EOS suggests that business leaders can clarify their vision by answering eight questions:
What are your core values?
What is your core focus?
What is your ten-year target?
What is your marketing strategy?
What is your three-year picture?
What is your one-year plan?
What are your quarterly Rocks?
What are your issues?
The book contains exhaustive procedures for wrestling with the above questions, along with frameworks for thinking about the answers.
For example, Rocks are the key initiatives that the company must complete quarterly in order to achieve annual business goals. Every short-term activity, no matter how small, is connected to a long-term goal. Every member of the organization knows how their work fits into the bigger picture. The result: All members of the team start rowing in the same direction. And the organization becomes unstoppable.
One Example: Core Values
As defined in the book Traction, core values are a small set of vital and timeless guiding principles for a company. Here are the core values of Bridgetown Partners:
- Collaboration. Bridgetown’s leadership team learned long ago that we can achieve more by collaborating internally (between members of our team) and externally (with our clients and vendors). In every interaction, we seek to achieve win/win arrangements where all parties would welcome the chance to do business again.
- Community Service. Members of Bridgetown give back to the communities where we live and conduct business. Scouting, adult literacy, martial arts, and job training are a few of the areas where our team members contribute to the community.
- Profit. Bridgetown is a business. Therefore, we must generate a profit. Our profit motive is tempered by our first two core values: Collaboration and Community Service.
Great companies can differ in their values. The key is to have consistent values that are good for the long-term health of the company, its clients, and the community.
Communicate the Vision
The number one reason employees don’t share a company vision is that they don’t know what it is. The only way to determine if your vision is shared by all is to tell them.
~From the book Traction
After the leadership team has defined its vision (guided by the eight questions), it’s time to communicate the vision throughout the organization. Simpler is better. That’s why the V/TO is only two pages long. You can download your copy of the V/TO at EOSWorldwide.com/VTO.
Next in the Series: People
Next EOS topic: People. We’ll review ideas from EOS on how to choose the right people, and how to create an environment where every member of the team can thrive while helping the organization to grow.