ALPS group of companies is a leading provider of Motor Claims Solutions, Road Rescue Services and Legal Expenses Insurance products to Insurance Brokers, Networks & Intermediaries throughout the UK.
Here the Managing Director, Ian Micklewright explains why they chose to run an EOS workshop for the whole management team, as well as the leadership team.
Quick business tips from EOS Implementer, Julia Langkraehr of Bold Clarity.
The first in the series focuses on how to be a better leader.
You want your business to be the best. That means getting the best from every employee and ensuring they all work towards the same common goal of taking your company to the next level.
As a UK Certified EOS Implementer, I’m often asked the same question: how do I ensure my employees are motivated and efficient. I believe it is one of our most important jobs as leaders and managers.
People want feedback, they want to do a good job, to know it, and to be recognised and rewarded when they do.
One thing business owners and leaders tend to misinterpret is the term ‘Issues List’ when they are using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
In order to move understand, we need to redefine our definition of “issues”. For most people, the natural reaction in their brain is to think of bad things once the word issue is used. Instead, you need to visualise it as somewhere to park all of the topics you need to solve in your business – positive or negative.
Keren Lerner is the owner of our clients Top Left Design, a design and marketing agency she founded in 2002. Here she discusses how her decision-making processes have changed since her company started implementing EOS in 2015.
In the past when I had a business worry, I would either mull it around for ages, procrastinate thinking about it, or (most often in my case) make a quick decision so I could just move on with my life!
In our February guest post, Adrian Gregory, the CEO of our client Data IQ, describes some of the challenges his leadership team faced, while implementing EOS – and how quickly the team has come on board to create a plan and vision for the future.
- Can you explain a little about Data IQ – what you do, how many employees you have, how long you have been in business?
DataIQ is a membership business, which connects, educates and supports a fast growing community of data and analytics professionals. We also connect vendors to this community to generate business leads, build brand awareness and drive business success.
We’ve been going for 3-years as a stand-alone business, 5-years as a content marketing programme for our sister business DQM GRC. Today we have 18 staff of which 12 are full time.
Growing a business requires a specific set of leadership abilities. You need to manage the day-to-day while helping your team to execute better and be more efficient.
The key to successful business development lies in focusing on your main goals and then optimising your company’s routine in order to achieve those aims.
What are the five crucial leadership abilities?
We’ve spoken before about The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) – Five Key Leadership Abilities™ that are essential for business success in any industry. These include: the ability to simplify, delegate, predict, systemise, and structure.
In the second of our monthly guest posts, Jane Wheeler, from our clients Hine Legal, describes how introducing an operating system into their business has helped them focus on their priorities and solve issues facing them.
Hine Legal is a specialist employment law firm.
It was set up by Nick Hine in 2011. Nick’s vision was to provide practical, user-friendly employment law advice for businesses and individuals. The firm currently has 7 employment lawyers and 2 support staff.
It advises on a range of employment matters: for businesses, it advises on all issues arising in the lifecycle of the employment relationship (so, drafting new employment contracts, advising on difficult matters in the workplace – such as sickness and poor performance – helping businesses handle employment claims and providing practical training for managers and HR to equip them to deal more confidently with matters in the workplace when they arise).
For individuals (typically senior executives and board level individuals) Hine Legal advises on navigating tricky situations in the workplace.
As I speak with entrepreneurs and business owners, one of the most common questions I ask is “Who is on your leadership team?”.
I’m often met with a wry look, and the answer is “Well, I’m not really sure.” Or they start trying to justify and make excuses as they explain who they think it may be. “Well, it should be this, but I may have too many people.” Typically they’re not clear and unsure.
In my time as an entrepreneur, and working with entrepreneurs, I’ve realised that the companies which are most successful are those with a clear vision about what they do, and what they want to achieve.
They are able to define what EOS terms their “three uniques”. These are the three things that in combination mark the company out from its competitors.
It’s why a customer would choose your brand over any others.
Often a business leader might identify their people, their customer service or quality as their three uniques.
We’re delighted that Graham Bourton, the Managing Director of our client’s United UK, has agreed to discuss leadership, in the first in a series of monthly guest articles and case studies.
As well as leadership, these will cover topics such as how to scale your business, creating a positive culture, setting goals – and what it’s like to run your business using the Entrepreneurial Operating System.
As a business leader, listening shows that you appreciate your team and it forges trust between you and your employees.
We all feel the need to be recognised and one of the ways leaders can recognise team members is to praise them in public and be sure to give them the time they need.
It is one of the most important leadership skills you can develop.
The best leaders give their teams the necessary tools, resources, training, technology, people, and most importantly their time and attention.
The rabbit and the tortoise. The wolf in sheep’s clothing. The three little pigs. Animals have featured in tales about morals and decisions about life since dawn began. But have you heard about the hedgehog and the fox?
The concept stems from an ancient Greek parable, which roughly translates as “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one thing”.
In 1953, famous philosopher Isaiah Berlin applied this to how we live in modern society. He said that people can be split into one of two creatures – foxes and hedgehogs.
Foxes choose to pursue a great many things at one time, but as a result, they achieve very little.
When it comes to implementing an operating system into a workplace, I often hear the same objection – “they’ll hinder creativity”.
Is that actually true? The best place to start would probably be explain what an operating system is.
What is an operating system?
An operating system is a way of running your business, using a proven method, so that every aspect is organised, documented and managed.
The operating system we recommend is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS). This includes a set of tools and a process, customised for your business, which organises the entire company in the same way.
This masterpiece from the business author Patrick Lencioni is one of six books that inspired EOS.
Anyone familiar with Patrick Lencioni’s work will know how popular his ideas are among business leaders.
The Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive is aimed at leaders with a studious nature and open to learning about business culture.
You may have never considered offering business coaching to your leadership team.
You might think it is too expensive, or too hard to find the right coach, or you may not have realised what the benefits would be for your business.
Here are four of our top benefits to consider:
Growing any business entails strong leadership skills.
A good leader helps maintain and enhance the employee motivation and creativity required to increase levels of service or the products you are offering.
Signs your business growth is slowing
Businesses never grow in a straight line, they generally thrive and grow then “hit a ceiling” when they reach a period of slowdown or growing pains.
When this happens, business leaders often feel they’re stuck in a rut or overwhelmed and frustrated with daily operations.
Five leadership abilities for business growth
These five essential leadership abilities will help you break through the ceiling and get back on track:
In order to stay competitive with changing work patterns, most companies need to consider a policy for remote and flexible working.
With so many advances in technology, it doesn’t make sense for people to waste time commuting during peak hours, when they can work remotely, far more conveniently and efficiently.
Companies which focus on results, rather than the number of hours seen at a desk, will be able to attract the smartest, most personally responsible and accountable team members.
I can see a number of companies outsourcing to the best person, regardless of where they are located, whether in the UK or elsewhere. For example, my outsourced marketing contractor uses a graphic designer who lives in Canada.
Entrepreneurs running their own business often have many people giving them advice – parents, friends, consultants, lawyers and even your hairdresser or barber. Everyone thinks they know what somebody else should be doing.
However, tried and tested words of wisdom always work best. Here are four simple yet effective ways to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.
Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” was one of the six books that inspired the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
First published in 2002, it takes the form of a modern parable: a story traditionally used to illustrate an important moral or spiritual lesson.
However, in this case, Lencioni has used the parable to illustrate what he considers to be a crucial lesson about team leadership in the business world.