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 operating systems 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.
There is a lot of noise around at the moment about how to manage millennials.
But what exactly is a millennial? When I canvassed the team in the office, the one person we thought was a millennial – our office assistant – did not identify as one.
She described them as “following the latest trend”, “high maintenance”, “seeking approval through social media” and “shallow.”
She felt that they are afraid of showing who they really are, being themselves and it’s hard to have a genuine conversation about things that matter with them.
Although she is officially a millennial (Wikipedia defines them as having been born between 1981 to 1996 – 22 to 37 year olds), she believes it’s become more a description of a type of person than simply being defined by the dates you were born.
Today, you can take control of your business by using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to improve your business performance.
There are two major decisions you need to make:
- Is EOS is right for you and your team – are you willing to make changes and decisions?
- Who is the right implementer to help you – you need to look for the right experience and chemistry match
Before you make these decisions, let us look at EOS more carefully so you can understand how it works to improve your business.
When people discuss the most influential business books, Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins, is one of the most frequently mentioned.
It’s sold over four million copies and remains one of the most instructive and important leadership resources, carrying wisdom that has remained pertinent since its publication in 2001.
The Entrepreneurial Operating System takes inspiration from Good to Great, and creates simple tools which help you put the characteristics of what makes a good company into practice.
Traction® Tools is a dashboard & workspace software for businesses implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).
It is your go-to place to store all the things you need to run your business efficiently.
At Bold Clarity, we use Traction® Tools every day. We use it to update our to do lists, add issues that need to be addressed, keep track of client updates, monitor progress on our quarterly priorities, and track the most important numbers in the business.
We can see everyone’s to do lists, headlines and issues, in one place, and are able to automate our Level 10 meetings. This makes us more efficient, productive and helps us to develop good habits and discipline.
Business growth is rarely smooth and easy.
It tends to occur in spurts, often as a business responds to the things going on around it – a changing the economic climate, winning and losing customers, launching new products and services, increased competition in the market and so on.
Having shifted to accommodate the new environment, a company will often plateau as it is set up and structured with people and processes to generate the revenue it is producing. It is not set up to generate two or three times that.
So change is needed. What got you here, won’t get you to the next level.
Most business owners recognise the importance of setting targets.
Leaders regularly set goals to achieve in the next quarter, next year, three and perhaps five years. But ten years? Really?
Introducing the BHAG
Some leaders find it difficult to set a ten year goal because they dealing with day-to-day pressures and continually firefighting.
One of my clients said; “I can’t think 10 years in advance. Why set a 10 year target?”
Many businesses around the globe have discovered the discipline, focus and accountability that the Entrepreneurial Operating System brings.
One of the key decisions for companies at the start of the process is how to implement EOS.
An effective implementation can mean the difference between the system working and helping a business to grow and scale, or it remaining unstructured, inefficient, disorganised – and stuck.
In this post, Ann Wright, who runs the media consultancy Rough House Media, and manages Bold Clarity’s PR and Marketing, discusses the value of businesses entering awards.
Have you ever entered your business for an award?
If not, it’s something which is well-worth considering.
Winning, or even being nominated, is an excellent opportunity for some positive PR both in the short and long-term.
Just this week, a Bold Clarity client, the security specialists Welcome Gate, has been nominated as Supply Chain Champion in the Small Awards – which would make you far more likely to trust them as a potential security supplier. (Good luck!)
After all, if you win, you will always be able to describe your business as “award-winning” which definitely gives you an edge over your competitors.
The 10 Commandments of Good Decision-Making are taken from the e-book Decide which was written by EOS founder Gino Wickman.
Decide will teach you how to make better and faster decisions, solving issues that have been lingering for days, weeks, months, and even years.
As well as the 10 commandments, you’ll also learn the four discoveries that lead to world-class decisiveness and be shown a simple and effective decision-making track that can be used by every team in your company.
If you’d like to more help with good decision-making, you can download a free copy of Decide, here.
Most people are surprised to learn that the EOS tools are all free and open source. The system is described in Gino Wickman’s book Traction.
There are three different ways to introduce EOS into your business.
- Some people choose to self-implement EOS, using Traction as a guide and the free downloaded tools.
- Secondly, you can choose supported self-implementation, where for a small fee you can join Basecamp, which includes videos, explanations and access to the tools.
- And then thirdly, my clients have chosen to engage a Certified EOS Implementer™, to lead them through the EOS process.
1. Thou Shalt Not Rule by Consensus
Consensus management doesn’t work, period. Eventually, group consensus decisions will put you out of business.
2. Thou Shalt Not be a Weenie
The solution is often simple. It’s just not always easy. You must have a strong will, firm resolve, and the willingness to make the tough decision.
3. Thou Shalt Be Decisive
In a study that analyzed 25,000 people who had experienced failure. Lack of decision, or procrastination, was one of the major causes.
4. Thou Shalt Not Rely on Secondhand Information
You can’t solve an issue involving multiple people without all the parties present. If the issue at hand involves more than the people in the room, schedule a time when everyone can attend.
5. Thou Shalt Fight for the Greater Good
Put your egos, titles, emotions, and past beliefs aside. Focus on the vision for your organization. If you stay focused on the greater good, it will lead you to better and faster decisions.
6. Thou Shalt Not Try to Solve Them All
Take issues one at a time, in order of priority. What counts isn’t quantity but quality. You’re never going to solve them all at one time.
7. Thou Shalt Live With, End It, or Change It
If you can no longer live with the issue, you have two options: change it or end it. If you don’t have the wherewithal to do those, then agree to live with it and stop complaining.
8. Thou Shalt Choose Short-Term Pain and Suffering
Both long-term and short-term pain involve suffering. A great rule of thumb that makes this point is called “thirty-six hours of pain.” Solve your problem now rather than later. Choose short-term suffering.
9. Thou Shalt Enter the Danger
The issue you fear the most is the one you most need to discuss and resolve. When you’re afraid, your brain actually works against you. Being open and honest will enable you to confront and solve your critical issues and get moving forward again.
10. Thou Shalt Take a Shot
Taking a shot means that you should propose a solution. Don’t wait around for someone else to solve it. Don’t be afraid to take a shot. Yours might be the good idea.
The e-book Decide by Gino Wickman is full of great advice about good decision making. To download your copy, click here.
The other day, I was talking with a tech entrepreneur and asked him “What are the biggest challenges you face in your business?
He replied “Me, I’m the bottleneck. I tend to see something isn’t working, and I jump in and get involved.”
Most dedicated business owners can relate to this.
Letting go of the reins and handing them over your employees can be a real struggle, and if you want to grow your business, you’ve got to do it.
If you struggle with “bottleneck syndrome”, we recommend Ken Blanchard’s The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.