Who is Burst Digital?
Burst is an agency with a team of digital natives providing end-to-end expertise to help clients grow in an ever-changing digital world.
They work together with local heroes and global clients from various industries, for brands such as Chupa Chups, Davidoff, Hero Group, IFFR, Knauf, Mentos, Natuurmonumenten, Unilever Food Solutions and Takeda.
The Rotterdam-based company was founded in 2008 by a group of engineering students from the Delft University of Technology, including Hans Maltha (CEO). It now has a team of over 50 employees with four people on its leadership team.
It began implementing EOS in October 2019.
Hans’ first introduction to the Entrepreneurial Operating System was when Julia Langkraehr spoke at an Agency Hackers event, which Hans and Patrick Boom (CCO) of the leadership team attended.
Hans said: “We’d never heard of EOS. What really inspired us was not only the methodology, but also one thing Julia said – there are a lot of operating systems, but you need to pick one and be consistent.”
“We really fell kind of in love with her energy and the way she was presenting things. It was like the moment in a movie where we look at each other and we nod and said together, “Yes, this is something we need to grow our company even further.”
At that time, the fast growth of the company had created some challenges on the delivery side, so their aim was for Julia to help them run their day-to-day business more efficiently, creating an effective structure, with all the right processes in place.
It was essential for the Burst team that Julia was happy to work with a Dutch company, and until the pandemic struck, the leadership team travelled to London for their meetings – something Hans described as a great bonding experience. When COVID-19 struck, they embraced virtual sessions held on Zoom.
The first two meetings of EOS introduced tools which can be begun immediately, which created great momentum throughout the business, so they found implementing EOS easy.
From the start, Burst involved the whole company, which helped to create clarity for the entire team about what was happening, and to give everyone ownership.
The company had recently expanded its management team, so as well as providing structure, Julia worked with them on vision and alignment.
“Looking backwards, we did so much work, but I think the good thing about the methodology and the way of working is that it doesn’t feel like one big project we needed to do because the tools are introduced gradually.”
The first tool which was introduced was the Level 10 meetings – and everyone loved them. They found that following a set structure saved a lot of time and allowed for more deep thinking – and more execution. And rolling these meetings to the whole company made everyone curious about the rest of the EOS methodology, making it easier to implement the system company wide.
Find out more: the Entrepreneurial Operating System
“What I’m really proud is that people say “Yeah, I just set up level 10 meeting!” sometimes not even in our day-to-day job: maybe even they’re doing some charity work and they have introduced a level 10 meeting because it was more efficient. They really got it and they really are embracing it.”
For Hans, the biggest game-changer was when really the whole methodology came together: – the Vision Traction Organiser, the scorecards, the Level 10 meetings.
“That’s when the magic happens!”
He says that using a professional implementer to roll out EOS made a huge difference – and he’s not sure it would have been possible without one. He said just reading the book, getting to know the methodology and introducing tools such as the scorecard weren’t a guarantee of success.
“It’s more about facilitating the process and getting aligned as a management team. I think you can only do that with an implementer to facilitate all the discussions. We really got closer as a management team.
“You shouldn’t only focus solely on the methodology. The real strength lies in bringing your management team together so they are all on one page and running in the same direction.
“Before we thought we were running in the same direction, but we all had a different direction in mind because we hadn’t discussed it thoroughly, and turned it into a vision which was tangible and set down on paper.”
An additional bonus for Burst was that implementing the EOS tools and having effective systems and processes in place in place, helped the company transition to running virtually during the pandemic.
“This wouldn’t have been as smooth or as easy without the EOS system. For us, it was nearly business as usual when everything got in lockdown. It forces us to keep communicating even with the quarterlies and all the things that are in place.
“In some way, it was a lifesaver because we just could keep running our business – the only change was that we did it via Zoom.”
Hans said that for Burst, implementing EOS was easy, and the major benefit was getting the whole management and the rest of the team aligned around their vision for the business.
The clarity provided by EOS meant the entire Burst team felt empowered; they knew exactly what they needed to do, they had goals, they had Rocks and knew where they could add value to the business.
“The impact was so much greater than we expected – as well as better execution, there was more clarity on our vision for the company, and we became more aligned.
“As a founder, a lot of things are just in my head – which makes it hard for the team. Where are we going? How are we going to do that? What are our core values and so on?
“Julia really made sure everything was set down on paper and discussed. This allowed us to share it with the rest of the team in a more formal way and with more clarity. Before they’d just listen to me and hopefully get inspired by my vision.”
Because of this, everyone was on the same page and working towards the same aim.
Despite the pressures on many businesses during 2020, Burst’s double digit revenue and the already very healthy profits grew by 50% over 2020, which Hans attributes to the EOS focus on the numbers – and the fact that the company is stable and well managed.
Burst has recently been sold to the Intracto Group, with the improved execution and traction and the clarity over the vision brought by EOS all contributing to the deal.
The Intracto Group will enable Burst to offer clients an end-to-end service from strategy to implementation on a huge scale, with all the services and technologies under one roof.
Hans said he would certainly recommend EOS, and particularly working with an implementer like Julia.
“There are multiple operating systems you can implement in your business, but for me, EOS is a very comprehensive 360-degree methodology. I would also recommend to always do it with an implementer. Although it is an investment, I’m 100% confident you will get a multiple, on your investment, in return.”
If our Burst Digital EOS case study has resonated with you, and you’d like to find out more about how the system can help your business, please give Julia a call on 07795 667480.