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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
One of the questions my clients ask me is how can they attract and hire the right talent – ie people.
I believe finding the right talent starts with having a defined process and system, both in your hiring process, and to help you be great at the interview stage.
How to interview potential staff
One of the books I use and recommend is Who, a Method of Hiring, by Geoff Smart and Randy Street.
In a recent EOS session, I had a revealing conversation with the business founder which highlights an issue many businesses face.
He said, “I’m used to making all the decisions myself, and it’s been an adjustment for me to include others in the decision-making process.”
Some founders find it hard to let go.
As a big fan of Kolbe, and a Certified Consultant, I was delighted to hear that they are bringing their signature three-day certification seminar to the UK for the first time this April.
The Kolbe A Index is a brilliant way to identify people’s natural talents and help individuals and organisations utilise those talents productively.
It assesses people on four different types of behaviour: Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start and Implementor. Each trait is regarded as equally positive and is rated on an inverted scale of 1-10 on what Kolbe terms a Continuum.
Imagine, for a moment, you’re standing on a path. In front of you, there’s a large, round boulder. What do you do?
Looking at it, you can tell it would take a lot of strength and willpower to get the rock moving – and besides, where would you even take it?
Running your own business can be fun, stressful and rewarding, and for some is the culmination of a lifelong dream.
Like a lot of businesses, you can benefit from the EOS system. It strengthens your business by implementing tools to help it grow, and to focus the team.
The big appeal of EOS is that it offers your organisation a model to manage the people, processes, resources and issues in your business that’s simple and proven to work.
Thousands of businesses around the world are making the switch to EOS, adding accountability in order to be more efficient. However, there are a number of stumbling blocks when implementing EOS that could hold you back from maximising your results.
If you’re running your business on the Entrepreneurial Operating System, you’ll know that the key element is regular, efficient meetings, which help to determine how well employees are performing, if they’re working as a team and if your business on track.
This is known as a Level 10 meeting, because each one is rated by all the attendees and the aim is for everyone to score every meeting a 10. At the end of the meeting, each person gives their individual score – out loud.