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.
- Why did you decide to implement EOS in the business?
From 30-years of building businesses, I’ve learnt that ideas are the easiest part. It’s getting and motivating the right people supported with disciplined execution that’s key to achieving full potential. I heard about EOS through several successful members at The Supper Club, a membership business for growth focused entrepreneurs. I read the EOS books and the advice matched my experience of what’s needed.
We started assessing the system in September 2018 before we rolled out from November. From the start I felt it was vital that all members of our management team supported the EOS process and committed to following all aspects of the programme if we were to make it a success. Fortunately, after initial reservations all bought into the system and are now enthusiastic adopters. This has really helped us make fast progress.
- Do you feel it has challenged and changed how you lead the business?
EOS has certainly challenged how we run the business: the structure of the leadership team has altered, with changes to who is accountable for what, some roles split and some responsibilities reallocated.
There was some hesitation, with people affected wondering, I guess, if anyone else could run their area of responsibility as well as them but the new structure and accountabilities is working well so far.
In essence we have simplified the business and put more resources into new business, which will hopefully have a positive impact.
Although we are only in our first quarter of implementing it, already more rigour and thought goes into how we make decisions, because we adding them to the issues list and discussing them in our Level 10 meetings.
For example, today we had a debate around moving resources from other areas to sales to give greater confidence in hitting our sales projections. Having five points of view rather just myself and the sales director has definitely led to a better outcome.
- EOS has identified five leadership abilities, which are: simplify, delegate and elevate, predict (short term (a week), and long-term (90 days, a year, three years, 10 years), systemise and structure. Are you consciously trying to use/implement this in how you run the business?
It is difficult to separate these leadership abilities from EOS, as they run through the whole system. One difference is that previously my quarterly 1-2-1 reviews with the management team were ad hoc at best, and sometimes didn’t happen at all. Now they are part of our process, we have just done them all.
- Which has been the easiest, and which the trickiest to implement, and why?
The easiest thing to implement was completing the VTO, and getting them to understand it. Everyone has a copy, and it is something we will live by. It’s great to have a simple, clear, short and long term ‘plan on a page’ (VTO) that all staff can digest and refer to at any time. Our new one sentence description of what we do, (considering we’re quite a complex service business) is invaluable. All staff have now learnt this description.
Last Friday, we also ran a quiz with 10 questions on the VTO (which the team did really well on), to reinforce it.
Agreeing accountabilities and agreeing core values was difficult. We have an experienced team and everyone had a strong view. The hardest thing was assessing team capabilities openly for GWC (Get it, Want it, have the Capacity to do it) – to hear that someone doesn’t feel you are capable of fulfilling a role is not easy to digest.
- How has your team responded to the changes introduced by EOS?
The team has responded very positively. As a ‘creative’, services business we were concerned that the discipline and potential bureaucracy could slow us down but haven’t found this yet. In fact improved decision-making has speeded us up.
- How successful has this been, and what has it done for DataIQ?
Still very early but we have a clear plan and direction for 1,3 and 10 years and the support of all the team which is crucial.
We have set ourselves a very ambitious target to double in size in 2019. It’s not the easiest time but the board is committed we have a plan to demonstrate it is achievable.
I’m very excited about our new focus and the growth potential for DataIQ.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of introducing an operating system such as EOS in your business, contact us now.