Entrepreneurs Operating System (EOS) Lacks Traction

December 22, 2015
It has become a source is frustration to me working with Entrepreneurs and hearing those three letters together E.O.S. (Entrepreneurs Operating System). The marking the Gina has done is worthy
of a Harvard Case Study. From filling the bloggers, like me, with positive book reviews for Traction his book. Then a training model to develop consultants nation wide to deliver the product. And the speaking gigs to EO, YPO, and Vistage. One big problem it lacks strategy.
Every activity that a company does should be aligned with the values, vision, mission, and objectives. It is through those decisions and combination of how the organization determines to meet the market that it then determines what activities need to be done and how. EOS seems to simply skip over this fundamental on how it suggests a business should operate. These activities are so deeply embedded that it is very difficult for competition to copy or replicate what the combination of those activities do for the company. The fact that a company uses an in the box off the shelf organizing process makes it the absence of sound business strategy.

EOS and Traction Doesn’t Understand Entrepreneurs

Additionally, entrepreneurs have a way of letting the idea machine run wild. Providing them multiple ways for them to lob new ideas into the business throughout the year has a particle benefit but it does not go far enough. When the entrepreneur has an ability within the system to add BOULDERS, ROCKs, ACTIONS, Etc. The company often can not keep up with them. Each one, in itself is a good idea and some even great but when taken as a whole bogs the company down and performance begins to slog along. Before long the management team begins to not suggesting new ideas to improve the system because they can not keep up with the entrepreneurs. The entrepreneur on the other hand says, “why do I need to be the one suggesting all the ideas.” Sadly I was that guy years ago. You really need an outside perspective to see this system at play. EOS does not help in what I find is one of the greatest systematic issues for entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs by their very nature are the creatives. If they have to do anything twice you have lost their interest. EOS is the new shiny object for the entrepreneur to latch on to in order to straighten out the big hair ball that has been created that is not operating smoothly. The issue is that EOS treats every business as an operationally excellent business regardless of if it is a product leader or customer intimate business. In order to be operationally excellent one must do the same thing repeatedly. The same meetings the same way each and everyday week month quarter and year. Fill out the same forms in the same way everyday, week, month, quarter, and year. The entrepreneur is not the person to actually operationalize this type of process nor will they follow it.

EOS Tools Great But They Are Always The Same Tool

Many of the tools that EOS uses are really quite well thought out. Many resemble tools we use at CO2 Partners. The difference is that we do not believe that all these tools are relevant to all businesses nor do we believe all of these tools will be institutionalized by the firm.
Often we are invited in after EOS fails and it is frustrating having to go through the process of aligning these organizations towards a central purpose and have all the activities that have been work so hard on put aside until we can identify which ones are actually needed in this particular business.

If Discipline is Missing no System Will Work

One entrepreneur recently was so upset with me after I said don’t waste your time on EOS. They asked why? I said that I had been working for 8 months trying to get this firm to have the discipline around just using consistently their central software program by all employees. And the firm had yet to develop the discipline to hold to the accountability of one thing let alone an entire system of things.
Will EOS provide some companies the magic bullet they are looking for – likely. The issue is that to them every entrepreneurial company is a prospect and because they are built around an operational excellence model it will not surprise you that it is more one size fits all rather than customizing the offering to the needs.
Please let me know what you have learned by implementing?

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