Has your business taken a sluggish turn? Are you wondering why things seem to take so much effort for less and less return? Your company may have outgrown its operating system. There are dozens of symptoms that can indicate that a business operating system upgrade is due for your business, but ask yourself just these six questions to see if we are barking up the right tree.
- Has your growth slowed and it does not matter what you do it feels like you are no longer making ground
- Does your business require more leadership than the owner/s can provide alone?
- Do you assign tasks, but the responsibilities still fall on the owner’s shoulders? Do you feel like your staff are not following through, and accountability is patchy at best?
- Have your financials become more of a historical document for tax purposes, and you have no steering document that help you make on-the-spot decisions about what move to make next?
- Does your company experience “consistency creep” where your product or service, the customer experience, the work environment or other outcome has an inconsistent result when the owner is not directly involved or overseeing?
- Without the spark of the owner does your product or service lacks the special characteristics that give you a competitive edge?
If you answered “yes” to several or even all of these questions it should be a high priority for you to consider that your company may have outgrown its operating system.
According to Inc. magazine a business’ operating system is a “company’s unique way of doing things–how it operates, goes to market, produces and deals with its customers. An effective operating system transcends the people who are doing and managing the work, and is more valuable as a result. A business that effectively operates without you is always more attractive to public and private sources of capital.” When you begin your business you often work with the limited resources you have and the owner has a strong hand in every aspect of the business ensuring that your recipe comes out exactly how you planned. As you get bigger you add on people and without a proper operating system that scales as your business grows your business will start to reap diminishing marginal returns. More effort has to go in, for less and less result to come out. You begin to lose traction.
A business that is maturing needs to have the right organizational structure, developed leaders that grow your business for you, documented processes that propagate your unique mojo without you and refined, accessible leading metrics that predict what will happen next with your company, and the make proactive decisions easy so you can steer the company the direction that you want to go.
If your business’ operating system is doing its job the owner’s/s’ life should improve as well as the business results improve as the business grows. If yours is not, then you may be using the wrong tools, and it may be time to review your operating system.
Business thought leader, Gino Wickman, does a great job outlining a simple and powerful business operating system, the EOS®, the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, that breaks the business into six key components . The structure delivers a company that runs simply and smoothly, has developed a leadership team that will build the company for you with more focus, more growth, and more enjoyment. The leadership team and the structure does the heavy lifting and not the owner. The framework describes how and who are the right people for your team, how and what organizational structure you should have, what and how are the key metrics to track, and much more. Wickman does an extremely thorough job of describing all of the critical elements needed to achieve the operating system that you need, including diagrams and sample downloadable documents. Full disclosure, I am an EOS® Implementer and for best results business owners find the outcome is faster, more robust with much stronger results with EOS® implementer to facilitate the business’ transformation, but the book does a great job at revealing the full recipe for success for those who want to self-implement too.
The book bring together transformative best practices from some of our best business minds into one simplified system. I highly recommend the book as a new “must have” for every business owner’s nightstand. To learn more check out the first chapter of the book by clicking here. Be warned, you may be hooked from the start.