Streetwise: Should I Self-Implement EOS Or Use An EOS Implementer?

September 26, 2020

From our friends at Eure Consulting:

One of the most common questions we get from business leaders who have read the book Traction by Gino Wickman, and/or heard about the success of other business leaders using the Entrepreneurial Operating System, is whether or not they should hire us to help them implement it. They want to understand if hiring us, or another implementer, is worth the cost, or whether they can do it themselves.

Self-implementation is possible. But it must start with the total commitment of you and your leadership team. You have to want the change that EOS offers as well as be willing to put in the hard work and time that implementation will take.

In order to make sure that your efforts stay on track, it also requires the right person from your staff to be the internal implementer. It is usually the CEO/owner, but it doesn’t have to be. Your internal implementer must be good at project management and holding others accountable. They must be great at facilitating meetings, be good at leading change, be an excellent communicator, and have the time to devote to learning the EOS trainings. They must be comfortable with conflict and tough conversations. Most importantly, they must be able to remain an objective voice for the team and the process.

Self-implementation is relatively inexpensive financially.

For a fee of $495 per month you can access EOS Worldwide’s Basecamp which provides the complete EOS Toolbox including videos, guides, templates and more. You’ll have access to all of the Entrepreneurial Operating System tools through EOS directly and there are lots of different YouTube videos available on the subject as well. The more significant costs come in terms of your time and effort.

As with any new process, there are a few major hurdles to going it alone.

Many failed attempts at self-implementation can be attributed to the team simply not having the experience and/or energy to break through the road blocks that arose as they worked through the process. One major road block is that you cannot cut corners when implementing all of the accountability measures and they take time to truly take hold. It takes focus and consistency to truly embed these tools into your organization.

Another major road block that gets companies off track is that implementation will have an impact on your leadership team. You will have to make personnel changes if individuals choose not to embrace the new culture of accountability. Many companies aren’t ready, or willing, to have those conversations. Even for those leadership team members that do buy-in, there will still be some tough conversations about their skills and growth areas. Everyone has to be willing to put significant time into growing and developing into the leaders the company needs them to be.

Lastly, other projects/problems/issues will arise that will take your collective eyes off the ball. The daily whirlwind of work will not stop just because you’re working on a long-term project. You’ll have to have the discipline to keep things moving forward.

To better understand what it’s like to go the internal implementer route, you can read about a first-hand experience here.

Using a third party to help with your EOS implementation can remove some of those road blocks we just discussed. An outside implementer will be able to take you through the steps, answer your questions, help you avoid the bumps in the road, hold you accountable to a time line, advise you on where you will have issues with your people and/or your operations, and help get you into the routine of EOS until you are ready to run it on your own.

External EOS Implementers are passionate about helping businesses succeed. They are experienced with working with all types of industries and sizes of businesses. They offer objectivity and they are able to see and are willing to call attention to the elephant in the room.

You can read about the process of working with an external implementer and learn what it’s like from someone who has actually been through it with his business here.

In the end the question really comes down to ROI.

What value will you, your team, and your business get from the successful implementation of EOS? And what resources are you willing to spend to make that happen? In general, for self-implementation you’ll be spending a lot of time and effort, while an external implementer will cost you less time, but more money.

If you’ve decided that you want to use an outside implementer, the next question to answer is which type of EOS implementer is best for you?

There are two main types of consultants that are familiar with EOS and that are ready to help you implement it at your company.

There are those that focus solely on EOS and stick to the strict confines of its tenets. And those that offer coaching, training, and development in addition to implementing the EOS framework.

An implementer solely focused on EOS will be ready and able to bring EOS to your company right away. You’ll be able to start things up rather quickly and kick off with your Focus Day shortly after signing the contract. EOS Worldwide even offers to match you with someone from their list of implementers. You can find that directory here.

An implementer that provides additional trainings or workshops in addition to the teachings of EOS will want to understand your specific situation before starting the EOS implementation. We have found that many companies who want to use EOS are not quite ready to jump into the deep end of implementation. Understanding the issues that are ahead and preparing for them is vital to ensuring the implementation is a success.

For example, trust within the leadership team must be high. All participants must be able to be open and honest during the process. If they cannot, it greatly reduces the chances of an effective implementation. Understanding and increasing the level of trust within the leadership team before starting EOS may be an important step for you to consider.

And while EOS gives you the tools to manage your company better, it does not automatically make you a better leader.

For instance, the People Tracker is a great way to better define roles, but it doesn’t show you how to successfully match candidates to those roles. The To-do lists and Rock check-ins make accountability easier to track, but do not offer advice on how to effectively hold staff accountable for delivering those agreed upon results. A full-service consultant will be able to train you and your team in these, and a host of other, areas to ensure that your EOS implementation will be a true home run.

Deciding to work with implementer or not is an important decision, but deciding on the type of implementer is just as important. By understanding all of the different factors at play before making this important decision you can pick the implementer that is right for you.