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How entrepreneurial operating system can help drive results

Sep 02, 2020

Today, more than ever, accountants are called on to integrate measurements and accountability across an entire organization and offer financial expertise to all functions at all levels. It is not enough to simply steward and report the financials anymore, but rather, to own the financial thought leadership for the organization and then help it perform at its highest level.

Working horizontally across the organization versus working vertically within the accounting or finance function can help you become the integrated thought leader your organization needs.

To help move your team beyond repeating what the numbers say and instead to driving your entire organization toward its goals, you can deploy an approach called Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

EOS is a framework and set of tools, outlined in the book Traction by Gino Wickman, that measures ongoing performance and growth across an entire organization.

EOS focuses on three fundamental philosophies:

  1. Vision: Getting everyone in the organization 100% on the same page with where you’re going and the plan to get there.
  2. Traction: Instilling focus, discipline and accountability throughout the company so everyone executes on the vision every single day.
  3. Healthy: Helping leaders become more cohesive, functional and healthy as a leadership team.

Simply put, EOS is an integrated set of concepts that helps both the financial thought leader and other members of the leadership team to raise the bar and get the most out of their organizations.

The system consists of six  key components: Vision, people, data, issues, process and traction.

Each component has a handful of tools meant to super charge the business. The goal for each team learning EOS is to master the system at the leadership level and then cascade that learning into the organization, driving focus, accountability and measurement to every person in the company.

When every team and associate is dialed into the organization’s roadmap — and understands their role in that journey — operations run more smoothly. This also provides a framework to ensure the insights and data that are discovered in one functional area aren’t swallowed up by a silo, but rather are shared and leveraged across the organization

  1. Some common EOS questions are:How can EOS help me as a financial leader? One of the strongest components of EOS is the development of a scorecard at every level of the organization. Qualitative and quantitative data that gives you an absolute pulse on the business on any given day, week or month ensuring the whole organization is executing in harmony toward the company’s vision. In other words, measurement becomes part of the success and accountability of the organization and metrics become part of the operating philosophy of the leadership team.
  2. How long does it take? Learning the complete system takes a couple of years, but from day one you are implementing what you’re learning. Like anything we learn, mastery comes with repetition and practice. Most companies leverage a professional EOS implementer to coach them through the process and helpnavigate the speed bumps.
  3. Who are the ideal companies for EOS?EOS was specifically designed for small to mid-sized companies who are growth oriented and more afraid of the status quo than they are of change. It may also be for organizations that have found it hard to say no and focus on what they have identified as their true priorities. It is a rigorous and proven process that instills both vision and accountability into the organization. Rarely do organizations operate at their full potential and the components of EOS work together to create a culture of measurable growth, profitability and team success.
  4. Has EOS been proven to work? Today almost 9,000 companies run on the EOS system and are led by a Professional or Certified EOS Implementer. In the last year there have been almost 65,000 full session days that are helping companies to learn and master the system. The plainspoken, intuitive logic of EOS resonates from the leadership team to the boardroom, and the common conceptual framework and vocabulary helps it gain appeal up and down throughout the organization. Today many private equity firms have seen the value in getting their companies up and running on EOS because it delivers results and improves alignment and expectations, while making organizations more predictable.
  5. What are the main benefits if I start? EOS is informed by data, but demands ruthless prioritization and accountability. It helps leadership teams home in on the most important things in the business that create natural momentum and progress. An important side benefit is that teams get healthier and enjoy working on the business more. Goals are clear, and working as a team comes into the forefront by helping the team to be both healthy and smart.
  6. Is the investment worth it? Implementing EOS is an investment that pays for itself over and over again. Your vision will be clear, your plan to get there concise and, quite frankly, you’ll enjoy working on the business more. The return on investment can be measured quickly as the system creates accountability, focus and measured results and, once fully implemented, has lasting organizational impact.
  7. What should I look for in an EOS implementer? Finding the right EOS implementer that fits you and understands your business is important. Each implementer brings their unique style, background and personal touch to the relationship. The implementer, teaches, coaches and facilitates the system with your leadership team, building a high degree of trust and commonality of purpose along the way. The goal is for you to master the system and use it for years going forward.

How Wipfli can help

Get better, stronger results by engaging a professional EOS implementer at Wipfli. Our team can help you master the system and achieve sustainable results. Learn more in our brochure.

Author(s)

Paul Leroue
Paul Leroue
Principal
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