When Baceline Investment’s three founding partners stepped back as part of their business succession plan, six new partners took over the day-to-day management of the firm — including the responsibility of continuing to grow the business.
To set the firm up for success, these new partners wanted to develop a concrete structure for the firm, which at that point did not perform annual goal setting or have an organized system to align goals with compensation and increase accountability. They were looking for a strong operating system that could match their high-growth mindset.
As its longtime tax and audit firm and a trusted advisor, Wipfli introduced Baceline to the entrepreneurial operating system (EOS) — and it immediately clicked.
EOS is a set of concepts and tools designed to help organizations reach their full potential. Baceline leaders liked that EOS would allow them to take a long-term outlook on their business by meeting a series of short-term goals, or rocks. And they liked that EOS is highly structured and would allow the entire organization to work from the same philosophy, using the same vocabulary, and succeed in the same ways.
Because EOS involves such a large shift in mindset and practices, implementing the system is a two-year process — one that can be overwhelming at first. But Wipfli is an experienced EOS implementer, able to act as trainer, coach and mentor and help to ensure true mastery over the system.
Wipfli started by taking Baceline through EOS’s clearly defined implementation process. Leaders first needed to understand and learn how to use the foundational tools. Then came two separate, full-day sessions that built out Baceline’s vision for how to apply EOS to its business. This included everything from creating core values and focuses to defining 1-, 3- and 10-year targets to developing a marketing strategy and major goals.
With this foundational work completed, Baceline transitioned to quarterly pulsing, where every 90 days they spent a full day with Wipfli to evaluate the past 90 days’ performance, do any necessary refocusing and set goals for the next 90 days. At the end of year one, Wipfli and Baceline held a two-day session to evaluate progress and stay on track.
Staying on track is one of the biggest benefits to working with an EOS implementer. Wipfli has acted not just as a facilitator, helping Baceline get started with EOS, but also as a progress coach and motivator.
“Wipfli told us, this process will be overwhelming at first, and it will take a long time, but we’ll be with you every step of the way,” said Lindsey Reevie, SVP of People Development at Baceline. “Two years later, we’re on the other side, and it’s all second nature to us. Having Wipfli as our coach has made all the difference.”
Running the entire firm from one operating system has led to significant results.
Leaders have gained greater visibility into and control over the organizational structure of their company, as well as their culture. Using EOS’s accountability charts and people analyzer tools, combined with the core values they developed, they’ve been able to:
- Better define the positions they need within each department.
- Become much more strategic in hiring and matching applicants against Baceline’s well-defined culture.
Plus, by retaining employees who believe in and exhibit the core values, Baceline has seen a significant boost in morale.
Employees are also using rocks to set and meet goals and to be accountable for those results. In Baceline’s last quarter, the firm completed 82% of its company rocks despite having to operate during the uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. By presenting results to the firm in a way that ties into overall success, leaders have demonstrated how effective rocks can be and how meaningful and powerful the switch to EOS has been. Being able to see the collective efforts of the firm all working in one system has made EOS resonate even more with employees, further increasing morale and motivation.
In addition, Baceline has incorporated the firm’s performance into its annual compensation bonus matrix to help incentivize employees to contribute to not only their own rocks but also the firm’s as a whole, as well as further increase accountability.
Now, as Baceline approaches the end of its two-year implementation, it’s developing long-term, people-focused programs such as leadership training and professional development. And that is an area where they know they can lean on Wipfli for guidance. Throughout the EOS implementation, Baceline’s young team of partners has benefitted from the mentorship that stems from working with an experienced EOS implementer. Instead of solving specific challenges, Wipfli has acted as a sounding board and has helped Baceline use the EOS framework and tools to determine the best solution, which puts leaders in a position to continue succeeding long after the EOS implementation is complete.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Denver, Colorado, Baceline Investments is a premier, boutique private real estate investment and management company.