One of the darkest times in the history of Israel is recorded in an Old Testament Book called Judges, and the cause of the mayhem at that time is summed up in an oft repeated refrain – “In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.”
Everyone doing ‘whatever seems right in their own eyes’ does not lead to the best outcomes for both companies and nation states. For companies, the remedy to everyone doing what is right in their own eyes is the identification, clarification, and adherence to Core Processes.
The most neglected component
The fifth EOS® Component is the Process Component – and it’s the most neglected component of entrepreneurial companies. It is easy to understand why. Many entrepreneurial companies are somewhere between 10 to 20 years old, with the original founder(s) still exerting significant leadership and influence over the organization. In the early years of an organization, when its smaller, you can rely more on people over process – just hire great individuals and they will produce great work. That will work for a while. But when that great person walks out the door, the quality of the work drops – often precipitously. And if all of the great knowledge is in a few or only one person’s head, its much more difficult to transfer and multiply that knowledge, and to grow and scale the business profitably.
Lacking consistent process makes hitting the next ceiling inevitable
At some point lacking scalable process that can be followed by all will become a debilitating lid on growth.
Great people and great process
Its not an either or choice. The EOS® tools and principles place a high value on finding and keeping the “right people”. But EOS® also rightly places an important value on entrepreneurial companies needing to strengthen their “Process” component – the identification of core processes, the documentation of core processes, and the following by everyone of the company’s core processes.
Step #1: Identify your core processes
Gather your leadership team and identify all of your core processes, from marketing & sales, various delivery/production processes, and to the administrative, financial and HR processes. Aim for about 15-20 core processes rather than 90.
Step #2: Document each core process
Use the “20/80” approach. Document 20% of the process to get 80% of the result. Pages 154-155 of Traction have a great 2-page example of a seven step HR Process – each step has bullet points to explain that step, not paragraphs.
Step #3: Collect the core processes
Assemble all of the “20/80” written core processes into one larger hardcopy manual, or an electronic document on a shared folder, which then becomes your company’s way of doing business.
Step #4: Followed By All
Roll out the core processes to everyone in your company and set the clear expectation that everyone is expected to follow the core processes.
What’s your slime recipe?
My 12 year old daughter Bronagh is destined to be an entrepreneur as an adult. But her first business launch is going to be selling slime on Etsy. Recently we’ve been dialoguing about various aspects of what it will take to launch this slime selling business on Etsy with her younger sister, including the need to cover all of her costs, she instinctively started writing out various slime recipes – because she said she wanted to make consistent batches of slime, profitably! Oh – if only more grownup entrepreneurs were so instinctively got the value of core processes!
Strengthening the process component will:
- Allow you to grow and scale your business profitably
- Make your business less reliant on particular individuals
- Make your business more of a “turnkey” investment for potential buyers
- Read Chapter 7 of Traction “The Process Component” and implement the Issues Solving Track™ in your organization.
- Visit navigatethejourney.com and schedule a call with us for a complimentary Company, Team or Leader diagnostic.
About the Author
Tom is a Professional EOS Implementer and the CEO of Navigate the Journey, a firm that specializes in helping the owners of digital agencies, web development and creative service firms improve at the company, team and individual leader levels.