The “Iron Triangle” captures the inherent tradeoffs in project management between cost, time, & scope and their ultimate impact on quality. Companies considering EOS® implementation face similar tradeoffs, but it is usually framed more as the choice between self-implementing EOS® or using an outside Professional or Certified EOS Implementer™.

Eight challenges of self-implementing EOS®

The purpose of this blog post is to highlight 8 challenges that hinder the quality of self-implementing EOS®.

#1 – Practicing on your company

Malcom Gladwell in his book “Outliers” set a very high bar for mastery – 10,000 hours.  While that number may be unreasonably high, the overall point is valid.  Our mastery of any activity is directly correlated to the number of hours we have intentionally dedicated to honing our craft.  Typically, those self-implementing EOS® have none to very little time spent implementing EOS®.  You are essentially practicing on your own company, suffering from inevitable learning mistakes that come from inexperience.


#2 – Lack of objectivity

Despite their best intentions, internal leaders tasked with running point on EOS® implementation will lack the objectivity needed to put the needs of the company first, and will inevitably let their role, experience, opinions and biases crowd out the greater good.  And even if they can remain perfectly objective, their colleagues will likely suspect bias on behalf of the internal implementer.  Self-implementation often looks like the results of one person, because that one person put too much of their imprint on the process and outcomes.  

#3 – The tension between facilitation and participation

An internal leader tasked with facilitating full-day EOS® sessions with their leadership team has an inherent conflict in their two roles as a member of that leadership team wanting to participate in the conversations & decisions, and in their role as facilitator of the full-day agenda for the entire leadership team.

#4 – Difficult to “enter the danger”

Hard things go unspoken because they are hard.  Most people and teams would rather continue to brush the hard but necessary things that need to be discussed and decided under the rug.  Self-implementation efforts will more often than not fail to enter the danger of getting to the root cause of the most significant issues holding the business back.

#5 – Groupthink

Groupthink occurs when a group of otherwise rational and reasonable people make irrational and unreasonable decisions, as they value the status quo and dysfunctional behavior even when it is hurting the company.  Good luck being the insider that is the sole voice of reason challenging Groupthink.


#6 – Scope limitation that undermines the system

Taking shortcuts and eliminating fundamental parts of any holistic and aligned system is a recipe for disaster.  Teams that pursue the idea of a less than full and pure implementation of EOS® will deny themselves of the incredible power of becoming fully strong in all Six Key Components™ in the EOS Model®.


#7 – Speed

You’ve likely never implemented EOS® before, have a full-time day job of other responsibilities, and since the learning curve to lead the effort is steep, EOS® implementation will inevitably be slowed down.

#8 – Quality

When you add all of the previous challenges together, the net result is a significant hit to quality.

You can’t run your business on multiple operating systems – you must choose one.

The headline above is the EOS® creed and comes from a belief that in order to get what you want from your business, you need to pick one business operating system and commit fully to that system.  Too often entrepreneurs have multiple operating systems running their business which leads to misalignment and contradictory efforts within their organization.

So What?

Deciding to implement EOS® is a big decision and boils down to one essential decision – if we are going to run our business on EOS® are we willing to spend the required time, effort, and resources needed to do it right?

The alternative to self-implementation is hiring a Professional or Certified EOS Implementer™.  See my blog post 10 Reasons To Hire a Certified EOS Implementer™.


Next Steps

Visit and schedule a call with Tom Barrett to discuss what it looks like to utilize a Certified EOS Implementer™ to guide your team through EOS® implementation.


About The Author

Tom Barrett is a Nashville-based Leadership Team Coach & helps entrepreneurial businesses scale to the pinnacle to their business mountain.

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