Adopting the EOS model: Here’s what we’ve learned first-hand
In May 2018, Major Tom was in utero as we were preparing to merge Drive Digital and 6S Marketing into a new entity, Major Tom. With that merger came the challenge of aligning two distinct cultures with independent processes and separate leadership teams. We needed help to both align our vision and create a roadmap to bring Major Tom to life.
After much research and discussion with other successful businesses, we selected EOS™ (Entrepreneurial Operating System™) as the operating system we would adopt to propel us into our new world as Major Tom. EOS provided the guidance, support, and structure (facilitated by our trusted implementer, coachJon Mara), needed to allow us to hit the ground running.
Major Tom’s core focus is to unite our great people with great brands with a view to solving marketing challenges. In order to walk the talk, we needed to align as an organization and create a plan to drive us through what would be the most chaotic year of our careers to date.
In July 2018, Major Tom was born and we’re now 19 months into our EOS journey. As a mother of two young boys, I have witnessed the miracle of human development and I ride the highs and lows of toddlerhood every day. In child development, we hear frequently of how important it is to crawl before learning to walk. There are many analogies to be drawn in merging, rebranding and launching a new company… so bear with me. Now that Major Tom is through our crawling phase and into toddlerdom what have we learned?
1. Physical Development
Hand-eye coordination is the skill required to use the eyes to direct attention and the hands to execute a task. EOS helped us to align our collective vision on the 1-year, 3-year and 10-year goals for Major Tom. Without this, we simply would not have been able to prioritize our time and resources effectively and set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely) goals to drive us towards our vision.
2. Spatial Understanding
Crawling is essential to understanding and orientation of the physical world and with practice and experience, babies soon learn how to negotiate a more efficient path to their desired destination. EOS provides many useful tools to a business. One such tool we have adopted is the accountability chart which outlines the current positions and future positions within our team structure, and the five core roles of each position.
We’re now in our second iteration of Major Tom’s accountability chart. We got it wrong the first time. Now with the chart corrected, it allows all team members to understand how their position fits into the bigger picture and how we anticipate the agency will evolve looking forward 6-12 months at all times.
Developing eyesight and hearing to identify the desired destination is crucial to any new organization. EOS has provided a meeting framework (using theL10 meeting™ agenda) to organize communication across all teams and departments. The universal meeting format keeps our internal meetings on track and on time with Good News, Reporting, Accountability, and Issue Solving.
4. Binocular Vision
We use vision to calculate distances and make sense of what we see. As we approached our annual planning session we certainly did have much insight to draw from our first full year as Major Tom and EOS. We realigned our vision during our annual planning session as we now have a much better view of how our brand resonates in the marketplace. Furthermore, we are better equipped to qualify our ideal client fit and we have developed our internal core processes and skills for excellence.
5. Self Confidence
Self-confidence only comes with regular risks and with each success – and failure – we discover both our potential and our limitations. We now have the confidence we need to move into the next phase of our development. For instance, we originally rolled out a structure that we believed would allow us to scale. However, after implementation, we discovered that we had added too many layers of management. We were not able to make decisions and implement changes fast enough. We had to pivot to scale back and adjust our structure to accommodate the needs of our team.
6. Physical Strength
It’s important to practice crawling as it helps prepare us to walk on our own two feet. EOS implementation typically takes two years to master. At the 2-year mark, companies typically go it alone without a third party implementer, like Jon. He has been an instrumental guide for Major Tom, and we are hugely grateful to him. We are looking forward to the day that we do not need his guiding hand and are able to go it alone.
We picked EOS because it’s a ‘simple’ system, and has great implementation success. However ‘simple’ it has not been easy. That said, it has been an incredibly rewarding year and we’re excited to flex our muscles and charge into the year ahead.
Quote from Jon Mara:
“It has been a huge journey for Major Tom as they have evolved over the past 19 months. They have learnt to forget about the past, learn from it, let go of the vine and grow – and they are prospering from it! They are a more healthy team now and are set for their next leg up of growth! Using Lyn’s analogy, a baby has the genetics already wired into its brain and body in order to know how to get through the growing pains, a business doesn’t, so the EOS™ operating system is the genetics for a business. Run, Major Tom, Run!!!”