Procurement · 27 August 2019

Why your business needs an operating system

Many business leaders find that they are so busy running their business that they don’t have time to step back and look at the big picture. Using a business operating system which builds in regular strategic reviews helps you to see the big picture and at the same time ensures that your business runs efficiently from day to day.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about technology or a computer operating system, but about a framework to run or operate your business.

Typically, leadership teams in companies which aren’t running efficiently feel as if they don’t always know what is going in different departments and that key tasks are just not getting done.

During 14 years of building and scaling a multi-million-pound business in three countries, I realised how important it was to have a way to systemise my business and keep track of what is happening – in my case, in different countries.

The benefits of using an operating system

Using a good operating system can help you grow your business.

Without an operating system, the danger is that departments use different – and sometimes conflicting – processes and procedures, communication is poor, employees are all rowing in different directions, key decisions are put off and the same problems pop up time and again.

This is a particular problem when businesses are growing fast. Some staff may have been over-promoted, or are working in roles where they don’t perform at their best, everyone is doing things in different ways with no clear documented way, and there may be a lack of accountability.

Introducing a business operating system will increase both the consistency and transparency of your business.

This means you are aligned on what you want to achieve, the roles and actions needed to realise that vision, and what responsibilities your team need to take on including how each department should operate and whether they are performing well.

Companies which are run using a proven business operating system are easier and more enjoyable to manage.

The best ones provide a framework for how you run your business, which you customise to your specific needs, so your operating system will become your unique way of working.

An effective operating system transcends the people who are doing and managing the work.

It can help you grow your business

There are many different operating systems available, and several different ways to simplify your strategic plan in one or two-page documents.

If you are considering using an operating system, it’s best to do your research, look at the testimonials and results, and decide which one is right for you.

You must only choose one system

Some Venture capital firms will only work with businesses that use an operating system.

The one I have found most useful is the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS).

This originated in the USA and was created by an entrepreneur Gino Wickman, who describes it in his bestselling book Traction.

The system is so established in the US that some business people only want to work for a company running on EOS as they know that the company will have a clear vision, increased communication and they will be recognised for their contribution and achievements.

Venture capital firms love it

Some private equity and venture capitalists, having gone through a rigorous process to evaluate the companies they want to invest in, require that company to run on EOS once they make the investment.

It is now used in over 66,000 businesses worldwide, and is gaining traction in Asia, Australia and Europe, including the UK.

EOS’ model includes six components: vision, people, data, issues, process and traction, and provides a process to help you to create and align your company around a common vision, gain more traction and build a healthy cohesive leadership team.

The tools and process are introduced and then rolled out over a period of two years, with the help of an Implementer, so that the whole organisation is going in the same direction and executing on its strategic plan.

The benefits of using EOS include:

• More consistent growth

• Improved profitability

• A culture of accountability

• More productive meetings and increased communication throughout the organisation

• An easier company to lead and manage

How they work

The EOS tools are customised and introduced in the first 60 days, and once a business starts implementing them, they generally find the whole system intuitive, simple and easy to apply.

Some companies choose to self-implement EOS. However, if a company want to get results quicker, they find and use a Professional or Certified EOS Implementer.

The Implementer introduces the tools and sets the context, helps customise the tools for each company, then acts as a coach, holding the team accountable for what they say they are going to do.

The beauty of EOS is that it simplifies the business and makes rapid, tangible differences in the way it operates, so the team can see improvements quickly.

The benefits summarised

Using a proven operating system can revolutionise how you run your business, create accountability, transparency and alignment, so every member of your team shares your vision for the business, and works together towards it.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Julia Langkraehr, the founder of Bold Clarity, became the first EOS Implementer in the UK in 2014 and has continued to help business implement the tools with great results.

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