The Entrepreneurial Operating System® defines “traction” in multiple ways. The EOS Worldwide website describes it as “Instilling focus, discipline, and accountability throughout the company so that everyone executes on that vision—every day”.
In the context of the EOS Model™, we talk of it as “the combination of the Meeting Pulse™ and the Rocks”, i.e. traction is created by the regular engagement of the leadership team with each other and their consistent accomplishment of “Rocks”. (I define Rocks as important, but not necessarily urgent, action items, each of which takes at least 10 hours of focused effort, outside of the normal course of business.)
I have been wondering what it means EXACTLY that a business is gaining “traction”, so I consulted the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. This is what I found. M-W defines Traction as:
- the support or interest that is needed for something to make progress or succeed,
- the drawing of a vehicle by motive power, and
- the adhesive friction of a body on a surface on which it moves (e.g. the traction of a wheel on a rail).
To translate that for business, a company would be gaining traction when:
- people take an interest in it and support it,
- the business is driven forward by motive power, and
- it is starting to make steady progress.
Now I understand why this term, Traction®, has gained traction (cringe..) with readers and prompted Gino Wickman to register it as a trademark for EOS Worldwide. It is a near-perfect metaphor for a business getting unstuck and starting to move steadily forward. This is how us, EOS Implementers, help the magic happen:
1. Increase Interest and Support
- We engage everyone on the company’s leadership team in rethinking the structure of the business (The Accountability Chart™)
- Each team member first brain-dumps, and thereafter brainstorms together on what should be the handful of priority projects (Rocks) for the Company in the next quarter. Leaders sign up to accomplish the 5-15 Rocks that the team feels most strongly about.
- The group deliberates on what metrics would best drive performance for the company. Leaders take ownership for fine-tuning and starting to hit weekly metrics.
- The leadership team commits to carving out time weekly for Level 10 Meetings™, where they hold each other accountable and begin solving their long-lingering issues.
By the end of the Focus Day™, everyone is exhausted but exhilarated about their new-found interest and excitement for the future of the business.
2. Drive the Business with Motive Power
- In the weeks following the Focus Day, the team gets down to work. Rolling Rocks forward. Learning Level 10 Meetings. Sorting out the Scorecard. Adapting to new Accountabilities. The energy of the group is palpably pushing on the flywheel… and it is slowly starting to move.
- The Vision Building™ Days help fine-tune the EOS Foundational Tools™. The team leaves the meetings with better scorecard metrics, S.M.A.R.T.-er Rocks, and a clear Vision, further energized to make a real difference for the company.
Motive Power indeed.
3. The Start of Steady Progress
- After Vision Building the leadership team gets in the groove of using the tools of the Entrepreneurial Operating System and as they start introducing Rocks, Scorecards and Level 10 Meetings to the rest of the company. As mid-level leaders and the rank and file start picking up the language of EOS, you feel the adhesive friction of the company’s wheels on the road to progress.
- Sales numbers start ticking up and operations are beginning to execute with more focus and determination. The Vision Building sessions have painted a road into the horizon and employees are being pulled up for a bigger purpose beyond their paychecks. The outlines of success appear on the horizon, lifting spirits and self-esteems all around.
Your company is starting to gain….
Steve Preda is a licensed implementer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®). He is committed to helping business owners and CEOs triple their profit and triple their time off within 3 years.
Steve has over 25 years experience in Europe and the United States. He scaled and sold a market leading investment bank in Hungary and created and led the merger of a regional investment banking network (MACEE) with global network IMAP. He holds CPA, CFA and Investment Banking Licenses in the UK, Canada, and the United States, respectively, and sat on the boards of several public and private European and US companies. He has two books published on Amazon and a podcast show: Succession Secrets.