December 2, 2015
by Mike Paton
A few months ago I published a blog post entitled Too Small To Make a Difference?
Too Small To Make a Difference? The point of the article is that everyone in a business matters—from the owner to the newest “front line” hire. I further suggested that entrepreneurs work hard to engage everyone in the EOS process, including the use of Rocks, Level 10 Meetings, and Scorecards throughout the organization.
When my clients are struggling with that concept, I’ve found that a painstaking approach to clearly and simply defining these tools really helps. Because try as we might, entrepreneurial leaders and managers often over-complicate things.
Here’s the Way the Conversation Normally Plays Out:
Me: Ultimately, every team in the organization will be running a great Level 10 Meeting, with a great Scorecard; and every team-member will have at least one Rock per quarter.
Client: Everybody has Rocks?!
Me: Yes, everybody has Rocks.
Client: Wait a minute. I get what a Rock is for a leadership team member. It’s something strategic, and important, and not a routine part of the leaders’ day-to-day job. What’s a Rock for somebody who works on the floor?
Me: It’s a priority. Same as it is for a member of the leadership team.
Client: Say what?
Me: Rocks are just priorities. A Company Rock—owned by a member of your leadership team—is one of the 3-7 most important things for the company to accomplish over the next 90 days. A machine operator’s Rock is just the most important thing (or two, or three) for him next quarter.
Client: Like what?
Me: Anything that makes him, or his team, or the company better in some small way.
Me: Yes, anything. Maybe he can increase efficiency 1%, or cross-train on a new machine, or train a co-worker on his machine. Maybe he reads a book or takes a class to prepare for advancement within the company. Or maybe he quits smoking.
Client: How does quitting smoking help the company?
Me: (Silent Pause)
Client: Oh. Never mind. I get it.
Generally That Conversation Flips a Switch
Leaders understand that—at their level—priorities are quite often large, strategic initiatives that fall outside their “day jobs.” But as one migrates into the organization, Rocks, Scorecards and Level 10 meetings become more tactical and more focused on simple things that can have a huge positive impact on how the company executes, quarter in and quarter out.
If you haven’t yet rolled the EOS Foundational Tools out to all of your employees—consider taking this clear, simple, grass-roots approach to Rocks (and the rest of these practical tools). You might find the great people “in the trenches” of your business have a bigger impact on your company than do you and your fellow leaders. When that happens for my clients, they don’t mind one bit.
This article first appeared on the EOS Worldwide Blog on November 23rd, 2015.