Chamber Blog

EOS: A Tool to Improve Your Business

What the Heck is EOS and Why Should Your Organization Be Excited About It?

Running a business requires accountability, transparency, vision, and traction. Successful companies thrive with structure and clearly-defined goals. When every person on the team is on the same page, understands the vision of the organization, and is held accountable by defined deliverables, success comes naturally.

While no business is perfect, it’s important that organizations are consistently taking steps to improve. If your company is seeking ways to do business better, you might consider implementing EOS.

What is EOS?

EOS stands for Entrepreneurial Operating System (no, not a computer operating system!). EOS was popularized by Gino Wickman’s book, “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.”

Through simple concepts and practical tools, EOS helps businesses produce real, permanent change. The framework helps define what’s important, who owns it, and what success looks like. With every member of your team accountable for a handful of goals and numbers, you’ll get consistently better results.

There are many moving pieces to EOS, but with the simplicity of the system, companies can make lasting change. The practices can be easily applied in a fast-paced business.

Does EOS actually work?

Jessica Babcock, Vice President of Human Resources

Suburban Inns is a hotel and hospitality management company in West Michigan. Suburban Inns is a family-owned company, and while clear communication can be a challenge for anyone, there can be an added challenge within the dynamics of a family company. Recognizing this, Suburban Inns decided to seek out a process to streamline messaging. They started implementing EOS in 2011 and have been using it since.

“If you are a business that wants to move to the next level, this is the easiest platform to make that happen,” said Jessica Babcock, Vice President of Human Resources at Suburban Inns. “Everything is so clear and simple, yet everyone can buy into it and have a piece in how it works. Since implementation, EOS has made a difference in many aspects of the company, and we’ve seen benefits from top to bottom.”

Suburban Inns HR Team

Suburban Inns’ portfolio currently includes seven hotels and six restaurants, with a new hotel opening downtown Grand Rapids in the next couple months. With nearly 500 employees and growing, Babcock has her work cut out for her.

“EOS has made a difference in so many ways,” she said. “All the way from hiring – using the core values and people analyzers – to the way we do reviews. We simplified all of these processes that now allow us to focus on making the business better, rather than spending time reviewing items that are irrelevant.”

One of the focuses of EOS is open communication with employees. By utilizing quarterly conversations and ensuring all employees have a clear understanding of the company’s vision, everyone in the company is able to work together towards the same goals. This allows more work to get done in less time.

“EOS emphasizes transparency. This helps keep everyone on the same page with where the company is going. It gives people a voice, no matter who they are, and that’s definitely an asset,” said Babcock.

Ready to try it?

When you’re ready to implement EOS, the Grand Rapids Chamber provides a few resources to help get you started.

EOS Users Groups: EOS Users Groups provide structured discussion groups of 10-13 people who are Visionaries or Integrators of companies using EOS. The same group of participants gather each month to connect, ask questions, share insights and gain Traction through discussion and sharing of EOS tools and best practices.

“Workshops are a great opportunity to learn and bounce ideas off each other,” Babcock said. “Although the hospitality industry is unique in many ways, we found other companies dealing with similar issues – for example, a manufacturing company that’s also open 24 hours a day gave great insight as to how we can cascade messages to all employees when not everyone is onsite at the same time. There are also things that all companies can continue learning from each other, like how to celebrate core values and recognize employees, among others.”

The 12-month program period will kick off in April, so sign up today! To enroll in the EOS Users Group, please contact Mark Allen, Director of Business Services.

EOS Talks: Our next EOS Talk on April 19 will be an introductory workshop on “What the Heck is EOS?”  Whether you are interested in implementing, have tried to implement without success, or are in the process of self-implementing, you will be given tools to guide your company to a successful launch of EOS.

EOS Quarterly Meet Ups: Each quarter, the Chamber will be hosting a meet-up to dive deeper into one of the components of EOS. The next Quarterly Meet Up will be held on March 20 and will focus on best HR practices, including Right Person, Right Seat; Quarterly Conversations; and Hiring Practices. Ken Bogard of Nexus Business Solutions will be the featured speaker. Bogard is a certified EOS implementer and has over a decade of management and consultative experience in numerous industries.


Learn more about EOS at https://www.eosworldwide.com/

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