In 2018 we started to implement EOS® into Sleeping Giant Media – that’s the Entrepreneurial Operating System®. A set of “simple concepts and practical tools” founded by Gino Wickman to help businesses, their leaders and their people get better at three things: Vision, Traction® and Healthy.
We implemented this system because we were looking for the next step in terms of delivering business growth, without the risk of losing control of a rapidly evolving business in such a rapidly evolving industry. We were approaching our 10 year anniversary and were thinking about the next ten – wondering what they’d look like.
We set out by reading, re-reading and sharing the knowledge of things like Traction® and Get a Grip – sharing this with the whole business, getting them all involved by tailoring the concepts to our own culture and ethos.
After a few months of re-visioning, planning and implementation, we managed to get all the business on board and rolled out our EOS® approach in May 2018.
It’s now 2022, almost four years since the official rollout of EOS® at Sleeping Giant Media, and the 15th anniversary of Traction®, so what better time to reflect? To share our #MyTractionMoment with you.
“Everyone who’s read Traction® can pinpoint the moment when the book changed their business and their life. It might be the day someone handed them the book, a certain passage, or when they implemented EOS® and started seeing the results.”*
Why and when did Sleeping Giant Media implement EOS®?
“We actually partly implemented it around six years ago, before the official rollout. I read the book and really liked how it worked, so took on some key parts and started using it within the senior team and our vision planning. But to get the best out of it, and to try and align the rest of the business, we needed to loop in the wider team!” – Luke Quilter
“We were looking for more structure, guidance and vision for our company when it came to how we conducted meetings, structured our days and how we created our new values. Luke had read the fable version of Traction® called “Get a Grip” and loved it so much that the rest of our senior team got on to studying it.
EOS® is designed for a 10-250 person company that operated in an open-mined and growth-oriented fashion, something I believe Sleeping Giant Media to be through and through.” – Mersudin Forbes
“As we approached our ten year anniversary, we got together as a board and asked ourselves “how can we accelerate the company growth?”. We felt we were ready to move from a good to a great company, inspired by Jim Collins and having read Traction® and learned about the EOS® model, felt we were ready to begin the implementation, launching in early 2018 to kick off the next decade of Sleeping Giant Media.” – Ant Klokkou
What have been the benefits of implementing EOS®?
“For me the biggest benefit has been giving a fast-paced, growing business more structure without slowing it down and too much red tape.” – Luke Quilter
“Since we implemented EOS® we have seen a solid improvement in our internal innovation and outputs that improve our company processes using ROCKS (90-day projects that help move the business forward). Tying the scoring (+/+-/-) methodology into our reviews, we have also seen a noted improvement in self-awareness against our core values.
EOS® has also helped us think about how we think and approach interactions within the business. We also wanted every person in our organisation 100% aligned on our goals, which the vision element of Traction® helped us achieve.” – Mersudin Forbes
“Benefits have come not just from the implementation, but the process of implementation. The process, for example, of re-visiting our values and mission held massive value – even just from the collaboration involved in the tasks of identifying these.
It put in place a management framework and structure that allows our Senior Team, most notably, to work more closely and consistently together than ever before. It gave us the tools and mindsets to turn issues into opportunities more effectively than ever before. It’s made our senior team more effective overall, on top of an already high level of efficiency prior – meaning we’re more than just a head of our own disciplines nowadays.” – Ant Klokkou
What was your Traction® Moment?*
“For me, #MyTractionMoment was the people analyser. It really helps you see and evaluate the team in a way that makes sense, it is so simple, but can easily be applied and help make normally complex decisions easier.” – Luke Quilter
“#MyTractionMoment was the people analyser that covered the GWC element. This looks at whether a person gets it, wants it, and has the capability to do it in line with their roles and responsibilities.” – Mersudin Forbes
Did EOS® help the business during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
“Absolutely. I think the businesses that did well in Covid were the ones that were the fittest going in. EOS® certainly helps to sharpen up the business and particularly for anyone involved with IDS. During Covid, there was a constant change in the way things worked in the world and constant adaption was required. The Level 10 and IDS process was perfect for helping us change, review and adapt.” – Luke Quilter
“I learned that most people actually need to hear things seven times before they really hear it for the first time. This helped us keep the cadence of key messaging throughout the pandemic. The data element of EOS® helped us keep scorecards and trend data of each key part of the business, allowing us to keep and grow our clients throughout the tough times we all had.” – Mersudin Forbes
“Absolutely, I have no doubt that it did. 2020 was set up to be our biggest year yet, by some margin. We were looking at 50-60% growth, it was going to be Giant and what we’d been working towards! And of course, Covid started to rear its head, and the world was locked down and turned upside down. But over the next two years, until now, we have, I believe, really succeeded as a business.
We managed to minimise the potential damage to our business, and from an economic perspective, by having EOS® implemented. Coming out of the “pandemic period”, we’re coming out stronger than our competition (which is always a goal), in a place where we can talk about growth and opportunity.
In fact, 2021, was our biggest sales year ever. That was in no small part, down to the decisions we made in 2020 to safeguard jobs and to double down on all our marketing and efforts to enable us to be in a great place when (as we hoped at the time) the pandemic would pass.
The opportunities we found, and the position we’re in now, is again in no small part because of the EOS® management system. The ability to IDS helped minimise risk throughout Covid, helped us make good, solid, informed decisions, and allowed us to communicate well across the team and entire business. The EOS®, IDS and Level 10 concepts significantly contributed to that success. EOS® has been a great structure to allow us to succeed over that period, and move forward as well.” – Ant Klokkou
What does the future of EOS® look like for Sleeping Giant Media?
“The future looks like a full refresh of visions, traction® and analysis as we have grown by 100% since we rolled this out the first time. Although we do hire against our values, which were built using the people analyser, and the values and behaviours our brightest and most rounded people portray were built into how we hire now.” – Mersudin Forbes
“Ultimately, it will always be a part of our structure and culture. What I do see coming as we approach the five-year mark of working within the EOS® infrastructure, is a revamping of it for Sleeping Giant Media. Going back through the process again, refining it all. Our business has evolved dramatically over the last four, five years, and whilst EOS® is used as part of the onboarding and recruitment for new members of the team, they would not have had the same in-depth experience of the implementation of EOS® as we did have five years ago. So we’re due an opportunity to reinvigorate, reapply and re-plan and refresh the EOS® system in our business.” – Ant Klokkou
It’s clear to see, that the benefits EOS® and the learnings from Traction® have had on our business, have been (one might say) Giant.
As Ant said, we’re likely going to hit the five-year mark and have a bit of a refresh in order to reinvigorate our approach to EOS® – but it’s likely going to stick around in our business for quite some time now…
If you have any questions on the topic, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch or reach out on LinkedIn.