Are You a “Flavor of the Month” Company?

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With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, it’s easy to start looking around for new ways to better align your team, attract more clients, and become more profitable.  And because of the lack of social opportunities, you’ve probably had more than enough time on your hands to watch webinars, read books and attend YouTube university. I’ve been there and I know exactly what you’re going through.

During the Great Recession, I was searching for new ways to grow my home health agency, so I was constantly attending conferences and reading books. Whenever I read or heard something that resonated, I’d get really excited about the new thing that I learned and bring the idea back to my team.

At that time in my business however, we had a kind of “fake harmony” culture in the office. I wouldn’t directly get any eye rolls and my employees would usually even seem slightly excited by what I shared, but little did I know, they were really just trying to wait me out. 

The team knew that I’d have a new idea in a month or two, and that it wasn’t necessary to really implement the ideas I’d introduced to them.  We had short-lived attempts at team meetings, daily huddles, KPI’s, process improvement, team bonding and more.  None of it stuck, and in turn, I felt completely stuck. 

In 2013, we had our worst year ever.  We were losing clients and things were falling through the cracks.  The company had finally grown to the point where I just couldn’t keep it all together anymore. It was the first time in our business’s history that we had negative revenue growth year over year.  Even worse, our culture was terrible and we didn’t have the right people on the team.

I got so focused on finding a way out of this death spiral that I started a Book of the Month Club for the company, where the office would read a book together and try to implement some of the ideas. Another “flavor of the month” activity.

None of it worked until December 2013, when we read the book Get A Grip by Gino Wickman and Mike Paton about a fictional company that implemented the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in their business.  Finally!  It was something that immediately resonated with me and everyone on my team.  It was as if someone had taken everything that I’d ever known and believed about business and put it into one simple system.

A lot of it felt scary though — we’d need to make a two-year commitment to really change the way we ran our business, and focus on this one system only to run our daily operations. In the past, we’d never committed to anything for very long as a company.  Would we be able to do it?  Would it be successful?  Was it worth the challenge and commitment?

The team was apprehensive but willing to try.  We knew we had to find a better way to run our operations and we were ready to stop being a “flavor of the month” business.  We started implementing EOS in January of 2014 and never looked back.

That first year was incredibly difficult. We started the EOS journey with 12 team members, but only eight of us remained by the end of the year, including me and my wife.  We had to get clear about the right structure for the business and who we were as people.  We learned to run great meetings, pay attention to our numbers and nail down our processes.

By the end of the year, we could see that momentum had begun to shift and we were turning the ship around.  Three years after making that decision to implement EOS, we had doubled the size of the company, were more profitable than ever, but most importantly, we were having fun again.  None of it would have ever been possible if we hadn’t decided to stop focusing on “flavor of the month” ideas and instead align the entire company around ONE system.

If you’ve ever felt like your team was just waiting you out until your next brilliant idea, give me a call and learn how EOS can help you.