The Detroit News: EOS Implementer puts focus on business growth

Detroit News

EOS Implementer puts focus on business growth

Livonia business coaching company will dissect a business, then refine its goals, values.

Karen Dybis
Special to The Detroit News

Gino Wickman is a businessman who thinks like a scientist. There is nothing this entrepreneur-turned-EOS Implementer enjoys more than dissecting a company to study its inner workings. It may be painful, but taking a business apart is sometimes the best way to revive and energize it, Wickman believes.

“I really love the world of business and entrepreneurs. I’ve been through that pain myself,” said Wickman, who helped facilitate the turnaround of his own family’s firm.

After that business’s successful sale, he thought about retiring. Instead, he created The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a Livonia-based group that helps companies refine their goals and values.

To share his principles with others, Wickman recently authored a book, “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business.” His goal is to promote the book while continuing to grow EOS through its business coaching and workshop services.

Besides owning his own firm, Wickman is one of the original 10 members of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (then known as the Young Entrepreneurs Organization.) When working with his fellow members, Wickman found himself examining the key components of a well-run firm. It was this analysis that became the foundation of EOS.

“I have an absolute passion for helping people get what they want out of their business,” Wickman said. “I decided to pursue my passion because I knew there was a need.”

One client is Zoup! Fresh Soup Company, the Southfield-based chain of eateries. Founder Eric Ersher said Wickman’s insights give his management team the focus they need to handle the chain’s steady growth.

“It has been transformational for our business,” Ersher said. “The Entrepreneurial Operating System has made us more focused and helped us work toward common goals. We’re less distracted.”

Wickman has worked with nearly 100 Michigan firms since he launched EOS eight years ago. His ultimate goal—the 20-year plan as he calls it—is to have helped 10,000 firms and have them run on the EOS platform.

To reach that goal, Wickman wrote “Traction” and now has seven implementers working across the nation and internationally to spread his ideas. “I wanted to put it all in a book so they can self-implement or work with his team to achieve renewed focus,” he said.

“Most entrepreneurs unfortunately are frustrated. You start a business with this great vision in mind, but you get away from it because it just gets so crazy,” Wickman said. “This gets you back to the reason why you wanted to do it in the first place. And it helps you surround yourself with all the great people you need.”

Wickman mostly centers his attention in the book and in his day-long sessions with the leadership team. Once they start to strengthen his key components—vision, people, data, issues, process and traction—they often regain their passion and excitement for the jobs they do.

EOS generally works with companies of 10 to 250 people and with revenues of $2 million to $50 million, Wickman said.

Karen Dybis is a Metro Detroit freelance writer

 

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