What Does It Mean To “Graduate” In EOS®?

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The ultimate goal of every Professional or Certified EOS Implementer® is to see their clients graduate. In the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, graduation simply means that you have become capable of running on EOS self-sufficiently.

That doesn’t mean that your EOS Implementer® will stop working with you. Some clients run with EOS on their own, while some choose to have an Implementer continue to facilitate their sessions. They prefer to have the entire leadership team fully engaged with running their business, rather than preparing for and running their quarterly and annual planning sessions.

What EOS Graduation Looks Like

On average, most EOS clients graduate after ten sessions across two years. However, graduation is less about the length of time as it is about how strong the team is in two key areas: the Six Key Components™ and the Tools in the EOS Toolbox™.

Evaluating the Six Key Components

The goal is to get the leadership team to 80 % strong in each of the Six Key Components, from top to bottom, throughout the entire company. There are two ways to measure that:

  • The EOS Tool called Pulling It All Together measures progress of the Six Key Components on a 0-100% scale.
  • The Organizational Checkup® contains 20 questions which rate on a 1-5 scale. The goal is for the leadership team to have an average score of 80% or better.

Mastering the EOS Toolbox

The second measurement for graduation is mastery of all twenty Tools in the EOS Toolbox™. Mastery means understanding what all twenty Tools are and using them throughout your organization.

Once you’re 80% strong and mastering the EOS Toolbox, your company is in great shape, generating far better results with much less effort. And moving forward, you’re confidently able to run EOS on your own.

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What Happens at Graduation?

There are multiple ways that teams graduate:

  1. They make it to graduation and they’re off and running on their own. Someone on the team takes over the job of Implementer and facilitates the leadership team quarterly and annual sessions going forward.
  2. They decide that they would like to alternate running the quarterly sessions with their Implementer.
  3. They choose to run the three, quarterly planning sessions on their own, but continue to have their EOS Implementer run their two-day annual planning sessions once a year.

What Happens After Graduation?

Companies that run independently on EOS occasionally need a tune-up. It’s not uncommon for teams to unintentionally tweak the meaning of the tools over time, and they no longer use them as purely as they did at first. Often, circumstances warrant a tune-up: the leadership team changes, things in their business have changed, or they need an outside perspective to help them get the team back on track.

I’ve conducted special sessions to give teams a tune-up, focusing on the EOS Foundational Tools™. If they need to get back on track and the wheels have started to come off a bit, running a quarterly and diving back into the Foundational Tools can help a team course-correct. It’s also an effective way to integrate new leadership team members.

Make it your goal to be an EOS graduate!

Previously published on the GPS For Small Business blog

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