How EOS Works in a Large Corporation

How EOS Works in a Large Corporation

When we talk about the target market for EOS®, we’re referring to entrepreneurial companies with 10-250 employees. But as we’ve seen, EOS can also work with other entities, from one- or two-person startups to nonprofits to large corporations.

Applying the EOS Proven Process in Large Organizations

When I work with clients from larger organizations, I usually sit down with senior leaders of the corporation. Occasionally, I’ll meet with the leaders of a business unit or function. 

I normally run session days exactly as I would in smaller companies. I’ll introduce the concepts. I’ll explain the Six Key Components™ and teach those tools purely. In my experience, The Accountability Chart™, The Five Leadership Abilities™, and the idea of Rocks resonate the most with these senior leaders. 

Normally, leaders at large corporations are struggling with two problems: silos and having a lot of priorities with limited resources (sound familiar?). I coach them to use The Vision Component™ tools to outline a strong strategic plan. We hammer out that 10-Year Target™ and create a strong 3-Year Picture™. I’ll often coach leaders on developing a top-level Vision/Traction Organizer® (V/TO®) and potentially sub- level V/TOs for their different brands. It’s more complex, but it still follows the proven process. 

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Some Considerations for Larger Entities

EOS will work in larger entities, but because of their sheer size and complexity, I bear a few things in mind when coaching their leaders.

1. Supporting Experienced Leadership Teams at Established Organizations

No business gets to 1100 or 11,000 people overnight. These are much more mature organizations. They might have already been sold via private equity, or they could be multiple generations old. 

Likewise, the senior leaders in large corporations are usually very seasoned business people. These leaders may have grown up in the business, or this may be their second or third C-suite position. Regardless, these are not new entrepreneurs who might have limited business knowledge.

When I first meet with senior leaders, I tell them how much I appreciate and respect what they bring to the table. I explain that much of what I’ll talk about will overlap with those previous experiences. They may recognize the concepts but use different terminology.

However, rather than everyone doing their own thing based on their knowledge and background, I ask them to use EOS terms. This helps get everyone on the same page by speaking the same language and using a holistic set of tools and disciplines. 

2. Documenting Workflows Rather than Processes to Tear Down Silos

You’re not starting with a blank slate at a larger organization. Usually, each functional area or business unit has its own processes and systems in place. 

However, large corporations need to find sophisticated, efficient ways to work cross-functionally. If the organization has government contracts, they need to tie in compliance as well. 

Rather than mapping out core processes, we focus on workflows. Workflows tied to Role ownership help make complex handoffs feel more concrete, which, again, gets everyone on the same page. They clearly demonstrate what happens next.

Plus, the senior leadership team has to map out decisions along the way. The leaders determine which roles need to own decisions and where to make them within the workflow.

These documenting exercises help map out and drive accountability throughout the entire workflow. It may be the first time each person’s role is clearly defined in the workflow based on a role that is a function of their seat on The Accountability Chart.

3. Listening to the Organization’s Heartbeat

Not every organization benefits from weekly meetings throughout the business. 

When teaching EOS to the senior leadership team, we’ll discuss the Level 10 Meeting™ agenda and LMA (lead, manage, and hold people accountable). However, a weekly Meeting Pulse may not serve larger organizations as well. So, I listen for its heartbeat. What does this particular organization need?

There may be certain types of meetings, like daily standups on the manufacturing floor, that best serve their people. So long as each meeting serves its purpose with an intentional agenda, I’m not there to push having Level 10 Meetings all the way out to the guy driving the truck on the highway every day. 

I say as long as they’re getting the intent and building strength in the Six Key Components™, we go with that.

Take Away

With intentionality and an experienced EOS Implementer®, EOS can work in large corporations. 

I’ve found it’s more about “going granular,” gaining role clarity from each seat, and tying roles to procedures, processes, and workflows. Once you do a full inventory of roles, you’ll know who owns which role and who has the leadership and management parts of these roles. This exercise is how they tear down the silos and create a level of transparency that is uncommon in corporate settings.

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Walt’s largest client who runs on EOS has over 23,000 employees and 22 divisions.

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