The Top 3 EOS® Tools for Family Businesses


Woman with a baby talking to a man

If you’ve been lucky enough to see Gino Wickman speak, you know that he was working in his own family’s business when he started thinking about the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS).

So in a way, he was in the same shoes you are when he started building what would become the EOS Tools.

I usually say with a smile that EOS was made for family businesses — it just happens to work great for other businesses too (but don’t tell Gino I said that!).

When I get asked which EOS Tools are the most powerful for family businesses, I think of three right away: the Vision/Traction Organizer™ (V/TO™), the Accountability Chart™, and the Partnership Rules of the Game™.

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  1. Why the Accountability Chart? For literally thousands and thousands of years, family businesses have been the majority of businesses on the planet. And many times, the oldest son was chosen as the obvious heir of the business. That has failed many, many times, hurt families, and ended businesses.
    The Accountability Chart brings a new, productive, and simple tool to help family businesses choose the ideal leader of the next generation without it being personal. When used purely, it helps put the success in succession.
  2. Why the V/TO? The V/TO helps next-generation leaders stop worrying about “killing dad or grandma’s baby (i.e., the family business)” and build their own vision for the future. When two generations are involved in defining the vision, it can be even more exciting. It is a way for the outgoing generation to help guide the next generation and for the next generation to plant their ideas in the future of the business.
    So many generational transfers get stalled, filled with conflict, or even result in the end of the business when two generations can’t agree on where the business is going. All of that goes away when you answer the eight important questions found in the V/TO.
  3. Why the Partnership Rules of the Game? What I have seen in the 10+ years I have worked with family businesses is that it can often be confusing what your role is as an owner of a business and what your role is as an employee of the business.
    The Partnership Rules of the Game make it absolutely clear what those roles are and what you must bring to the business in each of those roles. When family business members understand and stick to those rules of the game, a lot of power struggles go away, expectations get clear, and who makes which decisions stops being a debate. The business partners are able to move forward with clarity and confidence.

Remember, Gino Wickman was working shoulder to shoulder in his own family business when he started creating EOS. He was walking in the same shoes you’re walking in today. Dive in, use one of these Tools, and see the difference it makes in your own family business now and in the future.


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