Creating quarterly goals, or Rocks as we call them at EOS®, takes a lot of careful planning and consideration. These goals should represent the most important things you must accomplish in the next 90 days. We’ve all heard goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely (SMART). But they should also rise above and beyond the usual day-to-day tasks in your role. A few times, I’ve had to call out clients for listing a Rock as getting their Scorecard measurables back on track. I have to tell them, “Listen, your job doesn’t count as a Rock.”
Rocks on Repeat
Let me soften that a bit. Once in a while, it’s OK if your job shows up as a Rock if your numbers are frequently off. If something’s broken in your role, it takes time to fix it.
But if a measurable keeps showing up as a Rock, we have to ask why and look at the bigger picture. What’s not working here that we’re off track over and over again?
Someone shouldn’t need to brute-force a Rock to completion each quarter to get their Scorecard numbers back on track. And it won’t feel as satisfying to complete it because it won’t hold steady for any length of time.
Without solving the root cause, the issue just comes back up and becomes a bad game of business whack-a-mole. That’s totally not helpful, and it’s exhausting!
Find the Why
I ask clients to take a different approach. Keep it as a Rock this quarter, but then figure out how this measurable gets off track so often. Why does a measurable keep becoming an issue?
Do they need to change a process? Is the right person responsible for this measurable? Are we even tracking the right numbers?
As an EOS Implementer®, I don’t have all the answers. The clients know their businesses and processes best. I can only teach EOS Tools, coach on improvements, and facilitate discussions. They have to find the root cause of this issue to solve it for themselves.
Really, the leadership team should push to solve this. But sometimes, especially with newer teams, they just don’t understand. So I remind them that the point of a Rock isn’t just to keep bringing it back up.
The Six Key Components™ to running a healthy business work with each other. In this case, using The Issues Component™ to solve the root cause of Scorecard numbers strengthens The Data Component™. And by solving this issue, the company no longer needs to create Rocks around it. Instead, they can strengthen The Traction Component™ by creating Rocks that advance longer-term goals.
I’ve been on this soapbox several times with clients, and I can just see the light bulbs clicking on for them. Rocks should serve to move a business forward. They should serve as smaller actions that ultimately build up to achieve a company’s vision. If necessary, that may mean investigating a complex problem and solving it forever.
Do you find that your team consistently misses its measurables? Rather than just taking a Rock to get them back on track, I encourage you to dig deeper. Find out what’s actually going on that prevents someone from hitting their numbers.
Removing obstacles to allow a company to achieve its bigger goals? Now, that’s a Rock I can get behind.