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January 15, 2020

Entrepreneurial Operating System expert to keynote family business conference

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Have you heard of the “Entrepreneurial Operating System®?” This expert can help your business implement one.

Mike Paton will be the keynote speaker at the 2020 Prairie Family Business Association annual conference in Sioux Falls. An award-winning speaker, best-selling author, Certified EOS Implementer® and Visionary for EOS Worldwide, he is uniquely positioned to speak to business owners about an approach that will resonate with them.

To learn more and register, click here.

We caught up with Paton for a preview of this fascinating – and effective – approach to business management.

Let’s start with the basics: How would you describe the Entrepreneurial Operating System®?

EOS® is a simple way of operating an entrepreneurial company. It features a complete set of simple concepts and practical tools proven – thousands of businesses from every conceivable industry around the world – to help entrepreneurs and their leadership teams get more of what they want from their businesses.

The idea of changing an “operating system” can potentially be intimidating to a business owner – particularly changing processes. How hard is it to implement this? How long does it typically take?

It’s a great question. We always say EOS is painstakingly simple, but implementing it is not always easy. Change is hard, and it can be particularly hard to fundamentally change the way a successful company or leadership team works. But the companies with whom we work begin to see real progress within the first 60 days, and on average we spend 10 full days over two years helping the leadership team fully implement EOS and deploy the EOS tools throughout their organizations.

What’s the biggest eye-opener that business owners tend to have as they begin integrating EOS into their operation?

The biggest positive surprise is the value of absolute clarity. Very early in the process, we work with the leadership team to do three things:

  • Clarify the organization’s vision and plan.
  • Identify the right structure for the organization, crystallize everyone’s roles and responsibilities within that structure, and identify gaps. What does the business need that we are not getting from the people we have today?
  • Focus attention on the three to seven most important priorities for the business – and for each member of the leadership team – over the next 90 days.

For most teams, leaving the room clear on and aligned around those three things is something that has literally never happened in their business lives. They leave positively surprised – clear, energized and excited about the journey ahead.

You’ve conducted more than 1,200 full-day sessions with leadership teams for more than 110 companies. What do you find are some of the biggest takeaways people have from this exposure?

Several thoughts here, as well:

  • Nothing is more important than having a healthy, cohesive team of people you can trust.
  • Focus, discipline and accountability start at the top.
  • It’s all about strengthening the Six Key Components™ of your business.

Are there unique elements of family businesses and their dynamics that are considered with the EOS framework? Or does the same framework apply to a family versus a non-family business in the same way?

Family businesses are absolutely unique, and there are a unique set of challenges and opportunities present in these organizations. Interestingly, Gino Wickman began creating EOS while running his own family business as a young man – alongside his visionary father. The concepts and tools are designed to harmonize human energy – whether those other humans are family members or not. So while implementing EOS may feel different in a family business, what we teach and how it works is not.

What kind of difference have you seen implementing EOS make for a business? How significantly can this impact operations?

There are certainly a lot of great stories about impressive growth and improved business performance. A company that started working with me in 2010 with 18 employees went public last year. Another organization grew from 35 employees to more than 400, improving customer satisfaction and profitability along the way. Another company went from a seven-figure loss before implementing EOS to a seven-figure profit and successful sale within three years. The results are almost always significant and can be transformative.

All that said, what seems to matter most to our clients – and to all of us – is the impact EOS implementation has on the quality of life. We see significant reduction in frustration levels, an increased confidence and the ability to focus more time and energy on other passions, including one’s family. It’s such a common outcome we’ve begin calling it “The EOS Life.” It’s actually the  EOS Worldwide’s  “purpose,” straight from the Core Focus section of our V/TO – “helping Entrepreneurs live their ideal lives.”

Is there anything else you’d like the Sioux Falls audience to know about your upcoming appearance?

Just a passionate plea that everyone in attendance come ready to do three things:

  • Look at your business in a whole new way.
  • Be honest about your issues and ready to confront them head-on.
  • Get clear and confident about what you want from your business – and ready to implement some practical tools that will help make it happen.

Here’s a look at what to expect from Paton’s presentation: