The EOS® People Component™: Know Your People

January 14, 2019 Anthony Wood Comment(0)
EOS Key Components

Surround yourself with Great People

Part 2 of a series on unlocking greatness in your business. Last week, I covered what makes a great Vision. In it, I called out the 8 questions that need to be answered to clarify and simply your company’s Vision. This week I cover the 2nd key component, People.

Jim Collins describes the process of surrounding yourself with great people for your business as getting the Right People in the Right Seat on the bus.

So, what makes someone the Right Person for your business? By living and breathing your Core Values. As part of clarifying your Vision, you identified the behaviours and characteristics that define who you are as a business. Rather than just being a set of words on posters or funky environmental graphics, your Core Values are the things that bind everyone in the business together.

As humans, we find it easier to work with people that are like us. Whilst the skills that your team use could, and should, be different across the company, it is critical that they all have the company’s core values at heart. This is the basis for trust and as Patrick Lencioni calls out in “The Five Dysfunctions of a team”, without Trust you can not have a highly functioning, effective team generating the results you need.

So how do you ensure that you are finding the right people for your business? 

By actively using your Core Values in the recruitment process – in your advertising and in the interview, asking candidates to show that they not only understand the values, they are able to give examples of how they have brought them to life in the past. Once they are on-board, build an induction process that reinforces the values with examples and context of how their role will be enhanced by behaving in line with them. Then find ways to recognise, reward and ultimately, retain the people that live and breathe your Core Values.

The added benefit of being so fanatical about your Core Values is that you will quite quickly flush out any of your staff that don’t feel the same way. Either by self-selection or by your own identification, people who choose not to embrace the values need to be exited from your business and allowed to grow somewhere else. Somewhere that is more inline with their own Core Values.

So, you have the Right People, how do you find them the right seat? At their heart, every business has 3 primary functions – Marketing & Sales, Operations and Finance. Someone needs to identify, stimulate and capture demand for your goods or services, someone needs to deliver on the promises made, and someone needs to ensure that the lifeblood of any business, money, is handled correctly building assets for the company.

Every organisation is different and these 3 may be shaped into several more functions depending on what is the right structure for you. Regardless of the number of functions you end up with, each function requires clarity on what it is accountable for. Typically, this can be expressed as 5 simple bullet points covering the roles that the function in the business. Once clear, all staff understand what each area of the business is responsible for and how they measure success by articulating their key result and how it is measured.

Pulling this together, there is one additional function that oversees all functions of the business, making sure they are strong and integrating them into a cohesive, unified team committed to realising the company’s Vision. The role of the Integrator is very much execution focused, ensuring the business delivers on it’s promises and achieves the annual business plan.

Complementing the Integrator is the essential seat of the Visionary. The one who is very much outward focused, looking for new opportunities for the business. Relationships, both customer and staff, are very important to the Visionary as is coming up with 20 ideas a week. This can be a powerful source of growth and a bane of existence for a business. The ability to harness this power for the good of the business will result in a significant shift in the effectiveness of your team. Clarity of direction and consistency in your internal messaging help everyone understand where you are going and how you are going to get there.

One of the greatest challenges I see when working with business owners and their leadership teams is the temptation to shape a structure around the people who are already in the business rather than identifying the right structure for growth for the next 6 to 12 months and then seeing who in the team can fit. If the business has outgrown someone, even though they are a Values fit, it is not fair on them or you to keep them in a seat that they just don’t fit.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you have found ways to surround yourself with great people in your business in the comments section below.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are closed.