Journey to Traction: Our EOS Implementation Story

Brian Town Blogging

After eight years, we are finally using an internal system that I think will work and will be followed by all.

After a long career in education, the last thing I wanted to do when I started Michigan Creative was have a rigid structure and more meetings. When I was a teacher, all we did was have meetings, committees, committees about the committees, and meetings to talk about the meetings. Nothing ever really got done. No one wanted any extra work.

We tried to implement Traction ourselves a few years ago. We were much smaller and may not have been ready for it. Frankly, we were not very disciplined. We gave it another shot recently. Luckily a friend of mine from college, Tania, was leaving her job to be an EOS implementer. I have always respected Tania and she is really a badass. So, I knew that if anyone could wrangle a bunch of creatives, it was Tania. See her site here: https://achievebigresults.com/

So here we are, two vision building days in the books, and three months in, and it is working, and we are loving it.

Here are the five things that we have gotten from Traction up to this point:

1) Core values aligned and approved by all.

This was the most exciting for me. The core values that the staff laid out sounded like they were coming from my mouth. The things I cared about most were things that they cared about as well. Maybe they do believe in me, and in the greater good of Michigan Creative? I thought they did, but to see it all on the whiteboard was exciting. See our Core Values and Manifesto here: Core Values Of A True MC.

2) A plan for the future that wasn’t just made up on a whim.

In the past, I have had financial goals for MC, but I usually pulled them out of my ass. The goals we set recently with Tania, although a bit lofty, are attainable, and have steps, or Rocks, for us to work at to obtain them. It can work, and there is a way through the darkness.

3) Meetings that we actually used for problem solving.

90 min meetings. Nooooooooo. That sounds terrible. Who could possibly meet for 90 minutes per week? We are creatives, you can’t hold us down! But really, they work, and we like them. They also work during the week when someone wants to talk to you for a minute, that ends up taking 15 and takes your focus away from the task you were focused on. We simply add that thing to the issues list, then as a team, we identify, discuss, and solve that issue and move on during the meeting! I think we have accomplished more for internal MC stuff in the last three months than we have in the last eight years. Crazy right?

4) We have a system and a process.

When a new person joins our team, we plug them right into the EOS system, and within a few weeks they are acquainted and understand how we get things done and how we operate. The onboarding process is now more simplified and more streamlined.

5) What gets measured, gets done.

What Traction has allowed us to do is see if writing 20 proposals a month or 40 proposals per month makes a difference in our income, or if reaching out to 4 clients a week gets us anywhere. Now, we aren’t just trying things to try them and giving up on them later on. We can see if they work, and if they do, keep doing them. If they don’t, kill them, or change them and try something new!

I never wanted to be a “big boy business.” One that followed the typical business rules and agendas. THat never appealed to me. However, if we really want to be the type of company we can be, one that gives back to its employees, one that is known for the go-to company in the state for creative work and thought, we have to have a system. We found that system in Traction.

Want to talk Traction, or need a kickass implementor? I know a girl. Call me.

-Brian