Do you need to simplify the strategic planning process in your business?
Are you having trouble getting your vision onto paper?
The Vision/Traction Organizer™ from EOS is designed to help you!
Explore everything you need to know about the Vision/Traction Organizer™. What are the 8 questions, how to ace them, and what processes you’ll need along the way?
Running a business isn’t easy. There’s a lot to think about.
And as things start to take off, it’s easy to get swept up in the chaos of the day-to-day.
The numerous competing priorities. The always-urgent issues to solve. And the (hopefully) endless opportunities to weigh up.
For Gino Wickman, that struggle warranted a solution: The Entrepreneurial Operating System®. A set of tools and concepts to help savvy entrepreneurs elevate their businesses, hit their targets, and scale their success.
And when it comes to sticking to tasks and getting stuff done, there’s one tool in the EOS Toolbox™ you have to prioritize — the Vision/Traction Organizer™; the unique two-page template for organizing plans and forecasting the future of a company.
As Whale helps companies running on EOS to power their process, in this blog we’re going to help you understand what the Vision/Traction Organizer™ is.
Why is this important? Because your Vision/Traction Organizer™ is one of the most important elements to have documented in your company.
Here's what we'll cover:
- The basics: What exactly is the Vision/Traction Organizer™?
- 5 Vision/Traction Organizer™ benefits you don’t want to miss out on
- Checking out what’s on your first page — Vision
- Hitting the accelerator for page two — it’s all about Traction®
Ready to get aligned, move, and generate revenue through a process-driven V/TO? Get your free Whale demo today!
What is the Vision/Traction Organizer™?
If you’ve ever read or written a business plan, you’ll know they can be pretty hefty reading. (And usually a real snooze-fest.)
Because when something is that lengthy, you’re bound to file it away and forget about it. That’s where the Vision/Traction Organizer (V/TO™) comes in.
The V/TO is a two-page roadmap, looking ten years into the future and giving everyone in the company a bird’s eye view of where you want to be (your Vision) and how you’re going to get there (Traction).
And it does that by asking The 8 Questions™ that help get your show on the road and keep the business on track to revenue-boosting success.
But, we’ll come back to those questions in a moment. First, let’s check out the juicy benefits.
What are the benefits of the Vision/Traction Organizer™?
Baseball legend and businessman Yogi Berra once said, “Without a plan, even the most brilliant business can get lost.”
Your V/TO sets out to prevent that from happening. And that alone can have some pretty wow-worthy benefits:
- A simple strategy: Business plans, like processes, need to be documented, accessible and scalable if they’re going to drive growth. So scrap those long-winded essays and create a simplified V/TO strategy for daily use.
- Everyone is on the same page (or two): Your plan is essential to everyone. Once you’ve simplified and shared it, document a process your employees will use and keep everyone rowing in the same direction.
- Success (and failure) is transparent: Employees who are clear on the company vision better recognize their success and failings. With a robust recovery process in place, if they do veer off course, they’ll be back in no time.
- All-in-one time-management tool: A V/TO outlines your 10-Year Target™ and where you must be in 3 years (and one year) to achieve it. Rocks and Issues then become projects, forming a fantastic time-management tool.
- Visionary and Integrator™ alignment: Just like Vision and Traction, Visionaries and Integrators need each other to work — any misalignment, and you’re going nowhere. Having a V/TO is a great way to ensure a united front.
And voilà! You’ve got a simple, powerful two-page business plan that:
- Is set to boost your progress
- You can really believe in
- Your employees can actually use
Not to mention the processes you’ll need to back it up.
Efficiency? Transparency? Simplicity? Check.
Pro Tip: Don’t rush the process. Schedule some solid time block (out of the office if possible) to focus on the big picture driving your Vision/Traction Organizer™.
Image courtesy of Traction Tools
The 8 Elements of the Vision/Traction Organizer™
1. What are your Core Values?
Behind every great business is a strong set of values that promote the culture. And everyone, at every level and in every function, has to align on what matters most.
Don’t think of them as a vanity metric. And when completing your V/TO, don’t rush. Instead, make them honest, motivating, and timeless — they’re with you for the long haul.
Here are some rules to help when deciding your Core Values:
- Choose between 3 – 5 (and stick with them).
- Imagine you’re a fly on the wall — think, how would others see your team? How would you want them to see your team?
- e.g., fair, accountable, loyal, etc.
- Scale your Core Values company-wide by documenting them somewhere with easy access for all.
- Once you’ve finalized your Core Values, re-populate your workforce based on them — really focus on getting the right people in the right seats.
“Once they’re defined, you must hire, fire, review, reward, and recognize people based on these core values. This is how to build a thriving culture around them.
Gino WickmanFounder of EOS Worldwide, Source: Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
2. What is your Core Focus™?
Your Core Focus is what keeps your train on track.
Tough choices, opportunities, and distractions are way simpler to navigate when you have a Core Focus to come back to for guidance.
And to formulate it, you’ll need to answer just two questions:
- What is our reason for being? The ‘why’ behind your company — your purpose/cause/passion.
- e.g., deliver a smooth customer experience for every client.
- What is our niche? The market/product/service you uniquely rock.
- e.g., web design.
To ace the Core Focus portion of your Vision/Traction Organizer™, you’ll want to:
- Keep your answers short, sweet and specific.
- Make it super inspiring and motivating to excite employees.
- Keep your customers top of mind — put them in focus and keep them there.
- Turn down anything that doesn’t fit your focus, no matter how tempting.
- Ask ‘Do current teams/projects/roles complement our focus?’ If not, goodbye.
- Create a process for referring employees back to your Core Focus — document it, share with them and keep it somewhere easy to find.
“When everything is important, nothing is important.”
Patrick LencioniAuthor of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Source: At The Table with Patrick Lencioni.
3. What is your 10-Year Target?
This is your horizon goal — the one way in the distance that, when you reach it, the job’s a good’un.
Forget the woulds and coulds for your V/TO and ask yourself ‘where do I want this company to be 10 years from now?’
An epic 10-Year Target means:
- Forgetting the short-term shiny stuff that makes no headway — big picture moments only over here.
- Being realistic and optimistic in equal measure.
- Getting creative — your employees want something to look forward to in 10 years.
- Writing SMART goals: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.
- Documenting your decision-making process if you ever need to re-evaluate.
“It’s really tough out there right now. But we know that’ll change. That’s why you need a 10-Year Target, to help you focus.”
Dan Zwacki Certified EOS Implementer, Source: EOS Worldwide.
4. What is your (high level) Marketing Strategy?
In a world that’s constantly changing, you’re going to need a marketing strategy and process to help you win!
And what perfect timing — once you’ve figured out your strategy, document it in your V/TO.
Within EOS, there are four steps to creating a killer Marketing Strategy:
- Define your Target Market: Check this one off early — don’t waste time, or money, barking up the wrong tree. If you have a sales or lead-gen team, ensure there’s a process in place to keep them wise to your ideal customer.
- Define your 3 Uniques: Your differentiators — the main value propositions. Essentially, what makes you unique. Every team, HR, sales, janitorial, and so on should know your three answers. And, hint, your customers should too.
- Locking in a proven process: You put your client and employees at ease by knowing the ropes. Found a pandemic-proof sales process? Jot it down, share it and make it available for others to replicate your success.
- Providing a guarantee: Let your customers know what you can deliver. Create a process for creating guarantees and make stakeholder alignment a significant factor at each stage. That way, everyone knows the expectations to meet.
5. What is your 3-Year Picture™?
This is where you start to form your project management tool within your Vision/Traction Organizer™.
Ask yourself two questions:
- Where do we have to be in 3 years if we’re hitting that 10-Year Target?
- What steps can we take over three years to get to where we need to be?
These two questions start to make the timeline a little more tangible for employees. And when they better understand where the company needs to be, they can begin to visualize the part they’ll play in achieving that.
Make your 3-Year Picture actionable by:
- Making your targets for question one specific.
- E.g., by Jan 2025, revenue will be X.
- Adding color to your picture with some details for question two.
- E.g., the number of employees, clients, new products, awards, etc.
- Focusing on targets that give an idea of the company’s size will be.
- E.g., revenue, profit, number of locations, how many employees, etc.
- Ensuring all leaders are aligned.
- Creating a process to share and discuss the 3-Year Target with staff regularly.
6. What is your 1-Year plan?
Kicking it off for the Traction portion of your V/TO is your 1-Year plan. And it’s pretty simple if you’ve created a solid 3-Year Picture.
This time you’ll ask yourself, ‘What do we need to achieve in the next 12 months to bring that 3-Year Picture to life?’
When you have the answers, start documenting the tasks that will get you there:
- Choose between 1 – 7 projects to ace in that period.
- Give those projects some stretching SMART goals.
- You’ll complete this plan each year, so create a robust process that guides project selection and keeps you focussed on increasing growth and revenue.
“Your 1-year plan is about bringing your long-term vision for the business to life. Don’t make the mistake that most companies make in trying to accomplish too much.”
Juliette Ryley Business Growth Specialist, Source: ActionCOACH
7. What are your Rocks?
Now it’s time to go a level deeper.
Ask, ‘what are the most important things to achieve in the next 90 days that are fundamental to the 90-Day World® EOS Process®.’
And whatever things you decide on, become your quarterly Rocks.
Really rock the Rocks you document in your V/TO by making them:
- SMART — for ultimate Traction.
- Minimal — 7 or less, any more, and you’ll lose focus.
- Accountable — assign a reliable owner to each Rock.
- Company-wide — scale them across the organization with a documented process everyone can access
8. What are the issues getting in the way of achieving all this?
Finally, the last part of your Vision/Traction Organizer™ is your Issues List.
Go ahead and be a little tough on yourself here — you’ll thank yourself for it later.
But also keep in mind that issues aren’t just problems. Include your obstacles, challenges, opportunities, and ideas too. If your team should discuss and agree upon it, get it documented.
Don’t just create an Issues List to grumble about something — own it:
- Create an environment where employees feel safe expressing their issues
- Every employee needs to adopt the Issues List — create a process on how to IDS™.
- Review your Issues List on a regular.
- Celebrate how great a solution is, not how many issues you solved in one go.
“Great leaders solve issues. They’re comfortable admitting their issue. And they’re good at IDSing it, agreeing on a plan to make the issue go away long-term.”
Mike Paton Certified EOS Implementer Source: EOS Worldwide
Bottom Line? “Just do it.”
Putting the Vision/Traction Organizer™ together is a big task.
But for The Receptionist Founder, Andy Alsop, getting dialed into the V/TO process is a no-brainer. His advice? “Just do it — it’s not an easy process, but every minute makes your business that much easier to run and gets everyone on the same page”.
There’s a process sitting shotgun to strengthen and simplify each of the eight questions.
So if you want to reap the V/TO rewards, it’s about more than answering some questions on a two-sided document. It’s about the processes you implement as a result of the answers. And getting your workforce to implement them too.
But with an engaging platform on hand to help with documentation, access, and scalability, you’ll be off to a pretty fantastic start.
Ready to amplify your Vision/Traction Organizer™ outcomes with simple and accessible processes the whole team will love?
Find out how ready your business is to systemize and grow?