Traction Strong: Annual Planning

Get what you want from your business

Previously …We’ve been following the journey of a Pensacola-based engineering firm as they’ve implemented EOS® (the Entrepreneurial Operating System) as a system to run their business. The company’s leaders (John, Ray, Roberto and Sarah) had people and process issues which ultimately led to low profits. During their first three sessions with Ryan Giles, the team built their accountability chart, weekly scorecard, set quarterly goals and established a weekly meeting time. They also built a strategic plan to align the entire team around where the company was going and how it was going to get there.

The Annual
The team’s next meeting with Ryan would be a two-day off-site session to plan the following year. As the first day began, John choked up a little as he thought back on the past year. The company had survived COVID, and in many ways, they were stronger now than ever before. The leadership team of John, Ray, Roberto and Sarah had become closer and more “open and honest” over the past few months. The rest of the team became a little emotional as John expressed his gratitude.

Team Health
Next, the fun began as Ryan led the team through several “team health” exercises. To begin, everyone shared details about their family and background. Though they had worked together for four years, Ray was surprised to learn that Roberto was the youngest of 10 children. Roberto explained that he was often perceived as aggressive or pushy because he had to fight for everything while growing up. Sarah admitted that she had a fear of speaking in public, and for this reason, she didn’t always speak up when the team was solving issues or discussing strategy. The team talked about how this new information could make them a stronger team.

The next exercise tested the team’s level of trust. Everyone gave feedback on each other’s most valuable trait … and one thing they would like the person to stop doing for the greater good of the team. At first, John became defensive when Ray told him that he talked a lot during meetings and often monopolized conversations. When Sarah agreed with Ray, John softened, and the team discussed how John could improve in this area.

The last exercise of the day included an analysis of the company’s weaknesses to be fixed in the next year, opportunities to be taken advantage of and industry trends to watch.

At the end of the day, the team agreed that the team health exercises were the most valuable part of the day. Roberto said in his 20-year career, he’d never received feedback in such a helpful manner. Ryan suggested that the team have dinner together to keep the conversations going.

Day 2
The second day began with a recap from Day 1 before the team reviewed the business plan. While COVID brought major changes, the company’s long-term goals hadn’t changed. Ryan led a conversation to create a new 3-Year Picture and a new 1-Year Plan. The new 1-Year Plan for 2021 included revenue and profit goals along with a few additional measurables and five goals for the year. These goals would direct the company “Rocks” for each quarter. The team set new quarterly goals and spent the afternoon solving issues. Everyone left the retreat energized and committed to achieving the company’s goals for the next year. They would share these goals with the rest of the company at an upcoming “state of the company” meeting.

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