Agencies that use EOS – the Entrepreneurial Operating System

by | Jul 15, 2020

Traction by Gino Wickman describes EOS as a system for running a small business. Running an agency specifically, can often make the owner feel as though they are pulling all of the strings to keep the business afloat, but EOS offers a solution for that.

Tom Head, Director and Co-Owner of Lab, discusses why he decided to implement EOS. Suki Dehal, Founder and Managing Director of 383, a digital project studio describes the elements of the system that he picked to implement within his company. Finally, Julia Langkraehr from Bold Clarity who is an EOS Implementer explains how she helps companies start working with the system.

Currently Lab is a full-service digital agency, made up of around 85 people, who have worked on a USP of understanding human behaviour in conjunction with digital technology. Tom notes that he was first drawn to EOS when he finished the book Traction and realised his business didn’t have any of the frameworks the book suggested for success.

‘It seemed to provide a framework that worked across the business, aligning areas that had before been separate with the future of the company. We had lots of the leadership team read the book and then threw ourselves into it. Tom describes his favourite elements of EOS:

  • The Vision Traction Organiser (VTO) – This allows you to note what your vision is and align around it, and also how you want to approach achieving that.

Tom emphasises that this process in itself helps you to ‘move away from a company where you as the director make all of the decisions and set out the plans, into a collaboration including the whole team. It provides the foundation for eventually empowering other members of the team.’

  • IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve): Solving issues in a different way, listing issues and tackling them as a team – ‘with this you gradually realise what you think were the issues, aren’t actually the issues, and things you think are really urgent actually can wait a week.’

Suki describes that his company read the same book around 7 years ago. ‘We read the book once and felt we knew enough about it to hit the ground running. It helps us organise ourselves and have structured meetings.’

‘Scorecards for me are the most useful thing. I can see at a glance whether something is on track simply by looking at whether it is red or green.’

Julia Langkraehr – Bold Clarity and EOS Implementer suggests that when she works with companies, they put the foundational tools in place within the first 60 days. Although there are 12 tools within the model, there are 5 that will give you 80% of the value. These tools are:

  1. The Vision Traction Organiser (VTO)
  2. The Accountability Chart
  3. The Scorecard
  4. The Meeting Pulse
  5. The People Analyzer

The Vision Traction Organiser (VTO) – A simple 2-page document, with a vision section and a traction page. The idea is to get your vision into its simplest form. Including the vision itself, how it will be achieved and where the business is headed. The second page includes the budget, and the ‘rocks’ you’re working on for the business.

Julia notes how during COVID, her teams have been using The People Analyzer tool to align the people within her team with the values of the business. This tool has three main criteria for assessing whether someone is right for the job. Whether they:

  •  Get it
  • Want it
  • Capacity to do it

These qualities can be assessed both during the performance reviews of existing employees, or during the hiring process.

Tom discusses how he uses an obstacle to assess the ‘wants it’ quality. He ‘asks all shortlisted applicants to send a video of themselves answering 5 questions’, and if he gets a video in return he knows the applicant wants the job seriously enough.

The Accountability Chart – It shows what people’s roles and responsibilities are. It can be tricky to do but can also be really important for understanding where you are with your seats.

Julia notes that during this time, she is happy to offer a conversation or support to companies over the phone or via video call.

You can contact Julia at [email protected] or visit