EOS Agencies: How’s Traction Working For You?

by | Oct 13, 2020

Today, a surprising number of agencies use the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) to run their business.

It’s an off-the-shelf operating model that tells you how to create a vision, how to set your values, and how to make sure you have the right people in the right seats.

This session is for agencies that are running EOS already to compare notes on how they’re sticking to it.

But it’s ALSO a good opportunity for agencies that are curious about EOS to sniff around and find out whether this is something that will help your business.

If you always feel like you’re making it up as you go along this is a great session to attend.


Julia Langkraehr helps agencies implement EOS. She explains that in around 2008, EOS began to gain popularity in America and has gradually moved over to the UK and Europe as more and more coaches recommend the system and the book to their clients. ‘I think people like that the system is simple. It is open access, you can read the book and implement it yourself freely.’

Dominic Bemrose suggests that he looked at EOS ‘initially from a people perspective with the hope that it would help his agency to ensure they had the right services in the right place. I’m very interested in the structure that is used for meetings in the EOS model.’

Darrell Wilkins notes that his agency is ‘smaller at the moment, but we intend to be bigger. In my last agency we didn’t put any EOS systems in place, we grew really big and then struggled. Around the 25 people mark, we were onboarding staff constantly but with no consistency across our services or processes. I want to avoid that problem again.’

Robin Williams, who has worked across multiple industries, but never in a team that used EOS now runs sessions within his agency on how to use the system. He explains that the use of meeting time is a part of EOS that has a huge impact on his agency specifically. ‘A lot of colleagues saw meetings as a toxic waste of time, but really the time was just not being used or managed in the right way.’

Andrew Bathgate has been using EOS for a few months after feeling like his agency were winging it. ‘I looked at the Traction book and thought, “goodness that looks like a lot of hard work”, but actually I read a different book called Get a Grip, which is essentially a novel about an agency implementing the EOS systems. I read that, thought it was genius and then gave it to the whole leadership team before we all agreed to implement it.’

Andrew went onto explain that EOS made his agency ‘confront things that they had been ignoring. One of the big things for us was roles and who was accountable for what.’ He also emphasises how successful ‘Level 10 Meetings’ have been for his agency in addressing issues that the agency needs to resolve.

He explains, ‘A Level 10 meeting is where the leadership team gets together for 90 minutes. The first five minutes of those are spent chit-chatting, no more than that. Then the rest of the meeting is spent as follows:

  • Five minutes of KPIs
  • Five minutes of customer headlines
  • Five minutes of update on everyone’s rocks.
  • Go through the list of issues within the business and prioritise the most important one, then you spent the meeting solving that.

Claire Lydon admits she has never actually read Traction, but instead listened to the audiobook of Get a Grip. ‘We are around 2 years in. We are a small team, but we have applied it at the leadership level. We use the VTO and the scorecard throughout the team and it has made us so much more efficient.’

When asked about any part of EOS that are harder to get to grips with or that didn’t work so well, Claire suggests that ‘you get out of it what you put in, you have to be prepared to put a lot of time into making it work for you.’

Adam suggests that writing smart and achievable objectives (rocks) is really difficult. ‘The first quarter we had too many and didn’t get anything done, the second quarter we tried to pull it back but still didn’t seem to get it quite right.’

Alex Sibille mentions that that terminology can be off-putting but thinks that ‘focussing on the benefits and the outcome is important.’

‘It all sort of just makes sense.’

For help implementing EOS, Julia explains that there are 15 EOS Implementers like herself across Europe. She also emphasises that they are always happy to help first before looking for gain and that it is small tweaks that will really help make EOS work for you.

You can find her at www.boldclarity.com