Your Core Focus

Do the deep work required to get complete clarity about WHAT you can be the best in the world at. This is gold, because now you can run the business with laser-focus and use it to avoid all DIS-TRACTIONS and get TRACTION towards your vision!

Core Focus™?

The Core Focus™ is one of the 8 questions of a document that we call the Vision/Traction Organizer™ or simple the VTO™, which is one of the five foundational tools of the Entrepreneurial Operating Systems®.

In the journey of an EOS® implementation we (the EOS Implementer and the Leadership Team of the organization) are working together to create a strong vision for the organization. A strong vision means that we have two things in place: 1. that we have defined the answer to the 8 questions of the VTO™ and 2. that we share the answers to these 8 questions with everybody in the organization and over time get to a point that we call Shared By All (SBA), where everybody is crystal clear on the vision and feel good about it.

Better Decision Making

Focus is one of the most important keys to success and you can think of the Core Focus as a decision making tool that helps everyone to stay laser focused in the business. The core focus consists of two parts: 1. your purpose/cause or passion and 2. your niche. These two parts together tell us why we do what we do and also what it is that we can can be the best in the world at in our business arena.

To define the core focus we have to dive into the passion/cause/purpose part and have deep understanding of where the fire within comes from and also have this understanding what we can be the best in the world at. If we nail that, we can stick to the Core Focus® and use the it make decisions.

Your Agile Organization

When everyone in the organization is crystal clear on what the Core Focus™ is, it enables the organization to become more agile. This is because with the core focus everyone can draw a circle in the sand and determine if a decision, communication or action is inside the circle (=inside of our core focus definition) or outside of the circle (=outside of our core focus).

An unclear core focus is like driving with your car in the fog: you hit the brake most of the time, go slow and are not accelerating. Once you have defined your core focus with clarity, then you go fast, the fog has been cleared and you can accelerate.

You truly need to have this level of clarity to move fast in the VUCA World we live in (VUCE = Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous). Please make the decision to stick to your Core Focus once you have defined it and you will get more done faster and avoid a lot of frustrations because you will not chase all kinds of shiny opportunities that are outside of your core focus.

Scientific Thinking

Scientific Thinking is a way to find your way in the VUCA world that we are living in. This thinking practice is vital for better problem solving and better decision making.

Scientific Thinking?

In his great article (see link), Mike Rother (Toyota Kata) outlines what Scientific Thinking is and how you can use it to navigate in a VUCA world. Simplified, you could say that Scientic Thinking is all about FINDING YOUR WAY – that is your way towards your target, your aim, your vision. Below is the link to the article in pdf.


When we are practicing scientific thinking, we take the following three basic steps:

1. We must a prediction about a future result

2. Reality happens

3. Learn from the difference

To clarify this last point: after a certain amount of time, we can now evaluate to look at the difference between what we predicted and what actually happened in the real world.

If there is a difference (and obviously, often times there is 😉  then we just look at the facts (using a tool like the debrief directive™) and learn to improve our progress and performance into the future.

Agile & Scientific Thinking

Agile organizations are able to set an aim, make a prediction, look what happened and adjust accordingly – this is exactly the same pattern as we follow with scientific thinking – therefore Mike Rother remarked that you can think of Agile as a practical approach to scientific thinking and that is exactly right.


EOS & Scientific Thinking

Companies that are running on EOS® are continuously setting a new aim, making that very clear and then plan and work towards achieving that aim. The practical way we do that within EOS® is with Rocks. When we set Rocks, we are actually predicting for the long term and defining our most important aims – our most important company priorities and individual priorities for the next 90 days.

Now the priorities are set we can plan and execute towards achieving them. We execute our rocks and after 90 days in the Quarterly Meeting with the team we look at what happened. What is the gap between our prediction and the results that are in. What can we learn from that? How can we improve with these learnings the next time (iteration)? In this process we are actually using Scientific Thinking.


Run on EOS®

Rocks are just one of the five foundational tools to get what you want from your business. Hopefully this post helps you to see the connection between Scientific Thinking, Agility and Rock setting. It is all about getting crystal clear on what you want, then staying focused during the quarter to get there and being agile and learn.  For Rock setting the time frame is the 90-day world, but the same approach applies to aims for a week, day, etc. It is a never ending learning journey of improving and transforming towards your bigger and better future.