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.

Your Business Map

Three year Business Plans. Yes, you still encounter them every now and then, but in today's VUCA world executing directly from a 3 year plan is RIDICULOUS! What you need is a business map to help you navigate towards your Vision using Scientific Thinking. EOS® has exactly that for you.

Two quotes, one message

Let’s look at two quotes and see where that takes us.

Quote number one is from Mike Tyson who reportedly said: “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face” – powerful!

Then let’s look at quote number two, this one is from Dwight Eisenhouwer who said”planning is everything, the plan is nothing”.

The message is the same: the plan once created is already outdated. If you dare to use it directly to navigate then you will meet Mike Tyson with his gloves. But the thinking work is absolutely great because it helps you to see opportunities and anticipate pitfalls. So instead of a complete and unusable plan we must use something else. What we need is a SIMPLE BUSINESS MAP: A clear and simple map that helps you to navigate towards what you want in a VUCA world.

The Map & EOS®

In the EOS® process, we clarify and create the vision for the organization by answering 8 questions of a tool that we call the Vision/Traction organizer or V/TO™. Once we have answered these 8 questions, agree with its answers and communicate all of them to everybody in the organization we can speak of a strong vision.
One of these questions is “what is your 3-Year Picture™”. This question is all about painting a vivid picture what we want the organization to look like three short years from now and we use the power of visualization to help our collective brains do the necessary path finding to get there.

The 3-Year Picture™

The 3-Year picture contains the revenue, profit and the key measurables (less is more) that we want to hit three years from now. In addition it contains five to fifteen bullets to paint a vivid picture of the organization. These bullets describe what it looks like when we are there, three years from now. It does NOT describe how we think we are going to get there, because if we go too much into the how, we are sure Mike Tyson punches us in the face. For great what bullets – think structure, people, processes, products/services, key partners, key activities, customer segments, business models, branding etc. Tip: you can use the Business Model Canvas as a thinking guide to get the vision from the head onto paper.
The 3-Year Picture™ must be exciting (this is key) and because it is not a complete plan it leaves room for great people to fill in the voids that are created when communicating this vision.
Once everybody is clear and can actually visualize these 5 to 15 bullets – seeing the future – we can start to treat this picture as our map to help us navigate. In our yearly planning cycle.

From Map to Goals

The 3-Year picture™ is used as a map when we define our 3 to 7 most important company goals for the next year. We do this work in the EOS® Annual, a two day session with the leadership team where we learn from the past, become stronger and healthier as a leadership team and plan the next year. Where the 3-Year Picture™ is our map for planning our 3 to 7 most important company goals for the next year, the 1-Year Plan becomes our Map for defining the 3-7 most important company rocks for the next quarter. This is the iterative approach that helps us to navigate in a VUCA world to get truly what we want.

What not How!

Focus on the What, not the HOW. This is such an important point that it is important to repeat it over and over again: please remember that the 3-Year Picture™ that we talked about here is all about what you WANT.

So what do you want?

It is not about defining HOW you are going to get there. Too often we let the HOW stand in the way of getting to the WHAT. Don’t be that person! In defining your business map, just focus on the what.

But wait…do we ever get to the how? Yes we do, because it is key to execute with success. We will figure out the how with our great team when we execute towards achieving our Rocks inside the quarter. This way we achieving our vision ONE QUARTER AT A TIME.

How do you get what you want? Break the mindset that you need a 3 or even 5 year plan to run your business. Instead use a map to successfully navigate in today’s VUCA world! Your V/TO® is that map.

Five Foundational Tools

Vision Achievers know that 80% of their success depends on purely implementing five foundational tools from the Entrepreneurial Operating System®

Five Foundations for Success

Here is an important insight for what drives 80% of your success in achieving your vision.

EOS® contains a toolbox of 20 tools, but just five of them are truly at the core of your success. We call them The Five Foundational Tools of EOS® and here they are:

  1. THE VTO™
  3. ROCKS

In the process of an implementation, we get to this point where these five foundational tools are implemented after just three days of implementation with the leadership team of the company. After completing the Vision Building™ day 2 session, the leadership team has achieved mastery in these five foundational tools, which means the leadership team has full understanding of the use and power of these tools and has implemented them in their team.

Another Milestone Achieved

From this milestone, we can plan the next phase where we are going to cascade these five foundational tools throughout the rest of the organization so the whole business is crystal clear on the vision, all executing with discipline and accountability and everybody is part of a healthy, functional and cohesive team. Now we are all rowing in the same direction to achieve the vision – how powerful is that?