Nancy Lyons, CEO, Clockwork delivered thoughtful comments on this question at a recent event hosted by Minnesota Business Magazine.
I will quote Nancy below and add a few comments of my own. Everything in quotations below is from my notes on Nancy’s presentation.
“Preparing for the future is all about people. Why? Our lives and work are intertwined. Both should be centered around values. How do we navigate change? We build our values around change.”
As an EOS Implementer, I have helped several companies articulate and write down their values. I believe it’s a valuable exercise for many reasons. Explicitly stated values are a foundation for alignment on a personal, organizational, and cultural basis. They must be communicated regularly, reflected in behavior, and recognized when demonstrated.
Values and Change
But I had not considered values as a tool for navigating change in the manner articulated by Nancy, an energetic, passionate, and thought-provoking speaker. If you have a chance to hear her, go. And look for a book that she is now writing.
“We build our values around change. We must train for and embrace adaptability… If people can pivot and adapt, change will not create paralysis. We talk about change all the time so that it is expected and normal.”
EOS and Values
Nancy noted that she has always felt that values were important. But she noted that the EOS process gave her company discipline around values. “They must infiltrate every aspect of our business.” And she linked values to all people, citing “everybody all the time” as critical to inclusion, motivation, and effective problem-solving.
“Tools won’t help you grow, thinking will.” And thinking by everyone in the company. This integration of everyone’s brainpower is critical.
Nancy closed her prepared remarks with a comment I recently heard almost verbatim from another CEO of an EOS company. “Hold people accountable and be accountable. EOS showed us what it’s really about. It’s not all about me any more.”
So preparing for the future is about values and about harnessing the brainpower of everyone in your company. It’s not solely a responsibility for the CEO.
You can follow Minnesota Business Magazine on Twitter at @MNBizMag. And you can follow Nancy Lyons on Twitter at @Nylons.