Optimizing for any Management System

How to Optimize for any Management System

There are a number of excellent and widely used Management Systems.  Examples include EOS® (also known as Traction), Scaling Up® (successor to Rockefeller Habits), 4DX, and Rhythm System®.

If you are already using a management system, use this simple, brief assessment to consider whether your company might take some steps optimize the impact of that system.  You can set conditions, expectations, and norms that will enable your company and your leadership team to derive maximum value from such a system.

If you are considering adoption of a management system, use this assessment to set some conditions, expectations, and norms that will accelerate the adoption and impact from any such system.

This simple questionnaire should take less than 20 minutes to complete.  Scoring guide at the end.  It’s designed for CEO’s, but could be useful for any leadership team member.  Record a simple “Yes” or “No” answer for each question.  Just write the answer to the left of the question number.

If the answer is uncertain or partial, it is a “No.”  See comments at the end about mixed answers.


  1. Does your company have a formally identified Leadership Team (LT) of 4 or more individuals?
  2. Are there clear and distinct areas of responsibility for each LT member?
  3. Are there formal written job descriptions and comp plans for each LT member?
  4. Are those LT members incented to achieve company goals as well as individual goals?
  5. Is the entire LT, including the CEO, willing to invest 1 to 2 hours per week in a LT meeting, following a structured agenda? [This meeting can be in-person or virtual.]
  6. Is the LT willing to dive into a critical issue each week, identify the underlying cause, consider a range of potential actions, then decide on specific actions, time frames, and responsible individuals?
  7. Is the LT willing to invest one full day each quarter working “on” the business, rather than “in” the business, evaluating progress against quarterly goals and setting the next round of goals?
  8. Is the CEO willing to have open & honest confidential discussions with the entire LT, even on very sensitive topics such as personnel and finances?
  9. Are the CEO and LT willing to commit to a disciplined process for setting goals, reviewing progress, and taking corrective action?


  1. Is the CEO willing to learn and adapt along with all other LT members?
  2. Is the CEO willing to hold himself/herself and all members of the leadership team accountable when commitments are not met?
  3. Are the CEO and LT willing to consider changes in your leadership if the Management System process clearly indicates the need for such changes?
  4. Are the CEO and Board of Directors willing to share key financials from your income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement with the entire leadership team on a regular basis? [These are the statements that most banks request on a quarterly basis.]
  5. Is the CEO willing to carefully listen to and thoughtfully consider all thoughtful and serious suggestions from LT members?Even when he or she disagrees?
  6. Is the CEO willing to grant the LT a substantial voice in key decisions, reserving CEO “veto” power for very selective use?
  7. Is ownership and the CEO willing to consider significant structural, strategy, and operational changes if careful analysis, thorough debate, and consideration of alternatives yields support for them?


  1. Is there clear focus on strategy and its operational requirements throughout the organization?
  2. Is execution a driving value in this organization, proven by consistent achievement of results?
  3. Does the organization foster and support a commitment to process, tools, and discipline?
  4. Is there complete awareness and understanding of key priorities, at all levels of the organization?
  5. Do the senior leaders in this organization collaborate well, providing examples of teamwork for results?
  6. Does the daily, weekly, and monthly activity across the organization clearly reflect goals and priorities?


Count the “Yes” answers.  The number of “Yes” answers is equal to a point score.  A mix of “Yes” and “No” OR an uncertain answer must be considered a “No.”

16 or more points – This organization is thoroughly prepared and a strong fit for a Management System.  It should be able to optimize its results, with meaningful improvements..

11-15 points – This organization MAY be a good fit for a Management System.  It should consider actions to address the “No” replies, focusing on those that were mixed answers.

0-10 points – This organization is probably not ready to optimize the impact of a Management System at this time.

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