A CEO friend observed that our daily work lives are just a series of request / response exchanges, which we often handle poorly. To illustrate the point, consider this request from Marla, a Sales Manager to a team member:
Marla: “I’m talking to Johnson Distribution, an attractive prospect who feels our inventory software module may not fit their business. Could you put together a report of our wholesale distribution clients in the area?” ____. Ron: “Sure, I’ve heard of Johnson.” ____. Later in the day Ron walks into Marla’s office. “Here’s the report.” ____. “Great, thanks. Do all these companies have at least $10 million in sales? Otherwise, Johnson probably won’t see them as peers.” ____. Ron (begrudging the new stipulation): “I didn’t factor that in. Too bad, as I did a lot of number crunching to break out the inventory software revenue. And excluding clients under $10 million may leave us too few companies in Florida.” ____. Marla (trying to hide her frustration that Ron missed the obvious): “Then just expand the search to the whole Southeast Region.” ____. Ron stayed late to finish the report. The next morning he called his customer, Brann Inc. to say their promised quote was delayed ‘due to an urgent matter that came up.’
Marla’s seemingly simple but unclear request as well as Ron’s reflex response resulted in much unplanned work and a missed a client deadline. Poor request / responses are incredibly common, and as they multiply throughout the organization dysfunction spreads likes a virus.
To eliminate dysfunction you need a system that first gets all team members to agree and align on priorities, so the organization’s available capacity for deliverables matches the greatest business needs and opportunities. Next, the same system should help people and teams maximize their output on those priorities.
That’s what EOS® really is, a system to optimize human energy.