EOS run companies live by their quarterly Rocks. It’s in their DNA. Perhaps you’re not familiar with the term or you’re not clear of their true meaning.
Rocks are simply 90-day priorities that yield BIG impact when completed. The key is to consistently pick the right Rocks and get them done. But this may not be as easy at it sounds.
Why do Rocks sometimes feel like boulders?
I have found that clients get better at the Rock process over time, but it can be challenging early on. There are typically three reasons clients get stuck:
How to eliminate grey areas for clear definition
Poorly worded Rocks will typically lead to lackluster results or worse, no results. For example, a Rock stated as “have a successful tradeshow” provides a general concept but no clarity and consensus around what a success is.
A better way to articulate this could be something like “hold 10 or more key-account meetings and obtain 100 or more new warm leads at the XYZ tradeshow.”
Articulating it this way validates clear impact with no murkiness of what “done” looks like!
If, for example, they had only achieved 8 key account meetings and/or obtained 90 leads, this Rock would officially be not done. 90% done is not done. This level of clarity helps raise accountability by eliminating grey areas.
Rocks are collaborative
Rocks have clear ownership, but that doesn’t mean you must complete them in a vacuum. In fact, it’s common to involve several people to complete each Rock, but only one person will own the final results.
This can open up the opportunity to delegate portions of responsibility to others. Remember, you can delegate tasks but you can’t delegate ownership. Successful completion of your Rocks always sits squarely on the Rock owner.
If you typically do most of the work, then you may not be comfortable with delegating. It’s important to understand that delegation is not a luxury; it’s a critical management/leadership skill that you must embrace and master to help you honor and focus your time most effectively.
Breaking down your Rocks
Sometimes the sheer magnitude of a Rock is enough to freeze you in your tracks! Not all Rocks feel this big, but when they do it’s important to break them down into bit size milestones. Since Rocks are 90-day goals, you can easily break them down into 30-day increments, i.e. two milestones prior to the final Rock completion.
Here’s an example: I had a client identify a Rock as “create the annual budgeting process and complete the 2018 company budget.” It was a 2-part Rock with lots of impact! Here’s how a milestone breakdown could look:
If the 30-day milestone is not met, it should be reported as “off-track” in the weekly Level 10 meeting and put up as an issue that needs attention and resolve.
Well thought out Rocks with clear impact ensure consistent progress towards reaching your Vision – one quarter at a time. But remember to get help in completing them and breakdown the BIG Rocks into bit size milestones.
Do this and may find your Rocks start feeling more like pebbles!
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