EOS® vs Scaling Up®: Which one is better for me?
If you are reading this, it's probably because you are considering adopting one of these business (operational) management systems in your company, and usually, you have heard a lot of things from both, or absolutely nothing from either, so I hope this article gives you some guidance that helps you clear your mind about these systems.
First, I congratulate you for having this matter on your desk, since it means that you are looking to professionalize your company's day-to-day life and enjoy first-hand the benefits that this decision entails. Honestly, whatever path you choose, you will gain tremendous value from it and will positively impact your leadership team and your entire organization in general.
Now, what is there to discuss in this article? The journey. I will explain it below. And, to avoid having any doubt about if I know what I'm talking about, let me tell you that besides being CEO of a multinational consulting firm and having more than 15 years advising various company profiles, I was the first professional EOS implementer in Mexico and I also know very well the Scaling Up system. Furthermore, as an entrepreneur, I have experienced firsthand the benefits of these systems in my own flesh. To sum up, I have been the client, the consultant and now I'm also the implementer. Not many can say the same thing.
What is EOS?
EOS stands for “Entrepreneurial Operating System” and is basically a set of simple timeless tools that seek to strengthen the 6 key components of any organization: Vision, People, Data, Issues, Processes and Traction. EOS emerged from the book Traction, written by Gino Wickman, who also founded EOS Worldwide.
What is Scaling Up?
Scaling Up, also known as the Gazelle's system or Rockefeller Habits, was designed by Verne Harnish, who also founded The Entrepreneur's Organization (of which I am a member of the San Diego, CA chapter). The Scaling Up model is based on the idea that organizations should strengthen 4 main areas: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash.
If you read both books, you will find great similarities in the theoretical and practical concepts that both books present. You will find very similar terminology, phrases that will sound familiar, and quotes from the same books and authors. It is naive to think that there hasn’t been some reciprocal inspiration between the authors. The areas of the company to which the models refer are also very similar, and the tools that each author presents even share very similar formats and titles. Feeling more confused now?
The easiest and most concrete way to understand the difference between the two is to see EOS as a simplified version of Scaling Up. And in this simplicity precisely lies the power and preference of many to choose EOS. However, in my experience implementing both systems, and advising companies of various sizes, industries, markets, and psychographic profiles, I have concluded that all companies, despite their current size, income level or number of collaborators, should start to implement EOS in a pure form, and a couple of years later, possibly evolve into the Scaling Up system.
The reason why I hold the above mentioned is that many companies, led by fierce visionaries, who suffer from a very peculiar tendency to overestimate what we can achieve in the short term, will be tempted to try to adopt Scaling Up if they feel that EOS is “too simple” for their company, even, many won't understand why they should invest so much money in hiring an external implementer if “the book explains everything” ... however, and hundreds of cases of experience later I assure you that all companies, whatever their profile, first need to focus on building the necessary degree of commitment, discipline and accountability that a business operating system demands. For this same reason, it is that EOS must be implemented in a “pure” way, avoiding the temptation to modify the system with other tools or techniques that we know. The leadership team and the organization itself are simply not ready to do so.
I hope that the following illustration will help you compare both systems one last time and understand that a better appreciation is to see them as subsequent systems, designed for different organizational maturity points, from which you will obtain great benefits in all areas of your life and your organization.
If you want more information about these systems, feel free to write me a message. It will be a pleasure to help you.
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