- EOS Overview
- EOS Books
- EOS Implementers
- Base Camp
By Retired Reader (New Mexico)
This book begins promisingly enough by describing any commercial enterprise as an “Entrepreneurial Operating System” or EOS. According to Wickman the EOS can then be divided into six sub-systems or as he calls them components: traction; vision; data; process; people; and issues. These six sub-systems form the basis for a number of `tools’ that Wickman has developed to assist the entrepreneur to gain `traction’ for his firm. Although not specifically defined in this book, the concept of traction refers to the ability to move forward toward an enterprise’s goals and to achieve the full potential of the other five sub-systems. This book then provides a methodology and a tool set that are designed to turn any commercial enterprise into a success.
As with all such books of course, the question is does the EOS methodology really work? This is a difficult question to answer. Wickman apparently has had a good deal of success in turning businesses around. He has built on the work begun by his father, who apparently was a highly respected consultant in 1970′s. Using his EOS methodology plus the experiences of his father, Wickman appears to have built up an impressive portfolio of client recommendations.
Yet the book appears to have more than its share of errors of omission and commission. Structural organization is treated in a very pedestrian manner that ignores the fact that in today’s knowledge based organizations a `flat’ structure is much more effective than the hierarchical that Wickman apparently favors. And where is the concept that structure follows function not the other way around. Also throughout the book, terminology is used rather loosely and not in a very precise manner. For example the `vision’ component actually combines the concept of strategy (a set of goals and a plan to achieve them) and the concept of vision (the ability to perceive or foresee something not obvious to others). In another case the concept of a business plan is conflated with strategic planning. In point of fact a business plan is a compilation of specific types of information that serves as the blueprint for how a business is going to be conducted and the costs that will be involved. That is why it can be used to obtain business loans and otherwise attract capital. The “ten year business plan” that Wickman describe is a strategic plan not a business plan.
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