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With a Culture of Transparency & Accountability, Results Happen

Two of the most important, yet challenging, aspects of building a small entrepreneurial business into a growing, professionally managed organization is implementing a culture of transparency and accountability.  A lot of people would suggest that this happens by default in small businesses because there is nowhere for an underperformer to hide.  While this may be, transparency and accountability are more than just about finding out who is accomplishing their goals or not, it is about making sure that goals and action items are assigned to the right people and it is empowering employees with information to make decisions.

A lot of small business owners resist being transparent with the entire organization because they get concerned that if employees deduce the owner is making too much money, the employees will ask for a raise. And just the opposite, if the employees believe the owner is not making enough money, assumptions will be that the company is in trouble and they need to start looking for another job.  This thinking will continue to stunt the growth of the company because you cannot scale with this mindset and the best employees will leave because they have no tools to make independent decisions (an important factor in job satisfaction!).

Evolution believes that being transparent, which is sharing information with employees to help them make good decisions and importantly, understand how those decisions impact the overall company performance, is the underrated requirement to scale a business and one of The Five Pillars of Business Freedom.TM  Not all decisions have to come from the owner, there really are only 24 hours in a day no matter how hard you try to create more.  A second factor in The Five Pillars of Business Freedom TM is accountability. Evolution believes that accountability is the necessary result of making everyone a decision maker and that decision makers need to be confident in their judgment.

Through implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS), Evolution works with its partner company leadership teams to create an “accountability chart,” which is very similar to an organizational chart, but with the added features of specific job descriptions and reporting lines of communication.  Once that is complete, and management identifies and begins to report against key operating data metrics, a strategic plan can then be developed. With the plan in place, the process of developing measurable goals begins.  This is very difficult!  You need to make them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T.).  Developing measurable goals is the foundation for transparency and accountability.  For Evolution and our partner companies, per EOS®,we live in a 90 day world.  We measure daily, weekly and monthly metrics as we progress toward our quarterly goals.  Employees AND owners are expected to report their progress toward their goal and understand that they are being held accountable to it.

Transparency and accountability are not “check the box” items.  It is a spirit and culture that needs to be embraced.  If everyone is transparent and held accountable, not only will your company gain momentum and grow, but it will retain its best and brightest employees.

Hear directly from one of our partner company leaders, Mike Vea, who joined us on our weekly radio show to share how implementing EOS provided his team the tools for creating a transparent and accountable culture.  When fully embraced, the benefits are unbeatable.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kadlic A co-founder and managing partner at Evolution, Jeffrey has spent the past 15 years as an investor and private equity professional with a true passion for working with dynamic small businesses. @kadlic

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