Happy New Year! It’s the perfect time to reflect on 2017’s impact on your company.

  • What can you celebrate?
  • Did you achieve your goals? If not, what held you and your team back?
  • What have you learned this year that you could have done better?

Analysis leads to improvement. If you don’t slow down to identify what needs work, you’ll never solve the problems that could be crippling your business’s growth.

For the thousands of businesses who follow the EOS process, the end of each year accomplishes two things:

1. Open conversation.

Blind spots kill efficiency and cohesive communication.

We’ve set our team up to be vulnerable in a safe environment. Each team member shares “One Thing” that they need each of the other team members to start or stop doing in order to have the greatest level of success in the following year. If any team members are feeling frustration or seeing opportunities that another person can focus on, this allows for open conversation.

2. High level of accountability.

The EOS process provides each team member a way to focus on their “One Thing” for the year. It allows for successful personal accountability. It also provides the entire team with appropriate language to hold one another accountable when anyone strays from their “One Thing”.

At the end of the year, we take a deep breath and reflect. We look at where our business needs to go in the future year and re-set our “One Thing”.

The “One Thing” Exercise

Start your team off in 2018 with concentration and focus – our blind spots are revealed through open and honest peer feedback. The “One Thing” exercise helps us to see things about ourselves typically hidden from self-view.

The following are the 8 steps to bring your team through the “One Thing” process at the start of the new year.

Step 1: You, as the leader of this exercise, write the following two topics on a whiteboard:

  • Your greatest contribution to the team and organization.
  • One thing to start or stop doing for the good of the entire team.

Step 2: Start with the bravest member of your team. Ask everyone else to think quietly for two minutes about an answer to the two questions for this first participant. What is their greatest contribution or trait to the team? What is one thing you would like them to start or stop doing for the good of the team?

Step 3: Get permission from this person to be completely honest. They should take notes and practice active listening. While they can ask clarifying questions, they may not defend, challenge, or respond to any statement made by their team members.

Step 4: Go around the room and allow one minute per person to share their response to the first topic.

Step 5: Do the same for the second topic: one minute per person to respond.

It’s important that everyone speak directly to the participant, even though they can’t respond. This is essential for establishing safe and open communication throughout the entire year. The best way to frame each statement is, “‘Joe, your greatest contribution to the team is ____. ‘Joe’, the one thing I really need you to start or stop doing is ____.”

Step 6: Repeat this process with everyone in the room. Each team member needs to hear from everyone on the team, with no exceptions. This builds trust!

Step 7: After everyone has finished, have them look at their notes from the feedback they received from their colleagues. Each person needs to select at least one thing they will commit to in the next year. For example: “In 2018, I commit to start or stop ____ for the greater good of this team.”

Step 8: After everyone has selected an item to commit to, go around the room and allow each person two minutes to share their “One Thing”. Now everyone knows everyone else’s “One Thing”, which helps the team keep each other accountable!

If this is all new to you, give the EOS process a try this year. We’d love to hear about your experience and of course, if you ever need help, we’re here.