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[00:00:00] Dr. Sharp: Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

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Hey, everyone. Longtime listeners know that I am constantly trying to keep this podcast fresh. Today is another adventure in that regard. I’m starting a new series where I will be chronicling our practice’s journey through the implementation of something called the Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS, which is a business framework that we are choosing to implement as we continue to scale. So, I’m going to try to document this process in near real-time to provide y’all with an inside look at the system and how it can help a practice or hurt a practice. Who knows? I don’t know what the outcome is. We’re in the middle of it.

Fair warning. This could totally be messy, but I’m going to do my best to be real and share with y’all what this process is like. Sometimes that will mean it is complicated. It will [00:02:00] be challenging. It already has been in some ways, but let’s try something new and see how this works. Now, I will say that this series is probably admittedly going to resonate more with advanced practice owners and larger group practice owners, but I think the principles of EOS are really applicable across all levels of business.

So, today is the first episode in the series clearly, and I’m just starting with a little bit of a chat about the EOS model, how I found it, what it is and why we decided to go this route in our practice.

Before I get to the main episode, as always my Testing Psychologist Mastermind groups are enrolling continuously at the beginner, intermediate and advanced levels. So wherever you’re at in your practice journey, there’s a group to support you and then provide some accountability. I facilitate all of the groups. They’re small groups with psychologists just with testing practices. If that sounds interesting, you can sign up for a pre-group call at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting.

All right, let’s jump to this conversation about EOS Foundations.

Okay, y’all jumping right into it. Like I mentioned, this is a foundational episode about our journey through Entrepreneurial Operating System or EOS. Let me start with how I found this model and even came to decide to try and implement it.

So this is a model that I initially heard of through my brother-in-law, Dan Konigsberg, who was on the podcast several [00:04:00] months ago talking about one aspect of EOS that he has implemented in his software business. I heard of it probably 5, 6, or 7 years ago when Dan first started to implement it. He didn’t call it EOS at that time. So I wasn’t sure exactly what specific framework it was. I just knew that he was implementing a framework in his business as it grew that was proving to be very helpful.

Shortly thereafter, I would say probably two years after that, I was recommended the book Rocket Fuel, which is a book in the EOS series by one of my own mastermind group leaders. At that time I read Rocket Fuel or I started it. I didn’t totally get into it because our business really wasn’t in that place where the material could be as applicable as otherwise, it should have been. So I put Rocket Fuel aside, but that was just another touchpoint in the EOS system that kept it on my brain.

And then finally, within the last year, I have interacted with, heard of, or have friends who are running other group practices who’ve implemented EOS with a lot of success. And so, this is truly a case of that old marketing idea that you have to have several touchpoints before you’re willing to act on something. And that was truly the case for me. I had several of those touchpoints. And then finally, like I said, the tipping point was being in an accountability group with another group practice owner who is implementing EOS and loving it.

Probably six months ago, I went back, no, oh gosh, maybe 8 to 10 months ago, I went back and read the [00:06:00] main EOS book. It’s called Traction. The author is Gino Wickman. It’s a classic, I think, in the business world at this point, and loved it. I completely fell in love with it and decided to move forward with investigating whether EOS would be a good fit for our practice.

So let me tell you what EOS is. Oh, and this is the time, sorry, I should’ve said this earlier. They are not sponsoring the podcast. This is not a paid ad. I don’t have an affiliate relationship with them. I’m just genuinely trying to document this journey as we go through it and give you an inside look at how the system works. So no personal investment.

What is EOS? It was started by a guy, Gino Wickman, who was the son of a pretty big real estate business owner. His dad was a huge real estate business owner, but the business wasn’t doing well. Gino came in to run the family business and really turned the family business around. And through that process, as he tells it, he stumbled into this strategy or framework or system that seems to work for running businesses.

At this point, it’s grown into a worldwide company. They have a certification program. They have trained and certified facilitators who are called implementers. I’ll talk about our implementer throughout the series. And it’s evolved into a pretty well-documented process. They have a very resource-rich website with lots of free tools, lots of information, and lots of videos. And like I alluded to earlier, there are several books that address the different aspects of the model.

So, I’m not going to a [00:08:00] ton of detail about the model and get into the language that they use, as with any business framework, there’s the language that goes along with it and the terms that they use, but I’ll speak in hopefully general terms that still give you a good idea of what’s going on.

So, like I said, it’s really just a framework for running your business. There’s nothing I would say revolutionary. These are ideas that you can find in any business book. It’s just like the way that they have distilled these ideas, framed them, and communicate them. 

So, the primary areas of the framework are in helping you develop goals for your business, vision, and values for your business. A huge component is getting the right people in the right seats or right positions within your business; staying on track with important projects, and that includes identifying what important projects there are, and then keeping people accountable to get them done; how to run meetings effectively, which seems super simple but I know we have struggled with in our practice to find the right meeting formula; and then the last component is figuring out what data you need to measure in your practice that actually matters and how to do that.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

So several components. As we walk through the EOS process, we’re going to tackle different parts of the model, but that’s a big picture overview. You can get a lot of information from the website too if this sounds interesting to you.

So why did we decide to pursue it? I think this is the really important part. The tipping point, I think for years, I knew in my mind that I was trying to do too much within our practice. I’ve talked on the podcast here about delegating, outsourcing, blocking off my schedule, and all those productivity hacks that go a long way. And I was doing all of those things to the best of my ability.

Up until the last, I would say, 12 to 18 months, I think it was going pretty well, but we’ve continued to grow. At this point, in our practice, we have 35 people on our payroll between admin [00:12:00] and all of the clinical staff. And especially within the last year to 18 months, we’ve grown a lot. It finally hit this tipping point where I think internally I knew that I was losing my grip on our practice and losing my grip on the responsibilities that I was supposed to have. So I was becoming aware of that. I think subconsciously I knew it for a long time and it took me a long time to actually come to grips with it.

What really pushed me over the edge is the round of employee reviews that we did almost a year ago. So this was in August, let’s say August 2021. There was a theme that started to come up and it was percolating before that. I’d heard whispers and little statements here and there, but in the round of reviews in August 2021, a lot of people were coming to me and saying some version of, we need more help. Actually, it was more like Jeremy, you need more help. You can not do everything that you’re doing. Things are falling through the cracks. Communication is pretty bad. We don’t know who to go to. Things aren’t getting done.

So all of those statements started to come up and it was hard to hear. I certainly have whatever you might call it, whether it’s a provider complex or a superhero complex or anything in that realm to think that I could do everything if I just worked harder and was more efficient and changed my [00:14:00] schedule just a little bit more. And it was hard to come to terms with this stuff and to hear that things were not working. But it was also very clear when I allowed myself to actually take that in.

I think the final thing that pushed me over the edge was, I have a good friend who’s an organizational psychologist, an IO psychologist, and I was on the phone with her one day just catching up and she was asking about my business and given the work that she does, she started to ask about our leadership team and everything. I basically had to say, well, I have an assistant director who helps a lot, but otherwise, it’s me. And she was floored and basically said, you’ve got to do something ASAP.

So everything started the point in this direction of, I need something. And right around that time was when I joined this most recent accountability group and came into contact with this clinician, now a friend who runs a group practice with EOS and it honestly just seemed like a lifeline. I was like, okay, maybe this is something that will help. The parts that I really gravitated toward were, there are few;

One is that it is super structured and there is a real system to follow. So, my brain really gravitated toward that. And the way that she described it, which I love was, and I’ll come back to this when I’m talking about the implementation, but the part that I really loved was that it’s like taking everything out of your house, putting it on the driveway, figuring out what you want to [00:16:00] keep, what you want to throw away, and then putting everything back in the right place in your house. I thought that sounds exactly like what our practice needs.

That was it. I was again, just feeling lost despite reading tons of business books. I’ve done a lot of coaching. I just needed some help. It was hard to hit that wall and realize that I don’t know exactly how to build this leadership team and turn the practice around or get it to a better place. And so, it seemed like a lifeline. And that’s what led me to it.

At that point, I started to chat with some folks on my team who might be potential leaders and gauge their interest in something like that. People were very interested. So, those were short conversations. People were very interested.

And so, that is the story of why we decided to pursue it. Basically, my staff came to me and said, we need help. You can’t do all of this. Figure something out. And that was my outlet. This is where I decided to go. In my mind, the hope of course is that as we continue to scale to do it well and to keep folks as happy as possible- that means taking myself out of the process and really allowing others in the practice to step up and have some leadership.

So that’s the background with EOS. There’s so much more I could say. Like I said, there are a lot of resources you could look into. You could definitely read Traction. That’s the one that hooked me. But that’s where [00:18:00] I want to leave it for now, just to give you a little background, set the stage. Next episode, I’m going to be talking about the “onboarding process with EOS” and our first true formal practice or exercise as we started to implement EOS, which is called the Focus Day.

As with all new formats, I’m curious how this is going to land with folks. Don’t hesitate to send me an email or message as the series goes on. I’m curious how this plays out; if it’s helpful and how folks receive it.

In the meantime though, of course, The Testing Psychologist Mastermind groups are continually enrolling. Right now, we do have new cohorts at all levels starting in May. The advanced practice group I think, is actually full for the next cohort, but beginner and intermediate have a couple of spots left, 2 or 3 spots left in each at the time that I’m recording this. So, if that’s interesting, if you’d like some group coaching and accountability, then check out thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting, and you can book a pre-group call.

Okay. Y’all take care. I’ll talk to you next time.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area.[01:08:00] Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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