The Entrepreneurial Operating System®, or EOS, was created by Gino Wickman as a complete set of tools and concepts that get companies on track to achieve their respective visions with discipline and healthy leadership dynamics. At Sagefrog, EOS has been instrumental to getting our company healthy, especially when it comes to our marketing and sales strategies. While all of the EOS tools are useful for your company and its individual departments, we’re putting our focus on one specific tool in this blog, the Clarity BreakTM, to show how it can completely change the way you work and think.
A clarity break is a chunk of time that you separate from the minutiae of everyday office activity to really reflect on the business from a supervisory—rather than participatory—perspective. It’s your time to work on the business rather than in the business. Why is this necessary? If leaders don’t take time to think about the business and where it’s going, the company will end up at a destination it didn’t want to reach. We’re going to look at exactly why you should take a clarity break and what it can do for you.
Why Take a Clarity Break?
As a business leader, you have a complicated mix of responsibilities: you’re balancing day-to-day tasks that keep the business running with high-level decisions that affect the company’s ability to achieve its long-term vision.
It may seem frightening to walk away from the daily tasks that seem so pressing: deadlines are coming ever closer and time is always limited, so you feel you need to use every second to be productive. You may be surprised to learn that taking time away from your work for a clarity break will actually increase productivity because of the insights the breaks will allow you to have.
Throughout your busy day, issues pop up that represent opportunities to make improvements to personnel, processes and communication. Part of your job as a leader is to keep your mind in the present and address and resolve those issues on a case-by-case basis, but an even more important part of your job is to see those issues as opportunities and make structural improvements to your company or department that really stick. That’s where a clarity break comes in.
Find the Right Timing & Location for Your Breaks
Because clarity breaks are a time to work on rather than in your business, you need to leave the office when you take one. You are your company’s ultimate insider: you know everything someone who works there could know about its inner workings. Now it’s time to challenge yourself by looking at it from an outsider’s perspective, and that includes leaving your usual space. Getting some distance can be refreshing to your mind, and can give you a way to consider the company’s larger objectives as a whole. You might have a favorite coffee shop or find it soothing to simply go for a drive and clear your mind to get the ideas flowing.
Clarity breaks need to be taken at regular intervals and scheduled officially into your calendar. If you leave the timing up to chance, the opportunity will inevitably get away from you. Everyone wants a bit of your time, and it’s your responsibility as a leader to set boundaries that promote the health of your company in the long run. The regularity of clarity breaks is critical because business changes every day, so frequent reflection is necessary for relevant thoughts and insights.
It may take some trial and error to figure out the ideal timing of your clarity breaks. Maybe taking a half-day clarity break monthly feels too infrequent to really get a pulse on what’s going on in your business, but you can’t be sure that if you carve out 10 minutes a day your unplugged peace won’t be disturbed. In that case, maybe an hour per week or month is the perfect fit.
How to Take a Productive Clarity Break
Clarity breaks aren’t a vacation from the company, they’re a vacation from the details that cloud your thoughts on it. The approach you take to this period of reflection is what makes it worth your time. You’re taking this time away in order to get a wider view of what’s going on in your business, so it’s important not to get bogged down with a single issue. You need to ask yourself pointed, reflective questions in a variety of areas, including:
- Your company or department and if it’s on track to achieve its vision
- Your processes and how you delegate work
- Any complications within processes
- Any future challenges or opportunities you can be proactive on
- Improving communication
- Fit of employees to their roles
A clarity break is a time to really look at how your company functions and how what’s actually happening from day to day relates to your goals. Where’s your company going? Are the tasks that fill your and your team’s days moving it closer to that destination? Do you have everything and everyone you need to get there?
It’s important to ask questions about your team, too. You interact with your team in an organic way all the time, but a clarity break gives you a chance to break down those interactions and see what can be changed about your practices. You can reflect on matters of role and company culture fit, about staffing and if your fellow leaders are doing what they love. See what you may need to do to make your company a better place to work. We’ve been practicing clarity breaks for years, and not only did they help make our company a better place to work—they helped make us a Best Place to Work by PBJ.
The benefit from clarity breaks for employees is two-fold. Not only will you return from your break ready to make team members’ work lives easier with solutions to problems within the business, but also refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s easy to become irritable when you’re living in a constant barrage of problems to fix and questions to answer. When you solve inefficiencies and approach your job confidently, you can have the positive interactions that fuel your company’s happiness.
Your New, Clear Future
Once you work clarity breaks into your schedule, it won’t be long before you start to see the positive results of giving yourself time to come up with ideas. As they become part of your routine, you’ll see how taking care of your company or department’s health on a supervisory level is just as important as participating in the work that keeps it healthy from one moment to the next. Every action in a successful business is taken with purpose: moving towards goals with vision in mind, and clarity breaks are your way of making sure that your business is moving forward with intention.
For more information on how EOS can change the way you work and think, read our blog: How EOS Can Drastically Improve Your Marketing & Sales. Or, if you’d like a first-hand view on EOS, contact us. We’ve been running on EOS for a few years, and the results are undeniable. Perhaps during your next clarity break, you’ll come out with some to-do’s to jumpstart your EOS journey.
Contact Sagefrog Marketing Group today for help getting started.
Source: EOS Worldwide