How to Downsize your EOS Leadership Group, without disappointing leavers?
I often get this question from clients who start EOS with a large leadership group of over 5-7 people. There are multiple reasons for starting with a big team.
  • Some CEOs want to use EOS to engage middle management in the vision building process.
  • Sometimes the more-the-merrier approach is to get a better perceived bang for their bucks invested in EOS implementation.
  • Other times the leader finds it hard to exclude people, as it would necessitate him to differentiate between his people (i.e. make decisions).  The leader may see EOS as the tool to stimulate the emergence of leadership through these sessions. (It does work, but there can be pitfalls.)
  • And finally the CEO may want a wider management group to participate in the vision building process, to get broader base of input and buyin from the executive level.
The recipe for picking the size of the starting team depends on the CEO. If he is comfortable uninviting people later, a bigger group is fine.  If that is not the case, start with a smaller group.
So how do you downsize the group, when the core team has emerged and it is time for focused execution and issue processing with your C-level leadership group?
What is un-ideal is to just terminate membership in the EOS process of people that had embraced EOS and have been excited to be part of the team.  A better approach is to transition these executives from the core leadership team to newly organized departmental EOS teams.  There will be their new EOS homes where they can teach the tools of EOS to their colleagues and lead Rock setting and Scorecard creation exercises and run departmental Level 10 Meetings.
Rather than “cutting” people from the Leadership group, promote them to important EOS roles at department level where they can be tasked to champion EOS on behalf of the company.