The Traction Process: Getting a Grip on Growth

Getting a Grip on Growth: The Traction Process

Business owners can feel they are on a roller coaster of highs and lows, and entrepreneurs often struggle with going from a startup to a fully fledged, functional and profitable organization. The Traction process aims to change both of these scenarios for the better. 

At AMS, our use of the Traction process has allowed us to profitably run our business using our highly outsourced and leveraged resource model, while adapting to periods of over 100 percent year-on-year growth in revenue as well as shrinkage of 25 percent and everything in between. Based on the book “Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business” by Gino Wickman, the approach has helped us ride the wave of high growth, no growth and negative growth.

The EOS

The book details the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), which walks business owners through strengthening six key components of their companies. The goal being frustration-free processes.

AMS Vice President and General Manager, Chris Edwall was familiar with Traction from his participation in Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).  I was a business coach using similar tools in my career prior to AMS, so when I joined AMS in 2015, we knew that implementing the Traction process was the right thing to do.

Traction in Real Life

The book asks readers to take a closer look at these components: vision, people, data, issues, process and traction. The ultimate goal is to align values and goals and create processes that are repeatable and comprehensive. 

While Traction’s EOS model touches every segment of our company, it didn’t take long to roll out. Due to our experience with the approach, we believe we had it down pretty well in the first year, however, we continue to refine and get better and better. The only (minor) challenge was adapting it to our company’s small size. Of course, it’s also critical to have the discipline to follow the system on an ongoing weekly basis.

Over time, we’ve been able to stay the EOS course, although whenever people are added to or leave the team, we’ve discovered it breaks the “rhythm” and requires adjustment and retraining.

Your Traction Process

At AMS, we believe that Traction and the EOS are part of what makes our company such a great place to work. In part because it gives every employee a clear vision of the company and their place in it. It encourages focus and accountability. A business must have a process like Traction to be successful over the long term. Traction is not the only one out there, but it does check all the boxes that a business operating system needs.  And in fact, AMS is building on the Traction process by implementing an open book management process called the Great Game of Business.  If you’d like to hear more about how Traction and the EOS can help businesses make good decisions, solve ongoing issues and grow profitability, you can visit the EOS site or contact us to start the conversation.

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Chris Edwall

Chris Edwall is the vice president and general manager of AMS. He’s a process development expert, and he brings a wealth of management experience which he applies to team building, operations, marketing and growth. In addition to business savvy, Chris brings a BSEE and MSEE in electrical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology, along with an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.