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From Talk to Action: Why Reviewing and Completing To-Do's is Crucial for Business Growth

From Talk to Action: How Reviewing and Completing To Do’s Transforms Businesses

Success in the world of business is underpinned by robust systems and processes. If your organization operates under the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), you appreciate the vital role that structured meetings play in promoting productivity and growth. 


But, one of the challenges that many businesses face in this model is the recurring issue of incomplete To-Dos during L10 meetings™. These unresolved tasks can hamper progress and stifle growth. If your company struggles with this problem, it might be time to take a step back and rethink your approach to To-Do's.

Understanding To-Do's from an EOS® Perspective

A To-Do, within the context of EOS®, is far more than just a task on a list. It’s a key driver of productivity and growth. It's essential, however, to distinguish between "L10™ To-Do's" and "daily To-Do's." 

While daily To-Do's keep your business operations running smoothly on a day-to-day basis, L10™ To-Do's serve a broader, more strategic purpose. These are tasks that are meticulously aligned with resolving specific business issues and propelling the company toward its overarching goals.

The Level 10™ Meeting Agenda and Its Focus on To-Do's

The Level 10™ Meeting Agenda is designed to cut through the noise and transform meetings into productive, action-oriented sessions. One of the key sections of this agenda is the review of the previous week’s To-Do List, which we’ll discuss more in a moment. But first, if you’re unfamiliar with the flow of these meetings, here’s a quick snapshot of a Level 10™ Meeting Agenda:

Segment 1: Segue – Good News Sharing (5 minutes)

Segment 2: Scorecard Review (5 minutes)

Segment 3: Rock Review (5 minutes)

Segment 4: Customer/Employee Headlines (5 minutes)

Segment 5: To-Do List Review (5 minutes)

Segment 6: Issues Solving Time – Identify, Discuss, Solve (60 minutes)

Segment 7: Concluding Remarks (5 minutes)

As you can see, this structure gives To-Dos a lot of prominence. But first, let’s look at where these To-Dos originate from. 

Creating To-Do's: The Role of the Issues List

In the Level 10™ Meeting framework, To-Do's are not randomly assigned tasks but are strategic responses to identified issues from the previous week’s L10™ meeting. These issues are tracked on the Issues List, which comprises challenges, roadblocks, or opportunities that need to be addressed within your business.

When issues are identified and added to the Issues List, they become the basis for creating new To-Do's. Each To-Do is a 7-day action item designed to resolve an issue from the Issues List.

The goal is to achieve a minimum of 90% completion rate of all To-Do's each week. This focus on accountability ensures that commitments made in the previous meeting are followed through and provides a system for tracking progress.

While a 90% completion rate can be a tall order at times, this is where the rubber hits the road as a company since it’s a direct reflection of your business's momentum. This measurable is something that your Integrator™, if you have one, needs to be accountable for. 

As a Fractional Integrator™, I watch this particular measurable very closely as it’s a great indicator of a lack of traction, which will inevitably impact your company’s ability to achieve its annual goals and financial targets. In addition, when To-Do items are left undone, it usually signals an accountability issue that needs addressing.

Tips for Creating Effective To-Do's

Creating effective To-Do's that drive action and facilitate progress requires a strategic approach. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
  • Be Specific: Define what needs to be done clearly. Ambiguous To-Dos can lead to confusion and incomplete tasks.
  • Assign Responsibility: Every To-Do should have a responsible party. This assigns accountability and ensures follow-up.
  • Set a Timeline: L10™ To-Do's should be achievable within a 7-day window.
  • Keep it Actionable: Each To-Do should be a measurable action that contributes to resolving an issue from the Issues List.

The Feedback Loop: From Issues to To-Do's and Back Again

There's a fascinating dynamic between the Issues List and the To-Do List. To-Do's, initially born from issues, can often find their way back to the Issues list if left incomplete. They then become part of the core discussion points for the last 60 minutes of that week’s Level 10™ Meeting. This feedback loop ensures that every issue is addressed and every To-Do is created with a clear, strategic purpose.

When a To-Do item remains incomplete, it's not enough to simply push it to the next week or reassign it. Incomplete To-Do's often signal deeper issues that need to be addressed. This creates a feedback loop that encourages problem-solving, business growth, and workflow continuity. Additionally, it fosters a sense of accountability and ownership in the team members tasked with completing To-Do’s because they’re aware that if they don't finish it, they’ll have to explain why it wasn't finished during the following meeting.

As I mentioned earlier, in situations where a To-Do remains incomplete, it highlights an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. By moving the incomplete task back onto the Issues List, the team can dedicate time and discussion to overcoming any roadblocks that are keeping that task from being completed.

Unpacking Uncompleted To-Do's: Key Questions and Conversation Starters

To effectively Identify, Discuss, and Solve (IDS) issues when a To-Do is left incomplete, consider the following questions or conversation starters:
  • What were the obstacles? - Identifying the specific barriers that prevented the completion of the To-Do can help uncover underlying issues.
  • Was the To-Do assigned to the right person? - Sometimes, a To-Do remains incomplete because it wasn't a good fit for the assigned team member's skills or capacity.
  • Was the To-Do item clearly defined? - If the task was vague or its purpose unclear, it can often lead to confusion and incomplete work.
  • Did the To-Do have a realistic deadline? - Unrealistic timelines can lead to rushed or uncompleted tasks.
  • Were there sufficient resources available to complete the To-Do? - If the necessary resources (time, tools, budget) were lacking, it can prevent the successful completion of the task.
  • Was there a knowledge or skill gap? - If the To-Do required knowledge or skills the assigned team member didn't have, it would likely remain incomplete.
  • Was there a breakdown in communication? - Effective communication is crucial for the success of any task. Understanding if there were any communication issues can help resolve future To-Do's.

These conversation starters provide a basis for discussing and understanding why a To-Do wasn't completed and how to prevent similar situations in the future. By addressing these points, your team can create a more efficient and successful To-Do process, driving your business towards sustained growth.

Conclusion: The Power of Action and Accountability

In conclusion, the power of action and accountability cannot be underestimated in a business operating on EOS®. From the creation of To-Do's as a response to the Issues List to their review in the Level 10™ meetings, each step is designed to turn issues into actions. By doing this consistently, your business can create the traction necessary for sustained growth.

As an experienced Fractional Integrator™, I can guide you on this journey. If your business is not experiencing the growth you'd hoped for, or if your Level 10™ Meetings aren't achieving the desired results, let's connect. Together, we can optimize your meetings, streamline your processes, and set your business on a path of sustained growth.

Book a call with me today to get started on your journey to business success. Let's move from talk to action and watch your business grow.

About the Author Brenda Violette

Brenda Violette, Founder and CEO of Violette Business Services, LLC, is a highly experienced and sought-after Fractional Integrator™ and Mentor based in Connecticut. With a remarkable track record of over 30 years in leadership, Brenda excels in administration, operations, and people management. As a relentless learner, Brenda actively engages in multiple EOS®-based Visionary/Integrator™ communities and holds esteemed memberships in the FIM (Female Integrator Mastermind) and Advanced Integrator™ Mastery Forum in Rocket Fuel. She’s also a distinguished Rocket Fuel Mastery Program graduate and a certified Kolbe Consultant™. With a keen focus on driving growth and making a positive impact beyond profit, Brenda guides Visionaries to achieve their strategic goals. Brenda brings transformative value to her clients and partners exclusively with companies operating on the Entrepreneurial Operating System® (EOS®), who are already working with an EOS® Implementer™ or have graduated from the program. Discover how Brenda can propel your business towards significant growth and sustainability while freeing you to fulfill your role as the Visionary. Visit www.BrendaViolette.com to learn more.

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