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Lisa & Stuart: From Recycling in South Africa to Business Success in New Zealand – Episode 135






meeting, visionary, rocks, people, business, feel, talking, lisa, run, level, cascading, communication, tools, daniel, company, slt, moved, team, structure, work


Debra Chantry-Taylor  00:02

So I won’t introduce more important people right now, because this is Lisa and Stuart. And before they come up, I just want to tell you, so Lisa and Stuart, they used to run a business called endless recycling metals. And they came to me for a couple of reasons, they were having some issues around the business growing really fast, and the wheels kind of falling off. And they were also having some challenges, because they’re a husband and wife. So Lisa and Stuart are both business partners and their marriage. And so they came, we had a chat, thanks to my friend Daniel, who introduced us. And they started implementing us in the business. So I’m going to ask them to actually share that story, first of all, and then I want you to just ask them questions, because they have answers, real life answers that they can actually provide. So welcome up, Stuart, and Lisa.

Lisa Kagan  00:42

Hi, everyone. I’m Lisa. And yeah, I my background, was in management consulting for many years. And then I moved to New Zealand, and I became an accidental entrepreneur, because my visionary over here wanted to sort of go out on his own, and somebody had to keep him in check. So yeah, that’s a bit a little bit about me. And this is Stu, who will have no problems himself. So

Stuart Kagan  01:08

Yes, thank you. Ian, we came from South Africa, we arrived just seven years ago. And in South Africa, I ran the largest metal recycling company in Sub Saharan Africa. So my experience was in recycling for now, probably for the previous 25 years. So when we arrived here, we were looking for the opportunity of what we were going to do. And I said to Lisa, that I think there’s an opportunity to do it better. There was a monopoly in New Zealand, and they controlled the prices. And we could see that there was an opportunity to incentivize people to recycle more, by increasing the prices, therefore getting more people to recycle their metal. I went over and this maybe just sums us up a little bit. And I said, let’s pull any money that we have into this. It’s a great idea. I got a gut feeling for it. Lisa said, Absolutely not. She spent a month or two doing a 75 page business plan. And they said, Okay, I now believe, you know, we can put some money into it looks like there’s an opportunity. So yeah, I jumped over the cliff, and leasable the airplane on the way down is pretty much how it’s been.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  02:08

So you came across CEOs, because you’re part of YPO. And I think it was January, who taught you about it originally? Yeah. What tell us the story about how you came across it and why you decided to go with it.

Stuart Kagan  02:19

You Daniel, awesome guy. He introduced us to you. And we’re very thankful for that. I had nothing to do with going to ers. Absolutely not. I just listened to my wife. And she’s really smart. So I knew to toe the line. And it was it was incredible, that we did it. And I was probably kicking and screaming in the beginning, because we don’t need any structure. I’m just I just do whatever I feel like at the time. And and she’s in No, we absolutely need structure. And when we bought the structure, and I was probably the one, you know, celebrating the most after the first month, just the actual goals that we were kicking was talking cheese compared to where we were before.

Lisa Kagan  03:02

I think if we go back to our meeting with Daniel, the first night we met Daniel, it was when we had just joined YPO we were at an event and after chatting to us for all of five minutes. He said, visionary integrator. Yeah, and we were like, what? We’re quite curious. And that’s when he started talking a bit about us. And we’ve obviously got a lot of respect for Daniel, he’s very successful entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur, CEO. And anyway, when we were having some trouble in our business, just feeling that, like Deb said, the wheels are coming off, we actually turned to Daniel and we said, Listen, you know, you’ve run all these big companies. Can we just have a chat with you? And maybe you’ve got some some wisdom to share with us. And in that chat, he said to us, you know, classic case, what you’re so this is what you guys need. There’s nothing in it for me. Just yeah, read the books. And if you want to chat to Deb, you can, you know, sort of no strings attached. And, you know, I had to drag Stuart, I think, to that meeting, where we spoke to Jay Abreu walked out and he’s like, Oh, everything sounds amazing when someone’s trying to sell you something. Exactly. She even said in the meeting, we can implement it ourselves. And we couldn’t you take how much it’s gonna cost. heard this story before? Yeah. So I did read all the books that Dave gave me. And I just thought this makes a lot of sense, you know, and some of the books I’d read previously in my career, like Good to Great by Jim Collins, which is just a management classic. And yeah, it just made sense. I mean, you wouldn’t run a business if you’ve got inventory without an ERP system. And you wouldn’t run a business without an accounting system. And you know, people are our greatest acid in a business. So why would you then run a business without a management operating system? So yeah, sales, sales for


Looking at the US model, which of those component parts find most difficult to pull off?

Stuart Kagan  04:59

Most difficult, most beneficial well? Oh, no, no, no, don’t say for me to ask the question here, right? Most difficult.

Lisa Kagan  05:09

I think something that took us a really long time was the scorecard because everybody’s wearing their own hat. So of course marketing things that they sort of KPIs are the most important KPIs. And so just financing sort of HR, and so does health and safety. And to whittle that list down actually took us a really long time to distill it to what really matters, what is really going to turn the dial. And, yeah, that took us a good couple of weeks, whereas a lot of the other stuff, you know, we came in, we did the planning, and we, you know, did the vision, vision building days, and you know, you’ve got the tools, and you can just run with them. But that one, I think is quite subjective in a lot of ways, you know, like the level 10 meeting, set agenda, set amount of time can’t really go wrong, unless you’ve got people who are complete, like deviance. But yeah, so I think that was quite

Stuart Kagan  05:58

Probably the rocks in the beginning. So setting those rock, everything right, there was like, must come to work every day. It was oh, that’s a rocket, I’m gonna Yes, I did that. It was like, everybody wanted to make sure, you know, all the different members in the SLT wanted to make sure that they hit their rocks. So the way that they all define their rocks was, was wasn’t right, early on. But we went through that whole process. And then we we met with Debra after that, and was like, Well, you guys didn’t hit your rocks, because you got it all wrong, or you hit those because they were too easy. And then we kind of sat down with them and said, Well, what, let’s go through it. And I think the whole process was actually quite clever of, you’re gonna get it wrong in the first quarter. And she wanted us to, and then we could sit.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  06:39

I wanted you to but I wanted you to do what you wanted to do.

Stuart Kagan  06:42

Yeah. Well, you wanted to go through an experience where we then we learned a hell of a lot from that first quarter. But the rocks, so then to answer my question, which is what I found really beneficial. The rocks were incredible. So as the visionary, we’re having that. So having the level 10 meeting and the rocks was the weekly meeting, we are find out if everybody’s on track or not. It’s so simple. And yes, I’m on track normal track, straightaway IDs, you off track, because we as a team want to deal with why you’re off track, you could be off track halfway through the quarter, and we can all band together and work out how we get you to achieve that. Whereas previously, before Eos, there was no ability for somebody to bring up that there was struggling other than just walking into my office and having random conversations, but you weren’t having it with the rest of the team. Right? We were having meetings for meeting sites where we’re constantly in meetings, and the meetings and then it talks about the IDs, how often those meetings were just the first hour, hour and a half, when things that weren’t as important as what the one person wanted to talk about. But there might be an introvert and they don’t necessarily want to speak up. But now in in the level 10 Meeting they’re forced to because you go around the circle and say, Well, how were you on your rocks, and you can’t just say you’re on track, and you get the recording? Upset? Didn’t hit it. So there were just so many good things. So I know that wasn’t necessarily your secondary question. But yeah, that was helpful.

Lisa Kagan  08:07

I think another challenge there was also, we just had too many rocks, the first couple of quarters, we really did. And it’s it’s just showed us that we were just trying to do too much. And yeah, so over time, we gave people less and less rocks, and they started hitting all the rocks. Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  08:25

Doesn’t mean that you weren’t getting the productivity, though. So because if people go if you’re doing less rocks, what does that really mean? Well, I

Lisa Kagan  08:30

Think they weren’t completing the rocks in the allotted time. And then that was, I think, one could I think I had rocks the one time and you didn’t warn us, you were like, you kind of aid rocks and shown our economic aid rocks or foreign aid rocks, you know, and you just can’t, unless you can sort of clone yourself. It’s just too much, you know, everything’s important, then nothing’s important.

Stuart Kagan  08:49

I remember the one of the biggest discussions we had economy was around rocks, or our annual kind of targets that we had set. And I’m very differently. So I like setting myself a B hag, which I’m probably not going to achieve, right, a big hairy, audacious goal. And but if I get to 90% of it that way better than we were doing well, that we thought we could even do. Whereas Lisa was like, No, you can’t do that. That has to be something that is achievable. So when we hit when we set these annual targets, and I think was it the five year and we even got tenure, when you were writing other people that I was absolutely crazy, right? I’m expecting this company to be the fastest growing business in New Zealand, which we were two years ago. So all of these sorts of things that we were hoping to achieve. sounded crazy. And there was a lot of back and forth around the table about No, no, that’s too much. And I’m going well, if for example, we aren’t the number one growing company in three years time, if we come second or third, that’s still a great achievement. And Lisa was no no, no, it’s got to be achievable. Otherwise, people don’t feel that they’ve actually hit that target. So there was there was a lot of that back and forth at one stage which was quite interesting. For me, because I kept on, manage. Yeah, she punches me a lie. Somebody said the other day, actually, she didn’t punch I was I guess she punches.


Debra Chantry-Taylor  10:10

And I think this comes back to the scorecard. I mean, I often, visionaries because I’m a visionary too, we don’t mind if we don’t hit things. Most of the way, that’s pretty cool. But for a lot of people, if you don’t hit it, they feel that they’ve failed. And that’s the important part, this needs to actually make them encourage. So even with your scorecard, which you update every 90 days, you actually need us if you don’t, if you’ve got a really big, hairy audacious goal for your sales, don’t put it in there as a number, put an achievable number that’s stretching them, but it’s achievable. Let them get a couple of grains, and then push it up. And you can keep pushing that up every two or three weeks if you want to. But let them get some rules and move it up rather than just relying on them to, you know, get the really big number which will never get and then they’ll get disheartened. Because they’re like, Well, we’re never gonna get there. It’s always

Stuart Kagan  10:51

Read. The poem is a visionary often had like this toxic positivity or this like delusional optimism, where you’re like, Well, we actually will get in there like, No, we can’t, I’m like, why can’t we like, three years and we can go hire another 250 people and get to the number they want it? And everybody sits around going like, Oh, my God, this is scary. So luckily, my integrated calms me down before the meetings and make sure that we’re kind of laughing beforehand.


Yeah, please, I’d love for you to share around the relationships in certainly, but obviously the up in a married couple as well. How has understanding divisionary the integrator role, and also the communications? How’s it affected your marriage as well?

Lisa Kagan  11:31

It’s been really good for us. Because before I just thought Steve was an animal. And now I realize he’s a very specific type of animal. And it’s not it’s not a stupid thing. And, yeah, you know, I used to find him quite frustrating, and at times infuriating, because there was this shiny thing and that shiny thing, and let’s do all the things and, you know, just like excited and optimistic about everything, and Hera was like, calculating in my head, okay, we only have this many resources and this amount of time. And if we do this, and we can’t do that, and yeah, it was actually became a big point of tension between the two of us. But once I was like, okay, he’s a visionary, this is a thing, and I’m an integrator, this is a thing. And it just kind of created that space for us to engage in that way. And yeah, we there were some really tough times, especially before then, being a married couple and working together. Because, unfortunately, when you don’t have these labels, things can feel personal, you know? Or he’s just not listening to me. Whereas now it’s like, oh, he’s being a visionary again, you know,

Stuart Kagan  12:34

The definition was really helpful for our marriage. But I think even the relationships in business, right. So I think when you’re a CEO, and a CEO, or whatever the role could be, I think, just knowing that that’s how that person is that that, and there’s actually a lot of value in that, right, there’s a lot of value in that recording as well. But that is important. And but this is the personality. And that’s why they’ll do that. And we couldn’t be here without that. And I couldn’t be here without that. And once you get that, right, man that was amazing, wider


into the team. So the communication in having the level 10 meetings, and I often find is a cultural shift in behavior. Did you notice that within within your leadership team?

Lisa Kagan  13:18

Yeah, well, we would have a lot of meetings, those meetings would often start late, everyone wasn’t there on time. And they would go on forever, there was no agenda, everyone’s on their phone. And people would just whoever was the loudest spoke first got, you know, sort of took over that whole meeting. And it was just so unproductive, like, I actually got to a stage where I was heading going to work. I was just like, we’re just like moving things around. But we’re not making progress. And everybody feels like no, but we need to meet about this thing. And actually, what I love about IDs, is that if you leave someone to solve the problem, very often, they actually will. But if there’s all these meetings, they feel the need to I feel like hoard their problems. So they can come to the meeting and say, you know, I’ve been doing this thing, and I’m struggling. Yeah. And I need your help. And all these things. When really, if you say, Listen, Is this one of the most important things to solve for the company right now? No, okay. Can you find a way? People find a way, you know, so I think a lot of the things that landed up on our desk, they started being fewer and fewer and fewer things hitting our desk because people felt empowered, because I don’t know maybe their stance was a better take this to the meeting, and maybe not feeling empowered to discuss all things, you know, I don’t know

Stuart Kagan  14:31

Very much. So people felt that they needed to get approval on things. Whereas when the idea was kind of just done and dusted. Also, I really liked the way the level 10s Could cascade down. Right? So then you go, you have your SLT, your senior leadership team, and then you would have we had an operations team, you know, we’d have a sales team and everybody was doing their own one as well, which wouldn’t necessarily be the same amount of time and might be a smaller group. And we also had our yard team that did one but there were a much bigger group. So they had a different version of If it were, they would kind of go around the circle and have discussion. So I really liked the way that you carry on that structure all the way through the company.

Lisa Kagan  15:09

And the cascading messages, I guess. So we had a big communication problem. Because we knew what was going on maybe in our department or you know, at the top, or whatever it was, but to actually tell other people in the organization that something’s moved, and we’re now going in another direction, or this projects canceled or things like that with a cascading messages, you then have the ability to actually go away from the meeting, you’ve got those action items, okay, tell these people, these things, just give them a little update and say, Hey, this is what was discussed this project section hold, this is why we’re now focusing on this, by the way, new hire in that department, go say hi, et cetera. And so communication is like such a natural human thing. But I think the bigger you get when we started, I mean, it was just you, me and one other person that was very easy. I don’t remember what their thing you showed us is it’s actually a, what’s a call

Debra Chantry-Taylor  15:56

With a little people. So very quickly, you start the business, if you think about it. So basically, in the beginning of the business, there was Stewart, and there was Lisa coffee. And so communication was pretty easy, right? Where the beginning, it’s actually just one person you communicate with yourself, it’s easy. When you’ve got two people, you’ve suddenly got 100%, increased communication, add an extra person in here. And all of a sudden, you’ve got to communicate that way, that way. And that way, that’s actually sort of 200% more communication, add a fourth person in and actually becomes 500%. More communication that you have to do is that as it grows, now, you can model that out. And as you get bigger and bigger and bigger, as an organization, that level of communication is huge. How do you keep control of that? Yeah,

Stuart Kagan  16:37

It yard and became our yard supervisor. And within two to three years, there were three people in between him or two people in between where we had a senior leadership team, and he was reporting to different people. And that guy, as an example, would get really frustrated if we hired somebody new. And I hadn’t personally told him that, hey, there’s such and such who’s known might not report to him now, they have nothing to do with him. But he felt that there was a personal relationship, and therefore he should be told everything that happens. And then you’d get your whole second layer at a stage where then when you grow, that becomes a layer in between. And that communication wasn’t going. So the cascading messages which we would say in the in the SLT level 10. With this needs to be pushed out, everybody, everybody was getting told any changes in the company as it was happening. So these are the new hires, we’re pivoting into waste. We’re moving into catalytic converter, whatever it might be. Everybody knew what was happening because they had a weekly meeting. And they were told what decisions were being made by the leadership team. And everybody kind of felt very comfortable. They didn’t find out about it on Facebook or something like it.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  17:49

And I think what’s really important because you have a lot of blue collar workers working out in the yard and whatnot, you know, the level 10 meeting at that level can actually be even more simplified. It can literally be what’s working, what’s not working, and then do an idea session, and that is it. So it can be not pureos. But I’ve got teams that are daily huddles, and they’re literally scanning, what’s working, what’s not working ideas, don’t tell me about your work in progress. I’m not interested in that. I want to know where you’re stuck, and how I can help and how we can ideas together.

Stuart Kagan  18:13

That’s exactly that’s what we did with

Lisa Kagan  18:15

The SSR important in IDs, because actually, we got to a point where we’re having meetings with everyone’s giving updates, that’s lovely to hear what everyone’s up to, but like, what’s the point? Yeah, like, we literally would go around, and people would say, I’ve been busy with this, and this happened. And, and okay, next, right, like, actually thinking like, what was the point of those meetings? So, you know, it was just  a box ticking exercise before you saying, Yeah, and just asking that, why and why and why to get to what the actual problem is, you know, it seems like an obvious simple thing, but often you’re solving the symptom, not the problem. And so, yeah, that’s also a really neat trick.


Oh, how long ago? Do you guys implement us? And then how long did it take before you felt like I actually feels like it’s sinking?

Stuart Kagan  19:01

And we exited in January. So now I gotta try. We’re back from there. Probably the last two years, we’ve probably operated for the last years. So the company has been going now for just under six years. So we probably we probably worked with it for two and a half years, I would say probably two and a half years. And I would say from day one from the first level 10 meeting, although it’s a little bit iffy. Nobody’s quite sure. You know, you got to integrate it saying this is what this part of the agenda is. And although we’ve all been because the whole senior leadership team came with Deborah, for the explanation, when you’re actually doing the practice, the first time actually did was with you, which was really helpful. So so she runs you through it, but then when you kind of left to do it by yourself, it’s a little bit funny to get through. People are unsure that cannot talk about this now. No, no, no way that was wait for later, you know, you get kind of put in your place quite nicely. So I’d say within the first month, you start to feel, you know, definitely there’s some impact happening. Whether it’s, you know, you’ve created your rocks and people On now focusing on what the company needs to move forward, not just what they feel might be important at the time, those sort of things we felt within the first month. Was there anyone in that process who didn’t get on board straightaway? And how did you deal with that? We had some funny issues. The best one, and I say best because it was absolutely ludicrous. Our head of finance, when we did our water accountability chart, thank you guys. When was the do you want it? He said, No. She will. When we went around, it was like the first meeting we were offside. And when according what do you mean, you don’t want it? So I actually don’t want to do find it. But that’s what you You’re literally put into a role was to like, really, this was like a, it was probably awkward for you even though I’m not quite sure how we deal with the situation. You don’t want to do the job you’re hired to do. Right. That was quite that was quite

Lisa Kagan  20:54

A simple switch that I heard you talking earlier about marketing sales. Yeah, that was

Stuart Kagan  20:58

Quite difficult, because I didn’t have anybody. Yeah. And then I would say he probably was somebody that would miss a few meetings. And other people would see that. And that became a bit of an issue. As well, people. was Simon ever in that? No, I don’t think it was

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:18

A couple of wrong people by going through the process. But we actually had our first couple of sessions actually outdoors and COVID. And we couldn’t

Stuart Kagan  21:23

Get Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.

Lisa Kagan  21:26

To health and safety. Yeah, that’s why we had somebody came

Debra Chantry-Taylor  21:29

On as a yard manager who ended up not well not well operations, but ended up not really wanting it or having

Stuart Kagan  21:35

Moved into sales so quickly. And then we’ve had other ones who were moved from ops into sales. But to answer your question, I think almost everybody bought in, except for one person, right? Everybody else bought in, and they liked the structure. I think they were frustrated with me, probably, because I didn’t bring structure and I didn’t believe in structure. So they love the idea of what I actually hold on this is gonna keep Stewart in check. And it did, because also because I absolutely loved it once it was going.

Lisa Kagan  22:07

I think the only person who didn’t get on board was the person who didn’t want to be held accountable for anything. And it was really good to actually see that in black and white. Yeah,

Stuart Kagan  22:15

You can. And you said very quickly. We’ve exited. He is still there. But that was a separate issue.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  22:30

Multiple shareholders Yeah,

Stuart Kagan  22:31

But yeah, so absolutely. The, the, if they get it, they come on board. And the people that are kind of not so interested to follow the rules are probably the ones that you want to look at quite carefully.

Lisa Kagan  22:52

That’s not onerous, right? You’re not asking much of people. So if they’re really resistant to it, you’ve got to ask why, you know, what, what are they losing by doing this? You know, they’re getting back heaps of time. They weren’t feeling empowered before. They’re definitely feeling empowered afterwards. Everyone’s being held accountable. So they can’t complain that people they’re relying on aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, like, where’s the downside? And why would one not get on board really, you know,

Stuart Kagan  23:18

And it creates an incredible accountability rarely does. So if you if somebody’s pulling away from it, it’s because they don’t want to be held accountable. And we I think we could find a see it kind of see it on. Often like salespeople that don’t necessarily want to give you their KPIs or be managing their way they like to just go out for lunches, when you can kind of see that hold on, you bring this in, they’re like, Hold on, I don’t want to have to report on rocks, you know, you have my KPIs that I like to do. But that makes them put them in a setting like this with five other, you know, coworkers or people at their level. And that it’s very obvious when you’re not the one hitting your rocks every time. Right, it’s highlights, we have an issue in that seat. And nobody likes to be that issue. So

Lisa Kagan  24:00

I mean, we had an interesting time when we actually had data from our IVR system about phone calls and what was happening. And we literally had an argument with a sales guy because we were like, This is what the data is showing is like, no, the data doesn’t mean anything. We’re like, What do you mean the date he’s

Stuart Kagan  24:16

Just talking about missing phone calls, he was the thing it was the sales guy and he was saying

Lisa Kagan  24:20

He missed 90% of his phone calls and whenever we put phone calls

Stuart Kagan  24:23

Through to him he wasn’t answering it and he literally his words were that data doesn’t mean anything. When we were saying you’re not allowed to look you know there was any cause you must carry that data doesn’t mean anything so he didn’t last

Debra Chantry-Taylor  24:39

Any other questions? By the way, just just these guys weren’t here but when they actually you want the Westpac awards for a number of different things, didn’t you after turning their business? Yeah,

Stuart Kagan  24:49

Last year, we won. We went best to magic business. We won strategy and planning we won export when a few others and then we won customer service and then we won last year. won an overall supreme winner. Yeah, so it’s quite cool. We didn’t enter the Deloitte was 50 because of her. And we would have won that as the fastest growing business so we could see the numbers and when you are, but we had so much going on at the time, Lisa was like, I can write another.

Lisa Kagan  25:17

And here’s just a tip, which has nothing to do with E Os. I was always like, there’s no point in entering, we’re never gonna win. Like it’s a waste of time. And every time he would literally because I would write the entries, he would force me to enter. So if you’re thinking about thinking about entering things like the Westpac awards, I think they’re now the two degrees, I’m not sure. But anyway, do it. It’s so worthwhile. And it’s something I would never have done if you didn’t

Stuart Kagan  25:45

Need to do and feel free. I’m serious. We kind of we love to collaborate, feel free to reach out to us at any time, you can find us on LinkedIn, whatever, just to give you some tips and advice and introduce you to one or two people if you want. But yeah, you get amazing exposure, you get really, the social media exposure is good, if that’s what you want for your business. But yeah, I think it’s it was it was amazing for our business, but she never believed we would ever win anything. And we ended up winning it all. So yeah, exactly. And it’s an amazing culture builder for your team more than anything, those evenings are amazing. Everybody gets to dress up really nice, and they drink their champagne, and everybody has a lot of fun. And then when you do go up that sense of belonging, which I find is the number one thing for any culture, that sense of belonging, it just goes through the roof.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  26:31

There’s just one thing that I’m assuming sits and close your microphone. And one of the things that the reason I fell in love with EOS was they actually ours. They launched into New Zealand using my event center in Parnell, and that’s how I actually came across it. And the one thing I’ve been coaching for, I think close to 15 years, I’ve been running businesses for 30 years. And the one thing I loved about it was actually the process that we go through. So you said you got results from the first kind of level 10 meeting. And that’s because in our first day together, we don’t do the vision, the strategy, the big picture, because we kind of go, you’ve already got that you’re running a business, you kind of know what you’re doing. The first day is focused on teaching those tools. Do you have a scorecard? Do you have rocks? How do you want to level to End Meeting? How do you get all the team on board in terms of where we’re headed, and then you go away for 30 days, and you actually get to run that stuff in your business, see how it works? And then we come back? And only then do we actually go into the the eight questions and answer the eight questions. And I think that’s why you started this, even though you don’t get immediate results from a financial, you know, revenue point of view, you get immediate results in terms of the focus of the people.

Stuart Kagan  27:30

And accountability. Absolutely.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  27:31

Yeah. So that’s okay, um,

Stuart Kagan 27:37

How much of this? Would you say you’re implemented? Like, parts of it that you’re like, not quite for us? Pocket? Or are you kind of like 100%?

Lisa Kagan  27:46

I don’t know if I’m looking there. Yeah, we did actually implement all of it, there were probably some tools that we didn’t get to using. To be fair, I can’t name which ones that are. But there’s a whole big toolkit. And I don’t think we use each and every tool just because it’s a process, right? It’s an ongoing thing, you get comfortable, something you incorporated. Everyone becomes familiar with it. But not because we sort of rejected any of them. I think given more time, there’s no reason why we wouldn’t have I guess. And it’s quite interesting, because lately, I’ve been attending bunch of webinars or being spent speaking to people in the States. And ers is actually a massive thing globally, and just the concept of management operating systems. And I couldn’t believe how many people you know, I went to a webinar by a woman who runs a VC, she’s a partner in a VC and she was talking about how she insists on all our portfolio companies using us. And it’s just something that people were throwing out there as if everybody knew about it, you know? And it just makes me wonder, like, are we in New Zealand a little bit behind when it comes to sort of management practices? And are we just kind of freestyling you know, management is, it’s an art, and it’s a science and, you know, the sort of workforce is changing in so many ways, and so rapidly, you know, from work from home from, you know, AI and the augmented employee, and just the future of work is very different. And it’s changing rapidly. And so, you know, if if sort of human capital and and how you’re managing to get the best out of people to retain people isn’t sort of Top of Mind, you know, what are we doing? And I don’t know, if you’ve got a view as to why. In New Zealand, it’s not as common practice just management operating systems, as you know, a thing.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  29:32

Yeah, yeah, I think it probably comes down to my personal experience. I think it comes down to some of the number eight when why mentality, and I think in answer to the question is like, if you tried to do this bits of the years, it actually won’t work. You’ve got to embrace the whole thing. And the reason you didn’t get some of the tools out there are there are the foundational tools. They’re the foundational tools. If you just put those in place that will make advance your business, then there’s extra tools in the toolbox. There’s 20 additional kinds of tools or putting tools in that toolbox. And then there’s some more tools around that. If you want to merge and acquire, we’ve got tours that can help you with Mergers Acquisitions, because that’s a bit like getting married, you got to make the right decision about those things. And so unfortunately, what New Zealanders tend to do is they kind of got one I quite like that. But I’ll just change that a wee bit, or I do a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And in reality, you know, this has been around for 23 years, 190,000 businesses using it, you actually have to implement pure ELS to get the true results from it. And I, I don’t know if that is part of the reason, and probably just an awareness thing.

Lisa Kagan  30:27

I wasn’t aware of it until, you know, sort of Daniel mentioned to us so yeah,

Stuart Kagan  30:32

I don’t know if this is maybe off topic, sadly. But has anybody seen super pumped or we crashed? Right? So there’s, there’s a time for an entrepreneur, to be running a company. And there’s a time for them to have a lot of structure. And I think you see it in a lot of companies, unicorns that were the entrepreneur and I was this person jumping in jumping off the cliff, building airplane, but I don’t want to fly the airplane. Like there’s a time for the entrepreneur to be in it. And then they need structure. And I think, at an early stage, it’s probably not necessarily Eos, right, because they’re just jumping over time. They’re doing whatever they need to very early on. I’m talking about ideation, creation, right? But then when that plane is flying, where we were, if I didn’t have Lisa, we would have crashed four years ago, right? Because I was all over the place, I was constantly looking at that trajectory and go, we must continually grow at the speed. But while building that aeroplane, the engine was falling out, right? Everything behind me was falling, but I was looking at the next shiny thing. So I think, I don’t know if it’s got to do with entrepreneurs, often just wanting to keep control themselves. And not necessarily believing that they need structure. There might be a kiwi thing or not. But I think in general, it’s quite hard. Like, I wouldn’t have done it. If it wasn’t my wife who told me to go and do it. Right. It’s quite hard for the visionary to actually say, yeah, that’s brilliant. That’s just what we need right now. Somebody to bring in structure and control me.

Lisa Kagan  32:01

And I do. And I do believe after the first session, I said, What did you think of that, and you were like, I was so bored, this is

Stuart Kagan  32:12

Just eating the junk, let’s try to get sugar Raj, keep me awake.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  32:16

And then we have a lot of theory with a lot of theory goes to your Kindle, and he gave us the books, he started reading in his own time to them, and then it sort of changed. So it’s challenging, because I’m a visionary too. And it’s challenging to suddenly have everything that you do challenged with it. But if you can just take it from the point of view, you have got that box there, which you are really really good at that is your unique ability. And if you could spend all your time just doing that, imagine what could happen to the business. Because then you’ve got these other people in their boxes doing with their unique ability, and they’re just taking the business alone, you can do what you actually really love. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Any other questions?


Just an observation that stood the compartmentalization between the visionary and integrator experience yesterday in a board meeting of explaining to the visionary, what the role is, and identifying articulating the functions that he has to carry out. And then suggesting to him that the reason why he gets frustrated is because he hasn’t recognized what his role is. This guy’s been a founder for 23 years. Yeah. So to the extent it even talking about the functions that are to be carried out independently seemed to resonate, absolutely settle an awful lot. And lead it to the webinar for that session.

Stuart Kagan  33:39

Me a brilliant, because that’s, I think, just that definition, or you spoke about right in the beginning, when we were given that definition, everything just made sense. And all of a sudden, I appreciated Lisa’s role, and I believe she appreciated mine. But before then, we frustrated each other completely, right? Like, why are you choosing

Lisa Kagan  33:59

To slow me down all the time? That’s exactly it,


You understand what I’m saying?

Stuart Kagan  34:05

Can’t you see the benefit of you know, go to the moon tomorrow, we can do that.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  34:10

Yeah. And the rocket fuel book is actually the book that sort of talks about, I think it’s quite a unique EOS thing of all the different models that I’ve looked at that visionary role is talked about in rocket fuel. And it really is it don’t see it as a negative, it’s actually imagine if you put those five bullet points, they have big relationships, big ideas, research and development, industry, knowledge and culture, most productive we got I love that stuff. Great. You go through that 170 Your time imagine the value that’s going to add to the business rather than you’re getting caught up in all this stuff, which is flying the plane which none of us want to do.

Lisa Kagan  34:42

And it’s interesting, Stu had a friend who had a small business and he was struggling to grow it and she had a conversation with him. And he you know, established this guy is the visionary and he said what are you doing messing around with you know, all these things, go do the big relationships, go do the sales, go do all these things and his business has grown. so much over the past few years just from that, like one conversation and then realisation that he was focusing on all the wrong things. Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  35:06

Yeah, completely perfect. Okay, final words from YouTube, and then I’m gonna get Craig up here, because he’s got a different perspective as well. But what would you say? I mean, you you’re now both starting new businesses as well, how, how is it yours featuring in those,

Stuart Kagan  35:22

I was actually thinking when I was sitting there listening, I was being reminded of all these tools, right, because we hadn’t been in it for a little while, and we hadn’t done the training even longer. And I was like, I actually can’t wait to be in the position to have the team to come back into this room, and have the team understand because I’m gonna be once we’re hiring, right, so we both in we both building different companies at the moment. But once we’re hiring, I’m going to be talking about things, which they won’t get. So the quicker we get into this room, so Deborah can explain it, because they won’t understand it for me, quickly get in here, it’s gonna be much better. So I was sitting there going, I actually need to get them in here them, I don’t know who they are yet. We don’t have them. They’re imaginary at the moment. But when they when they are around, we’ll get them in here. And you’ll you’ll explain them everything. So I’m very excited to get that to that stage.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  36:10

I love seeing that from you now, because he was so bored. And the first thing

Lisa Kagan  36:14

I think there’s two things there. The first thing is you just said that complete opposite earlier. But anyway, it’s fine, because I’m in charge. You said you probably wouldn’t do it right from the start. And I actually would, because, you know,

Stuart Kagan  36:28

I meant I Sorry, I’m an ideation when it’s just me thinking about it would be awkward for me to debryn We have all different name tags. It’s just me that also Stuart, and I have to go sit in that seat and then be HR. I mean, jumping off the cliff, there’s no reason to have it, because it’s just me with ideation. But then once you start bringing in people immediately at that stage, they have to be on that journey.

Lisa Kagan  36:49

Yeah, so I intend to do it for my first employee. But the second thing that I’ve been toying around with a lot, and this will probably surprise you, because I haven’t spoken to you about this, but it’s having a fully remote business, because there’s a tech business and I could possibly, and I think it’s something that lends itself really well to a remote or hybrid workforce. And definitely notes from an accountability perspective, from a transparency and visibility perspective, I think it’s a really good way to do it without killing the culture. And it’s not this constant checking up and following up and where are you? What are you doing? You know, you can sort of let people go do their thing, as long as you’ve got this in place, because this is the guardrails, right? Yeah.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:32

Gosh, I couldn’t have asked for better people to talk about this. Thank you so much, guys. Really appreciate you coming in. You will stay around for a few minutes afterwards, short people but I’m going to go to a

Stuart Kagan  37:39

Bank account details right.

Debra Chantry-Taylor  37:41

Off the session, don’t worry







Debra Chantry-Taylor 

Professional  EOS Implementer | Entrepreneurial Leadership & Business Coach | Business Owner

#betterbusinessbetterlife #entrepreneur #leadership #eosimplementer #professionaleosimplementer #entrepreneurialbusinesscoach

Professional EOS Implementer New Zealand

Professional EOS Implementer  Australia

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Professional EOS Implementer NZ

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