I live in Silicon Valley so the technology around me is constantly evolving and at the forefront of everyone’s mind. The new and interesting technologies permeate news, conversations, everything. So, it should come as no surprise that I have created my own Operating System, ABHOS. Authenticity Based Human Operating System.
I first thought about this when I was still at my old company. I had just read Traction by Gino Wickman which talked about how entrepreneurs grow and scale their companies without losing their entrepreneurial spirit. Wickman’s tool is the EOS, the Entrepreneurial Operating System. I really liked the mentality behind the book and the EOS method. Like with most frames that I study, I took the lessons which were practical and actionable and applied them. As I thought more and more about EOS and the advent of robotics, I began to wonder if there was a Human Operating System. If we could create a standard or ideal norm per se for humans, would it squash individuality? Then I had an “a-ha” moment and realized that if there was one commonality that I would prescribe to everyone, it would be authenticity. This works! An operating system for people that still maintains individuality, yet adjoined by the common core of authenticity, is like connective tissue at its healthiest. In order to have ABHOS, you have to know what the heck it is that you really want. All these tools, tips, and tricks that I’m sharing to help people self-identify and become conscious is to help promote an ABHOS-based society (I know, I like to dream big).
This is all well and good, but how does it apply in business?
In my experience, EOS without ABHOS doesn’t fully work. If people don’t buy into the system that the leader puts into place it starts to fall apart. It may be the best system in the world but if the people you are giving it to don’t care or don’t buy it, they will not fully adopt what you’re teaching/selling. They may do it (because their job depends on it) but if your team is only checking the box, are you really getting full value? Now, if your team (including the leader) is coming from an ABHOS then we don’t need things like radical candor training, 360 Degree peer reviews, ongoing constructive criticism, and waste-of-time, demoralizing PIP plans. We will be able to do away with so much noise and misunderstanding and the need for alignment and cultural training if everyone is coming from the same authentic core.
How would I implement something like this?
You may implement ABHOS with a 5-point plan.
1. Make everyone on your team (including yourself) bring their full selves to work starting tomorrow. No pretense, no mask. Just come as you are.
2. Accept that everyone is coming as their full, authentic selves.
3. Notice and appreciate what everyone brings to the table dynamically because authenticity is impacted and shaped by people’s circumstances, values, upbringing, culture, environment, etc. Authenticity is the great normalizer. It allows everyone to be who they are.
4. Start working together within the similarities and differences. Play to everyone’s strengths and compensate for their weaknesses by resourcing effectively.
5. Differentiate and accelerate by blending your best selves.
ABHOS is an ever-evolving system that will need frequent checks and reaffirmations. When implemented correctly, however, it will create a strong and successful team that is ready to take on any challenge. Remember, you’re only as good as your team. They are your stabilizing force. They are your core. So, let’s all get rock hard abs! 😊