Now would be a great time to apply the concept of “rocks” to your business, and no, I don’t mean igneous or granite. “Rocks” are the most important 3-7 things that must be accomplished for your business every quarter. They could make the difference in moving your dealership in the direction it should be headed.

The concept of rocks is applied as part of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), which is described in a series of books by author and speaker Gino Wickman. EOS is a growing management system that targets the overall goals and objectives of an organization while also focusing on the goals of individual employees. Wickman borrows the concept from a study by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.

There are 4 components to the “rocks” idea. The first is the jar that holds the rocks. The jar represents all the time you have to achieve your goals. The rocks represent the big goals that you have to achieve over the next 90 days. There are also pebbles, which are the more minor, day-to-day things that must be done. Lastly, there is sand, representing the noise and distractions throughout the day.

To get the rocks, pebbles and sand to all fit in the jar, the order in which you put them into the jar is crucial. If you were to put all the sand and pebbles into the jar first and then try to put the rocks in, there would be no room left. However, if you put the rocks into the jar first, the pebbles and sand will filter around them as they are poured in, allowing all three to fit into the jar. The lesson: focus on the big things first and then use your remaining time to address the smaller things. Rocks go first so that the big picture is top of mind, and it can guide how you assess your day-to-day tasks.

At our parent company of Lessiter Media, we reinforce the importance of this daily through the way we organize our priorities. While we have numerous day-to-day tasks to attend to (the pebbles and the sand), we work to collaborate on the rocks to ensure they always fit in the jar. We are not always successful, but our focus on continuous improvement means that there will always be an opportunity to take corrective action and do better the next time.

What are your dealership's “rocks” — the non-negotiable things that must get done in order to move the company forward? How do your expectations for everyone within the organization align with those rocks? Do your employees have rocks that help the organization meet its corporate rocks? How will all of those big goals dictate your day-to-day operations? Are your leaders implementing and reinforcing this system when the opportunity arises?

It’s important to define the rocks your organization needs to achieve and make sure everyone else’s roles and responsibilities support them.