Glue And Oil Business Solutions

Glue For Cohesion. Oil To Reduce Friction. Business Solutions For Sustained Growth.

About Glue And Oil

Glue And Oil helps small to medium size businesses in all industries. Our typical client has a track record of success but requires something more, or different, to continue the growth they have enjoyed in the past. Glue And Oil helps each client institutionalize its way of doing things, leading to the rhythm it takes to grow through the plateaus.

Steve Harris is the Founder and President of Glue And Oil. His broad experience allows him to bring life-changing value to his clients. Steve has worked as an employee and consulted with all sizes of organizations. He has been the top leader and the sidekick/get-stuff-done guy. He has direct experience with all business functions. 

Steve's experiences have taught him the value of having a 'way of doing things'. His passion is helping clients benefit from those learnings.

Not surprisingly, Steve loves structure and believes it is a critical component of consistent and planned growth. His skillset enables him to work with clients to chart a clear path forward and to establish the operational foundation that will provide confidence that the plan will be achieved. Steve is hands-on by nature and enjoys rolling up his sleeves to work 
with clients.

Click here for Steve's LinkedIn profile. https://www.linkedin.com/in/steveharris-gao-ip/

Business Operating Systems

Put in place the structure needed to run your business according to the operating system that works best for you. Sleep well knowing everyone understands 'the way we do things'.

Fractional Integrator

Lead the coordination of business activities. In the EOS vernacular, be the Integrator. You can focus on vision, strategy, and customers knowing the leadership team is in sync.

Strategic Planning

Facilitate the development of mission, vision, values, imperatives, strategic areas of focus, and action plans. Your entire organization will be aligned on how you will tackle what lies ahead.

Build Or Rebuild

Build from scratch (or overhaul) a critical business unit's mission, processes, tools, and structure. Don't let one part of the business hold back the rest.

Leader In A Pinch

Fill a gap temporarily while we work to close it permanently. One vacancy should not sub-optimize all the other members of the leadership team, including you!

We believe in the power of operating systems! 


Most of us first heard about operating systems in the context of computers. Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux are all examples of computer operating systems, as are iOS and Android in the mobile environment. In all of these cases, the operating system provides a foundation upon which layers of applications can be stacked. These applications handle specific functions. 

The operating system isn't concerned with the specifics of the applications. Instead, it coordinates the applications and establishes requirements that must be followed for the applications to behave properly. Sounds pretty important, doesn't it?

Well the same concept applies to businesses. In the case of a business, an operating system provides the foundation that helps get stuff done. It is essentially the business's way of doing things. The actual work is done through the applications, or functions like marketing, operations, IT, etc... The operating system ensures the overall activity of the organization is coordinated, that work is planned and prioritized, that performance is measured, and that the organization operates smoothly.

A business's operating system will include the following:

  • Vision and values that are clear and easy to understand.
  • The definition of success (measurement) in the short- and long-run.
  • Mechanisms that connect vision and values to strategy; strategy to plans; plans to actions.
  • Defined methods for making critical decisions, like those involving people and priorities.
  • A communication cadence that ensures the right people are focused on the right things at the right time.
  • Consistent execution of key processes.
  • Tools to assist with all of the above.

One more thing about an operating system. While it's highest purpose is to help the entire business operate in a coordinated fashion, the principles apply to the business functions as well. So if you need to get more from a function that is a barrier to the business's achievement, implementing the concepts of an operating system for that specific function will provide the boost that is needed.

Can I run my company without an operating system?

Sure you can. That's how most companies operate in the early days. If the company is fortunate enough to grow, it becomes more complex over time. There are more people to coordinate, more products/services to deliver, more external partnerships to manage. There are more problems to solve. There is more competition for resources. This complexity makes it harder for any individual to call the shots. When multiple people start to call the shots, assurances need to be in place to make sure everyone is working from the same playbook. That is the role of the operating system.

How do I know if it is time to implement an operating system?

The basic responsibility of an operating system is to define the way a company will operate. Arguably, all companies would benefit from such definition. However, putting in place an operating system and committing to following it is an investment. A growing company typically encounters a period where growth has slowed or growth is still happening but it's just harder than it needs to be. These are signs that it is time to make the investment.

Do companies ever implement an operating system proactively, i.e. before they feel the pain of not having one?

Yes, often when the company is on the cusp of a significant strategic investment. Examples include expansion of the leadership team and embarking on the pursuit of rapid growth through from new markets, new products/services, and/or acquisitions.

Are tools available that provide the framework for an operating system?

Yes. The most common frameworks are EOS and Scaling Up, targeting small to medium size organizations. Alternatively, many companies develop their own operating system. There are pros and cons to any of these options.

Is Glue And Oil a certified implementer of EOS or Scaling Up?

No. We are aligned with the principles of these methodologies but have decided to remain independent. Each of our clients has unique needs that often call for unique approaches. If EOS or Scaling Up are a good fit for our clients, then we can help with the implementation. If another approach is better then we help construct and implement that approach.

What if I just have one glaring and critical need to address as quickly as possible?

The operating system concepts also apply to a segment of an organization. For instance, if the marketing function or operations needs an overhaul, the challenge can be tackled by applying the same principles as would be used for developing an operating system for the entire organization.