Rhythm Blog

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

The Right KPIs to Prevent Acquisition Failure

Tiffany Chepul Thu, May 24, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Mergers and Acquisitions are not for the faint of heart. Any CEO who has navigated those waters will tell you it is a tremendous challenge to blend cultures, systems, processes and teams successfully. The statistic is 70-90% of M&A's fail -- that's a scary number! Instead of focusing on that metric, let's talk about numbers we should be measuring around M&A.

Every M&A deal starts with an incredible amount of due diligence. Are the cultures and values compatible? Do the product lines and customer bases support each other? Do the numbers work and take us down a path of growth? Ultimately, if the deal goes through, benefits have been seen by both parties. Now, it's up to the newly-merged company to both preserve the current value of the organization and meet growth projections. It's a delicate balance.  

How to Use Job Scorecard KPIs to Drive Your Performance

Jessica Wishart Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

If you read our blog often, you know that we frequently recommend using a Job Scorecard - we find this tool is exceptionally helpful in a variety of situations. Use it for hiring, use it for clarifying expectations around roles and goals, use it for ongoing performance conversations, use it for personal career growth. The Job Scorecard truly is a versatile power tool that can increase productivity and effectiveness both for individual contributors and for team leaders. However, I’ve noticed that many of our clients get stuck filling out the Job Scorecard template. To be honest, I got stuck on it myself. The part that seems to trip us all up is the part that can maximize the return on your investment of time and energy to create the Job Scorecard - the Desired Result KPIs. 

Why Are Job Scorecard KPIs so Important?

Customers Don't Suck - The Boss Does!

Barry Pruitt Tue, May 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Fast growth companies deal with more and more customers – it’s implied in growth. Having more and more customers increases the risk that some will be unhappy. More unhappy customers will increase the chance of unreasonable customers, and unreasonable customers are top of my mind. Why? Because I just ran across some 18-year-old notes from my work at a major casino. At the time, the internet was not well used for feedback, reviews, and ratings by customers. It was a time when you called, and a person actually answered the phone.

I acknowledge that times are different yet would emphasize that we still deal with people – face to face, phone to phone, email to email. It’s communication - period. Just last week I received a call from a fast-growth, high-customer-touch client. They were challenged with company representatives handling irate callers. So, let’s agree that if you ever interact with people, there is a chance for disagreement. My focus today is the same as it was for the caller – the boss. All the training and development you can buy won’t change your customer relationship unless you have the right boss in place. Call them customer service supervisor, shift manager, call center director, vice president, entrepreneur or other and this is the key position for a pivot to customer service. When your team has interactions with people that are seemingly unreasonable, even irate, then this is the person to empower your team to act.

Goal Setting 101: How to Write an Effective Priority [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Thu, May 17, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Goal setting is an essential skill for both personal and professional success. If you aren’t setting goals, you’re likely not making progress. However, research by the University of Scranton found that 92% of people who set New Year's resolutions never achieve them.

Business goals don't fare much better; 67% of great strategies fail due to poor execution. Writing an effective goal will increase your chances of successfully achieving that goal. Fortunately, goal-setting is a skill that you can learn and improve.

Here are 6 Easy Steps to Writing an Effective Priority:

9 Reasons Why Annual Planning Matters

Cathy McCullough Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Leaders frequently ask me about how to build a performance culture focused on personal accountability, employee engagement, and results. According to the research, each of these continues to be a core challenge for a lot of companies. Leaders just want people to do what they need to be doing—and do those things on their own without having to be told (i.e., personal accountability), they want engaged employees (and Gallup’s research continues to show a huge drag here), and leaders want people to help move the company forward—toward results.

To do this, most leaders will still get together for ‘strategic planning.’ It’s a great day of conversation and diving into some tough subjects. Yet, as time passes the plan more or less seems to dissipate into thin air. Everyone simply goes back to doing what they’ve always done—because it’s what they know. 

Are Recruitment Challenges Constraining Your Growth?

Jessica Wishart Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

According to a recent study from the National Center for the Middle Market and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, "Nearly four out of 10 middle market executives say that a lack of talent constrains their company’s ability to grow. A larger number—44%—say that a lack of candidates with the right skills makes it difficult to recruit.” Even if you have the right growth strategy in place and are using a recruitment method like Topgrading, the study suggests that middle market companies have some unique challenges finding the right people. 

Why Your Team Didn’t Get Expected Results [Video]

Tiffany Chepul Tue, May 8, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

I've never met a CEO who expected his or her team and their plan to fail. People are optimists, for the most part, and most CEOs have faith in their teams to succeed. After all, the CEO hired the team, came up with the plan and work with the team every day to achieve the plan. Yet inevitably, many plans do fail. Why is that and what is it costing you? 

Revenue is a great example as it's the lifeblood of any organization. It funds your growth, pays your people, enables you to deliver great products and serve your clients. What happens when revenue goals are missed? Can you not fund R&D to develop that great new product? Does the new piece of equipment that you need to purchase go on hold? Do you have to lay people off or stop providing stellar service to your clients? Are your investors ready to pull out? Scary things can happen when plans are not delivered successfully and revenue goals are missed.

10 Examples of Key Performance Indicators That Drive Sales

Alan Gehringer Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Driving new sales revenue is a common theme that comes up with the clients I work with. In fact, I can’t think of many companies that have more sales activity than they know what to do with, and most are always looking for ways to (build or grow) their sales pipeline. 

There a lot of variables that go into building a great sales pipeline, and marketing plays a big part in developing marketing qualified leads (MQLs), but another big variable is measuring the right behavior that drives the right results. To do this, we must put the right leading indicators in place. It’s one thing to measure results indicators like Revenue booked, but unless the right activities are taking place, you are not going to hit your targets and your stakeholders are going to be disappointed regardless if they are internal or external. You need to develop the right leading indicators for your sales team.

Establishing the Weekly Meeting Habit at the Team Level

Tiffany Chepul Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 06:04 AM

Successful Rhythm Cascade implementation hinges greatly on Team Leaders. Once the Company's Quarterly Plan is established, Team Leaders must work with their teams to create their Team Quarterly Plan. What good is a corporate goal of $25 million in new sales if the Sales team isn't aligned? 

How to Lead a Tough Conversation [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Thu, May 3, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

As a leader, your job will inevitably entail having to initiate some tough discussions. If you want to build an accountable team, one of the key things you'll have to do is remove obstacles, including taking on those tough people issues that can sap a team's energy and momentum. A leader's inability or unwillingness to tackle the elephant in the room, deliver some tough feedback, or confront an issue head-on will sink your team's morale, hurt engagement, and ultimately cost the team productivity and results.

On the flipside, being willing to give direct, constructive feedback, even if it is negative, will foster a culture where accountability and openness can thrive.