Rhythm Blog | Alan Gehringer

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

How Much Time Should I Allocate for My Quarterly Planning Session?

Alan Gehringer Fri, Sep 28, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin

It is that time of the year again: time to prepare for your quarterly planning session. A question that I get frequently is, “should we plan for a one-day or a two-day quarterly session, and what do most of your clients do?”

Tips to Help You Prepare to Facilitate Your Next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session

Alan Gehringer Tue, Sep 25, 2018 @ 07:00 AM

Who is facilitating your next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session?

Whether you are doing it yourself, bringing in an outside facilitator, here are some tips to help you.

Every quarter is like a 13-week race that contributes to your Annual Plan priorities and Long-term 3-5 year goals. It is important to take the time to prepare a sound plan that your team is aligned with and bought into. To ensure a good planning session, you need to do some preparation.

Have You Defined Your Core Purpose? (Video)

Alan Gehringer Mon, Sep 3, 2018 @ 08:48 AM

Peter Drucker stated that ”the best and most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers, for they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.

One of the best articles I have read on Core Purpose is Collins and Porras article titled “Building Your Company’s Vision.”  The authors explain that a well-developed vision consists of two parts, core ideology and an envisioned future.  The core ideology consists of two components, Core Values and Core Purpose.  The envisioned future has two elements, The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of what it will look like when you achieve your BHAG.  The former should never change, while the latter may, once you have accomplished your 10-20 year goal.

Are Your Annual Plans Really Strategic? Your Results Depend on It [Video]

Alan Gehringer Tue, Aug 7, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I would challenge you to think very hard about this question as it’s not an easy one to answer based on my experience as a facilitator, strategist and execution coach. Part of my job is to help companies prepare for and have effective annual planning sessions that are strategic to help them reach their long term goals. Too often, time is spent at the operational level, action planning or setting unrealistic targets with no real strategy how to achieve them. It is very important for the team to spend ample time researching, gathering data and preparing for their sessions to get the most out of them. I have said many times through the years that it is not enough for a bunch of smart people to get together in a room for a couple days and expect to come up with great plans. There is a lot that goes into the preparation, and the strategy work needs to continue long after the session concludes.

I think this question is so important, I am developing a workshop for this year's Breakthrough Conference to help companies evaluate how they are doing at strategic annual planning and share ideas on how to get better at planning strategically.

5 Ways CEOs Can Create a Culture of Innovation

Alan Gehringer Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

We have all heard the saying "A fish rots from the head down," right? Not that I am comparing my CEO friends to fish, but it does drive the point home that creating a culture of innovation starts with you as the leader of the organization.

Peter Drucker, one of the fathers of modern business theory, said if an established organization is not able to innovate, it faces decline and extinction. I could not agree with him more, for in all of my years helping companies, I have witnessed far too many that wait until they are in decline or experiencing shrinking markets, stale product offerings or products that are being commoditized to begin innovating. They usually do not have the resources once in decline to be successful, which is why it is important to build a culture of innovation while your business is strong and healthy.

Are Benefits Enough to Attract and Engage the Best People?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

While a lot of companies say that employees are their most valuable assets, not all walk the walk. It takes a lot of time and effort to find, hire and retain the right people to join your team. It also takes considerable time to onboard and get them to the point that they are making a positive contribution to your organization -- three to six months in many roles. The last thing you want is to lose someone after all this effort and expense. We also want to fully engage these “A Players” so that they are happy and contribute their best. There are a lot of components that contribute to attraction, retention, and full employee engagement.

How Do I Sell More to My Core Customer?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Jun 26, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Great question right? But before we get to that, let’s define what a core customer is. Robert Bloom, author of The Inside Advantage, defines it as the customer most likely to buy your product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit! Your WHO is the customer you can’t live without and who will help you be successful into the future.

So, in order to sell more to your core, you need to clearly define who they are and understand their deepest needs, not just their wants. 

One thing to consider about your core customer is that he or she is a real person, with wants, needs and fears – not a lifeless profile on paper. Your core customer is alive and is just like you and me – AND has specific reasons, emotions and interests in your product or service.

According to a joint study by Bain and Harvard Business School, “(we) showed that in industry after industry, the high cost of acquiring customers renders many customer relationships unprofitable during their early years. Only in later years, when the cost of serving loyal customers falls and the volume of their purchases rises, do relationships generate big returns. The bottom line: Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

10 Ways to Improve Employee Engagement in Your Manufacturing Company (Video)

Alan Gehringer Mon, Jun 25, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

I grew up in a manufacturing family. My grandmother had her own manufacturing company, and my father was a partner in a local manufacturing company. I still have very fond memories working in and running the business. It was like one big happy family - most of the time, that is. We had employees that stayed with us pretty much from the beginning and that would be close to forty years in some cases. How do you get employees to stay with you for the long term and contribute to the best of their ability? One of the answers is to ensure they are treated with respect, appreciated, and given the opportunity to be fully engaged. Being fully engaged means different things to different people, but here are some key approaches to consider. 

21 Production KPI Examples to Improve Manufacturing Performance

Alan Gehringer Thu, May 31, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It is important to grow the top line of your business on an annual basis, but you also need to make sure the bottom line is healthy which can help fund that growth. This is particularly important if you are a manufacturing company. In most cases, the two biggest expenses in your business are labor and raw materials. There are exceptions, of course, in machine intensive automated manufacturing environments, but let’s focus on the former. So how can we make sure the production floor is running at peak performance? One very effective way is to put the right balance of production KPIs in place. Some of these KPIs are leading indicators and some are results. It is good to have both, although I always prefer leading as these drive the results.

Download our free KPI Guide to help you drive results with KPIs.

Here are some of my favorite KPIs that I used when I ran or set up manufacturing companies.

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.