Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Employee KPI Examples: How to Measure What You Want to Move (Video)

Jessica Wishart Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

It is no secret that your people are instrumental to the success of your business. In order to have a great company, you not only have to hire the right people and get them in the right seats as Jim Collins says, you also have to work to retain and engage those people once you have them.

Employee engagement is key not only to increasing productivity and lowering operational costs; higher engagement is also linked to higher customer ratings, less employee turnover and fewer safety incidents. Gallup estimates that “disengagement costs the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion per year.” In Rob Markey’s Harvard Business Review article “The Four Secrets to Employee Engagement,” he cites a frightening finding from Bain & Company, that "engagement levels are lowest among sales and service employees, who have the most interactions with customers.” You can see the problem when the people who have the most influence over whether you will get and keep customers essentially don’t care one way or the other.Learn how our Accountable Leaders & Teams Program can help you with leadership  development and change management.

11 Books Every CEO Should Read

Jessica Wishart Thu, Mar 1, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

In their open letter to business leaders, Amy Edmondson (Harvard Business School) and Bror Saxberg (learning engineer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative), ask CEOs to put a renewed focus on continuous learning. They argue that with the rise of AI and robotics, there are massive changes coming for businesses and business leaders; "We write this letter not to criticize but to make the case for why a new emphasis on lifelong learning is going to become increasingly central to your job: maximizing the value and impact of your organization. … Workers, managers, and executives need to keep up with the machines and be able to interpret their results.”  

Now’s a great time to commit to raising your leadership capability and expanding your emphasis on learning throughout your company. Where to start? I’ve asked our team of expert consultants to share their top book recommendations for CEOs. 

Classic BHAG Examples

Jessica Wishart Wed, Feb 28, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

I recently re-read the HBR article entitled "Building Your Company's Vision" by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras, and I was struck by the great examples they gave to illustrate different types of Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). If you are struggling to come up with a BHAG for the first time, these examples might help you get started. These may also be helpful if you are working with your team to reset after accomplishing your 10-25 year visionary goal. Don't let your team fall into the trap of complacency after reaching the mountaintop of one BHAG; celebrate your success, and then reset. Having a long term, visionary goal that aligns your team and gets everyone excited is the only way your company will continue to grow with purpose, reaching peak after peak of success.

Download a free BHAG guide to help you align your company around a single  strategic vision.

12 Tips to Keep Top Talent (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 20, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Many successful mid-market companies have cracked the hiring code. Perhaps you use a hiring method like Topgrading to ensure that you bring in only the best people - the ones who are superstar contributors and a good fit for your culture and Core Values. But, then what?

In our current economy with the extremely low unemployment rate and the rise in popularity of contract work, your top talent has more options than ever. And, according to Gallup's latest State of the American Workplace Report, 51% of employees say that they are actively looking for other opportunities. You have to give them compelling reasons to stay, or you will just keep wasting resources to hire and train for the same positions over and over again.

Here are 12 ways to keep your top talent from walking out the door:

Are Your Customers Happy? 8 Customer KPI Examples

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Are you actively working to attract and retain the right customers? Whether you are business to consumer or business to business, there’s an actual person who makes a decision to buy your product or service - your customer. We’ve found that customers represent one of the 4 critical areas every company must actively work on to achieve success. There are a few things your company should do to cover your bases in this area, and it requires more than just training your employees to “talk with a smile." You need to identify your Core Customer and their specific needs as part of your overall business strategy; this will help you when making strategic decisions about products and services to develop (or kill), marketing messaging to attract the right prospects, and a Brand Promise Guarantee to help you close the deal. 

5 Best Practices to Manage Remote Employees

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 13, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

At Rhythm Systems, some of our team works in the office, but most of us work remotely. As an office worker with the flexibility to work remotely on occasion, I can appreciate the challenge of both settings. In the office, you’ve got the drive by “Do you have a minute?” conversations and the typical water cooler chat that can be distractions, and at home, you’ve got the temptations of family members, pets, domestic work, and your favorite TV show on Netflix vying for your attention. So, which is better?  

What Drives Your Financial Engine? Profit/x Examples

Jessica Wishart Mon, Feb 5, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Your Profit/X or financial engine is one of the components of Jim Collins’ Hedgehog, and one of the three key areas to consider when working on your BHAG. Your profit/x is how you choose to make money; it is a strategic metric, not an operational one. This ratio is a key driver in your financial engine, and when you make decisions about how to spend money (which products to launch, where to open new locations, how many people to hire), you should be guided by asking how it maximizes your profit/x.  

Insight into the right financial driver can help your company succeed even if you are in a failing industry. The question Jim Collins offers in Good to Great to help you come up with this strategic metric is “If you could pick one and only one ratio - profit per x (or, in the social sector, cash flow per x) - to systematically increase over time, what x would have the greatest and most sustainable impact on your economic engine?” (p. 104).

How to Reach Your BHAG (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Sun, Feb 4, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

If you’ve done the hard work to determine the right BHAG for your company, you are probably chomping at the bit to get started. What’s the first step toward achieving that 10-25 year visionary goal? If you truly have a BHAG that is audacious enough, you probably don’t know where to start!  

That’s a good thing - it is supposed to be a little daunting. But, the good news is that you can start steadily climbing toward your goal using the tips outlined in the infographic below to help you reach the summit.

25 KPI Examples For Manufacturing Companies

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 2, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Because Rhythm acts as a framework for pulling together into one single system many improvement initiatives and management tools that are popular among manufacturing companies, many of our most successful clients come from this industry. One area that our clients come to us for help with is determining the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).  Some are not sure where to start, and many are measuring so many things that their metrics are just noise, not driving action or change.

Download our free Manufacturing Guide to learn 3 things every company must do  to execute with purpose.

A CEO's Guide to Planning for a New Year

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jan 18, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection, will come even more effective action.” - Peter Drucker

Self-reflection is critical for good leadership, but many leaders struggle to take the time to really reflect. CEOs may not invest the time to be reflective for many reasons, including pressure to spend time getting results. "Sometimes it’s hard to see an immediate ROI on reflection — particularly when compared with other uses of a leader’s time,” as Jennifer Porter explains in a recent Harvard Business Review article. While it can be hard to set aside the time, Col. Eric Kail explains in Washington Post series on leadership that “it is essential for any leader… Reflection is what links our performance to our potential. It is the process of properly unpacking ourselves as leaders for the good of others."

As we embark on a new year, now is the perfect time to engage in some self-reflection. This time last year, our CEO Patrick Thean spent his executive coaching time with his CEO clients creating personal plans for the year. Unlike setting a resolution, which can often seem like an afterthought or an aspiration that lacks real commitment to change, setting a plan for yourself requires the discipline of self-reflection and the accountability of working with a coach. If you want to improve yourself as a leader and as a person in 2018, spend some time reflecting on the questions below and writing out a plan for your year.