Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

How Healthy is Your Business in 2018?

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

In January, most of us are thinking about our health and making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, or practice meditation. Taking stock of your personal health is important, and so is taking stock of your business health. As the year kicks off, consider taking our Company Health Check to determine if there are any areas of improvement you should be focusing on for your company in 2018. 

Just as your personal health can be measured and improved in four key areas (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), so can the health of your business.

5 Podcasts CEOs Should Listen to in 2018

Jessica Wishart Fri, Jan 5, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

At Rhythm Systems, one of our core values is Keep Smart; we are a team of voracious learners. But, it can be difficult to keep up with everything we want to learn, especially since there is so much great content out there for leaders to consume. I think it is safe to bet that I'm not the only one with good intentions and a "pile of guilt" (also known as the stack of business books I meant to read last year and never got around to.) It is nearly impossible to keep up with all the great articles and books promising to share the latest business growth hacks, reveal industry trends, and make you a better leader. In our crazy, busy days, sometimes we don’t have time to read a blog post, much less a whole book.  

If you are trying to grow your skills and stay informed in the new year, try listening to a few podcasts instead of staring down the “pile of guilt" for yet another year.

Don’t Get Stuck on Your Job Scorecard

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jan 4, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

One of the priorities for our Consulting and Client Services team here at Rhythm Systems this quarter was to nail down Job Scorecards for each team member.  Some of us had Job Scorecards when we were hired (some of us have been around longer than the tool!), but as our company has grown and changed, so have the roles we are all filling.  Additionally, we are looking to hire for new roles on our team that we have yet to clearly define, so it was necessary for us to revisit this tool this quarter.  

Why You Should Invest in Performance Development, Not Annual Reviews

Jessica Wishart Fri, Dec 15, 2017 @ 11:17 AM

As we head into the end of the year, many leaders are gearing up for more than just Annual Planning and holiday celebrations - many are brushing off their systems and processes for yet another round of annual performance reviews. According to a research paper from Gallup entitled Re-Engineering Performance Management,"Traditional performance management systems are broken. Companies, leaders, managers and employees have long participated in time-consuming, frustrating performance reviews that have not yielded clear improvements in individual or organizational performance.” Ineffective annual reviews also hit your company’s bottom line: "The cost of lost time spent on traditional approaches to performance evaluations alone is estimated to range from $2.4 million to $35 million per year for a company with 10,000 employees.” It is time to consider ditching the laborious annual review process. But, many leaders aren't sure what to do in its’ place. 

A Better Way to Manage Team Performance

Jessica Wishart Mon, Dec 11, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

For many team leaders, it can be hard to keep a pulse on what’s happening in your team, especially if your company has remote workers or offers flexible schedules so the whole team isn’t always in the office together every day. And, as Gallup’s research on millennials and women in the workplace reveal, the needs of your team members are changing as well. As a manager, you now need to be able to give feedback more frequently, not just in annual reviews, and provide more opportunities for development and collaboration. 

With these challenges and opportunities in mind, we’ve designed some tools specifically for team leaders in the Rhythm software. We wanted to give team leaders a better way to manage team performance with quick, visual dashboards that let you see how the work is going on your team, a fast way to know who may be overloaded and needs help, and a better way to have effective, collaborative meetings with your team.  

Eliminating Waste: How to Conduct a Meeting Audit

Jessica Wishart Fri, Dec 8, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Take a look at your calendar. If you’re like most executives, you’re booked up with meetings weeks in advance. As we all know, meetings can sometimes be a real waste of time. At Rhythm Systems, we help our clients establish the right rhythm or cadence of meetings and use best practices to ensure the time spent in meetings is valuable. We believe that our Daily Huddles, Weekly Adjustment Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Planning, Annual Planning, and ongoing think rhythms help your company (and each of you) work more effectively, solve problems more proactively, and make critical adjustments so you can achieve success. That being said, you probably have some meetings on your calendar that you wonder, “What’s the point?"

What Leaders Need to Know about Giving and Receiving Feedback (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Fri, Dec 1, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

When I was in college, one of my professors pulled me aside after class and said, “You have great ideas, but when you present them to the class, you start out with an apology. Don’t do that - it makes us not want to listen, and what you have to say is worth hearing.” It was important feedback, and he delivered it in a way that made me receptive to it. I worked hard after that to watch what I said when I presented in class. Rather than being timid and apologetic with my contributions, I strove to be confident and direct. This one interaction made a big difference in my overall effectiveness as a communicator, and it has helped me in every class and job I’ve had since. I also remember a time when a coworker teased me in front of a group of other coworkers, saying, “You know, you really shouldn’t wear those old shoes anymore.” Her intentions may have been good (my tattered old sandals probably weren’t the most professional attire), but the way she chose to deliver the feedback put me immediately on the defensive.  

5 Productivity Best Practices to Get More Done with Less Stress

Jessica Wishart Wed, Nov 29, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

 We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful - and busy - time of year. With the holidays and end of year deadlines looming around the corner, many of us are gearing up for a stressful season. Do you wish you and your team could be more productive and simultaneously experience less stress? Does it sound too good to be true? I recently listened to a Vital Smarts webinar on “Getting Things Done: How You and Your Team can Become More Productive and Valuable at Work” that cited research proving there are a few key habits that you can implement to accomplish just that. The research is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. According to the research study, people who practice these habits “outperform low performers by 68% and experience less than half the stress." 

5 Ways to Solve Problems Faster During Annual Planning

Jessica Wishart Mon, Nov 27, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Your Annual Planning meeting is one of the most important—and expensive—few days for your company every year. How can you be sure to maximize your investment of time and resources? How can you ensure that you take full advantage of those few days to solve the most important problems, seize the right opportunities and set your company up for a successful year? 

Lack of Visibility - You Can't Solve What You Can't See

Jessica Wishart Wed, Nov 15, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

Imagine this - you set out a quarterly plan with your team. Your top priority is to launch a new product. Everyone is excited! You want to set the teams up for success by providing an end date and clear expectations for what success looks like at the product launch. You talk about which department is going to do what by then. You’ve got a solid plan in place. AND - break!  

Fast forward to the end of the quarter, and the product isn’t launched… not even close. Apparently, R&D had been waiting on specifications from the IT team that never arrived. What’s worse, the marketing team had already launched the new website to promote the product, and sales had started selling it. Now, client services is having to go back to try to smooth things over and convince new clients to wait it out a little longer until the new product is ready. Clients are leaving, and leaving mad. Yikes!