Rhythm Blog | Annual Planning

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Are You Making These 3 Leadership Mistakes?

Alicia Croke Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

As Annual Planning approaches for many companies, leadership teams are sitting down to develop their goals for 2018. How was your 2017? Did you get everything accomplished that you had hoped? Are you closer or farther away from your BHAG?

To develop a stronger leadership team in 2018, start with Annual Planning. Watch out for the three leadership mistakes below during your Annual Planning meeting to have a constructive session!

Staying Connected to Your Annual Plan All Year

Tiffany Chepul Thu, Sep 7, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

It’s that time again – back-to-school, pumpkin everything, football, and Annual Planning season! You and your team are about to invest so much time, money, energy, and resources into determining the Annual Focus & Initiatives for the year ahead. After the session is when the real work begins, however. How do you stay connected to your plan throughout the year to make sure it finishes Green? It’s tough to not become distracted, especially if you are part of a fast-growing mid-market company. 

Here are a few tricks, from highly- successful Rhythm companies, for maintaining focus all year:

A Well-Balanced Annual Plan (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Many of our clients whose fiscal year doesn't match the calendar year are about to close the books on another successful year! That means it's time for Annual Planning. Setting aside time to spend a few days with your team to work on the right plan for the new year is key to success. What does that "right plan" look like?

Our team of expert consultants has facilitated hundreds of annual planning sessions over the last decade, so we've seen all the patterns and know what it takes to create a winning plan for the year.

Why Your Annual Plan Never Works Out the Way You Plan

Jessica Wishart Sun, Feb 26, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Here we are - the beginning of a new year. Chances are, you invested the time and resources into an annual planning session. What do you have to show for it? How can you make sure that this time next year you are celebrating the fact that you’ve achieved your goals, and not just dusting off a binder or searching for a Powerpoint file thinking “shoot - we didn’t get any of this done!”?

At Rhythm Systems, we’ve seen thousands of initiatives completed successfully, and we’ve learned some patterns for success and failure for annual plans. 

Top 5 Mistakes People Make in Planning

Patrick Thean Thu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

I recently facilitated an annual planning session for a client. During our debrief after the session, the team shared that it was one of their most productive annual planning sessions. I asked them to share with me what we did differently that worked so well. “Well, first, the outcome is awesome. We all know what we are supposed to do and are totally aligned about what we want to get done this year.” They shared with me that having an outside facilitator made a world of difference as I helped them avoid a number of pitfalls they encountered when they ran their own planning meetings. These pitfalls cost them dearly in time and money, two very precious resources! I distilled our debrief into five pitfalls that having a facilitator helped them avoid.

How to Use Your Main Thing to Engage Your Team (Video)

Nicole Hradek Thu, Feb 2, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Most of you have probably wrapped up your Annual Planning sessions and feel prepared for 2017. You have the best 3-5 initiatives to move your business forward this year, you have your targets in place and set high, you have your theme or Main Thing that you and the executive team are so excited about - it’s really going to motivate all your employees! You have it all organized in Rhythm or a spreadsheet, and then what? How do you keep your team motivated all year and use your Main Thing to keep employees engaged and focused on your initiatives and targets? There are certainly many right answers to this, but I thought I would share what we did at Rhythm Systems since we do practice what we preach!

Who Should Attend My Annual Planning Session to Develop the Best Plan?

Patrick Thean Thu, Dec 1, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

“Who should attend our annual planning session? Should it just be my executive team?” I get asked this question all the time. The default answer seems to be the executive team. However, in many cases, that simple answer might not be the complete answer. In most cases, your executive team should be invited to your planning session. But should you invite anyone else?

How to Conduct an Annual Planning Meeting

Jessica Wishart Fri, Nov 25, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

You can make an argument that your company’s annual planning meeting is the most important thing you do all year. Each of your quarterly execution plans will anchor off of the decisions you make during this session, and those quarterly plans are what drive the focus of your team’s weekly and daily execution. Plus, your Annual Plan has to move your company’s long-term strategic goals forward and be aligned to your core foundational strategy. Not to mention that you usually have your company’s most expensive executives in the room for two days - the cost is high and there’s a lot riding on this one meeting.

No pressure, right?

When to Do Annual Planning vs. Budgeting?

Melissa Perna Wed, Nov 23, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Each year, we put together a financial budget for the upcoming year. We try to anticipate what the new year will bring in Revenues and Expenses, whether that is by calculations, growth patterns, or wish list items. We add variable expenditures not knowing if they will get priority or not.

Top 10 Things To Do For Your Team in Q4 (Video)

Tiffany Chepul Thu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Fall is finally in the air - the season for celebrating the close of another year and preparing for a fresh new start in the year to come. Trees are losing their leaves, grass is planted in hopes of a green Spring. Soon we will all be making plans for the holidays with our families - planning trips, buying gifts, sending cards, decorating, making meals. 

Which means, it's also the season of lists. I know I will write myriad lists between now and the end of the year - grocery lists, address lists, gift giving lists, guest lists - I'm getting tired just thinking about it!