Rhythm Blog | Annual & Quarterly Planning

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

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. 

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.

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? 

Annual Planning: 9 Tips to Focus & Align Your Team With a Great Plan

Patrick Thean Wed, May 2, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

It’s time to slow down and develop a world class execution plan for next year. When we don’t slow down to plan our execution, our teams don't end up being focused on the right things, leading to mistakes and rework, and ultimately smacking our profit with a 2-by-4! How strong is your execution this year?

I ask these questions to check if you had a good and strong plan this year:

  • Does your team know what the company is supposed to achieve this year?
  • If your team does know what the company is focused on, do they know their roles in making that happen every quarter?
  • Do they have clear success metrics so they can tell if they are on track or not?

Top 10 Qualities of a Good Planning Facilitator [Infographic]

Barry Pruitt Tue, May 1, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Are your meetings the butt of work-related jokes? Why is it that we roll our eyes with disdain when our calendar is loaded with meetings, and more specifically, why do we dread the planning meetings that are so important to our strategic success? Let me ask, have you used senior team members as facilitators? If so, you’ve very likely chosen the wrong facilitator. Save yourself a bad decision before your next planning session. Don’t choose your CEO or an executive team member for strategic planning facilitation. If you do, you’ll pay for it all year (or quarter) based on the plan developed and the pain to get there.

The 4 Most Common Reasons Revenue Initiatives Fail [Video]

Alan Gehringer Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

You worked hard with your team to develop a winning annual plan. Everyone is optimistic going into the year that this plan is going to produce 20-30 percent annual revenue growth. Unfortunately, 67 percent of plans created fail due to poor execution. It’s a fact that the right strategy is important, but it’s even more important to execute that strategy or it’s all for nothing. Too many well-developed plans fail for 4 common reasons. You don’t need to fail if you avoid these pitfalls.

Download our free Annual Planning Guide to learn how to determine the right  annual initiatives to grow your business.

Here are the 4 most common reasons revenue initiatives fail:

Lean Quarterly Planning: How Complex Companies Plan & Drive Out Waste

Chris Cosper Tue, Mar 6, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The primary goal of any lean initiative is to drive out waste. Have you considered whether or not you have waste in your quarterly planning process? Many companies, especially complex organizations with multiple business units, locations, product lines, or divisions, struggle to find a way to get their teams focused and aligned around the right set of priorities every quarter. The synergy and momentum you’ll gain when you figure this out will increase productivity, improve employee morale, and help you achieve your goals faster.

The wrong planning process, one that’s not perfectly designed to match your company’s unique structure and needs, can cause waste in multiple ways. Here are a few to consider:

Don't Let Your Annual Plan Fail: Create a 4-Quarter Flyover

Tiffany Chepul Tue, Jan 16, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Are you setting your team up to fail to deliver your Annual Initiatives? There’s only one way to know: create a 4-Quarter Flyover Plan. 

This is one of the most valuable and often overlooked steps in Annual Planning. This step helps the team shift from strategy to execution and create an action plan to achieve the goals you've set for your year. Fleshing out your year will ensure the work behind each of your Initiatives is spread out to make the best use of your team’s resources and bandwidth. After all, you don’t want all of the heavy lifting for each of your 5 Initiatives to hit in one quarter!

Download a free tool to help you complete your 4-Quarter Flyover Plan exercise, or if you have Rhythm software, you can build your plan right there.

Here are 4 simple steps to create your 4-Quarter Flyover Plan:

4 Tips for a Strong Annual Plan

Patrick Thean Sun, Jan 14, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

It’s that time of year again when executives are thinking about their annual plan and asking themselves, “where do I start?” A lot of companies out there start their process with budgeting. Then once they have their budgets set, they move to developing their annual plan. This may sound like a smart idea to ensure you don’t blow your budget, but it may be keeping you from executing strategic growth moves.