Rhythm Blog | Business Execution

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

‘Tis the Season for Writing Effective Annual Initiatives

Tiffany Chepul Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 11:30 AM

It’s that time of year again – just about everyone on a traditional calendar year is gearing up for Annual Planning! You and your team will invest so much time, money and effort in finalizing your 2018 plan. If the outcome isn’t a clear, executable plan with well-written initiatives, those resources will have been wasted. 

When consulting with clients to review their Annual Plans, here are some things we look for to determine if their Annual Initiatives are set up to deliver success. All execution-ready Annual Initiatives share these characteristics:

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! 

Are You Getting Good ROI on Your Planning Sessions?

Chris Cosper Thu, Oct 12, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

Your planning sessions are important and expensive. Whether they’re Quarterly Planning Sessions, Annual Planning Sessions, or Strategic Planning Sessions, you've invested the valuable time and energy of your most expensive employees – time away from the office,  travel  and meals, a rented meeting room, a professional facilitator, and who knows what else. That number can really add up, so it’s easy to see why this is a line item that sometimes gets cut when trimming the budget. But before you go there, like any other investment decision, you should consider the ROI of that planning session. The basic ROI formula is (Gain–Cost)/Gain. In order to calculate this, you have to really understand what the cost is and what’s at stake.

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence & What it Means for Your Business

Jessica Wishart Tue, Sep 26, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

According to the recent Deloitte Mid-Market Technology Survey, “Mid-market companies are starting to look beyond immediate needs toward a future where technology plays a much greater role in just about every aspect of their business.” And, one of the hottest trends in technology these days is artificial intelligence (AI). And, before you panic, I’m not talking about robots making coffee or answering phone calls; many companies are already using AI capabilities in far more subtle and interesting ways. According to a report from the Harvard Business Review, the most common business application for AI is "detecting and fending off computer security intrusions in the IT department.” Other common uses include resolving users’ tech issues, gauging internal compliance, anticipating future customer purchases, monitoring social media, tailoring promotions, and financial trading. 

4 Things CEOs Need to Know about Activist Investors

Alicia Croke Wed, Sep 6, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

The term activist investor has been floating around Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal for a while now. Activist investors are turning up the heat in companies all over the market, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Buffalo Wild Wings. What exactly is an activist investor? What do they do and how do they impact your business?

According to Investopedia, "An activist investor is an individual or group that purchases large numbers of a public company's shares and/or tries to obtain seats on the company's board with the goal of effecting a major change in the company." 

Growing Your Company: Tips for Taming the Chaos

Cathy McCullough Sun, Aug 20, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

There’s a chain reaction at the root of most organizational chaos. The catalyst is lack of focus. Without a clear definition of what’s most important, people (including leaders) don’t understand what deserves attention or why. Instead, people operate based on a multitude of assumptions about what they think is most important. When this happens in a company, the default mode is to react to what’s going on at any given moment on any given day. Without discipline, every opportunity is a shiny object to be chased—and trust me, there will always be plenty of bright shiny objects to reach for. 

How to Stay Sane While Growing Your Company: A Case Study

Cathy McCullough Tue, Aug 15, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Everywhere I looked around the office, people were dashing, working feverishly, heads down, eyes glued to screens. It was like watching a group of mad scientists  go  about their work, and there was a definite edge of “crazy busy” in the atmosphere. Teams were operating at the mercy of every single problem, and by his own admission, the CEO’s marching orders changed by the day, or even the hour. 

The CEO (let’s call him Fred) shared with me that meetings at his company were usually his own random agenda of everything that needed to be fixed, or worked on, or improved, or updated, or reinvented, or adjusted. He would strongly suggest solutions for specific problems that were clearly on his own front-burner, and there wasn’t much discussion. As he walked away from these meetings, people followed him down the hall, asking questions. They would then scatter to get back to the job at hand, only to find, according to Fred, that his directions would change the next day.

3 Sales Contest Examples to Predictably Increase Revenue & Profit

Barry Pruitt Sun, Jul 23, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

I recently shared an interesting trend regarding sales and predictable results. The premise was that leaders just like you are desperate for processes that will predictably generate business growth and that’s a conversation that led me to Jack Daly. Jack is a super salesman so I approached Jack with the question, “How can CEOs and leaders gain the predictable result of increased revenue and profit?” Jack's answer was sales contests (read part one of Jack's answer and details of his Mercedes Club example here).

4 Ways to Prepare Your Employees for a Merger

Alicia Croke Tue, Jul 11, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

An acquaintance of mine has recently undergone a merger at her corporation. As a mid-level employee, she knew it was coming; her company had announced a few months ago, but she hadn't heard any specific details other than it was going to happen.

When the time came for the companies to merge, there was confusion, misalignment, and miscommunication. During a merger, often preparing employees has been left off the agenda or is an afterthought.

Rhythm Client Achieved $1.4 Billion Valuation

Patrick Thean Fri, Jun 9, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Yesterday was a big day for Michael Praeger, CEO of AvidXchange. No… Sorry, it was a huge day! Yesterday, Michael had press conference at their newly opened Charlotte campus. They were announcing not one but three great wins towards his dream of building Charlotte into the “Silicon of the South.”

Win #1: MasterCard announced that they are partnering with Avidxchange to create a B2B hub that  brings AvidXchange technology to their network of banks.