It’s that time of year to create a winning plan for next year. As part of the Annual Planning process, you will be reviewing last year’s success and failures. As part of that exercise, I encourage you to do a detailed analysis of your products or services and the margins on each. It’s good if you compare this to last year’s analysis to see if your margins are beginning to slip or if they are stable. If you are not introducing enough fresh new offerings or incrementally improving your existing offerings, you will most likely see your margins eroding. I would also ask you to do an audit of how many new products or services you brought to market successfully last year and what percentage of your total sales they make up. Hopefully, it’s at least 5-10%. If not, there is an opportunity for improvement.
Rhythm Blog | High Performance Teams
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
We’ve all been in one of those meetings or corporate retreats where “team building” was on the agenda, Teamworkand everyone cringed. Personally, I’ve done more than my share of painful icebreakers in different workplace settings. Team building has gotten a bad reputation for being cheesy or a waste of time. But, according to an article in Forbes, "Despite its reputation for being, well, lame, team building is the most important investment you can make for your people. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Effective team building means more engaged employees, which is good for company culture and boosting the bottom line.” So, how can you reap the benefits of team building without turning people off from the start?
We have all heard for years how women and men experience life differently. Recently, the discussion has shifted more toward how women and men experience their working lives. With workplace gender disparity still hovering at 30%, companies are trying to combat this number with everything they've got.
However, the Wall Street Journal reported that "just 45% think their company is doing the work that is necessary to achieve gender parity. Even fewer report ever having witnessed a manager challenging gender-based language or behavior, or a leader being held accountable for making—or not making—diverse hires."
Whether you are an executive team member, a department leader, or a member of the team, the role you play in the company is unique and important. You are there for a reason and you want to be successful. In order to be successful, you have to understand your purpose, what you are responsible for, how success will be measured, the skills you might need to develop, and the values you must uphold. Role clarity is key to your success, and Job Scorecards are a great way to achieve role clarity.
The purpose of having Job Scorecards in place at your company is to help avoid costly pitfalls. Inevitably, when I speak with CEOs who are feeling the pain of a wrong hire or a missed number, they realize a simple Job Scorecard might have helped them avoid their situation altogether.
Here are three common scenarios where CEOs think, if only...
At Rhythm Systems, I have had the opportunity to work on several exciting cross-functional projects to help our company move forward. I’ve been part of the team that built our Certification program, part of a team that evaluated, selected and implemented a new CRM, part of the team that’s writing our new book, Predictable Results, to name just a few. While juggling these growth priorities with my day job can be challenging, these projects typically bear amazing fruit and deepen my relationships with coworkers in other departments. I view them as a way to challenge myself, improve my current skills, and develop in new areas. Based on my own positive experiences with cross-functional work, I was surprised to read the results of Behnam Tarbrizi’s study in the Harvard Business Review: “75% of Cross-Functional Teams are Dysfunctional.”
According to the research, there are some pretty specific conditions to avoid if you want to have a healthy cross-functional team.
Recently, I listened to a Ted Radio Hour podcast about the meaning of work. Margaret Heffernan referenced a story about William Muir's experiment with chickens. William Muir was interested in what could make groups more effective. He found a flock of average chickens and left them alone for six generations. Muir then had another flock with individually productive members, so he bred those productive members across generations to create what he thought would be a super flock of chickens.
Wait. Did I read that correctly? I always learned that there is no I in team. How could you challenge my thinking like this? I haven’t even had my first sip of coffee yet!
Well, let me tell you a story about Rhythm’s SuperGreen team at our Breakthrough Conference recently held in Charlotte, NC, for about 150 guests looking for a breakthrough in their performance.
I love organizational diagnostics. It’s probably one of my favorite things to do because I love getting to root causes instead of merely addressing superficial symptoms. Working to alleviate the root causes of something allows me to add value to my clients and to my work as a whole. Plus, I love the journey of dissecting what’s happening and developing a strategy to heal a company plagued by a disease they don’t fully understand.
Recently, I started on a journey to be healthier and more active. As I was running on the treadmill last week, I thought to myself, "Are motivation and engagement the same?" There are quite a few times when I am at the gym motivated but not necessarily engaged with what I am doing. I am motivated to run a mile, but my mind could be engaged a million miles away.
As an employer, you want your workforce to be both engaged and motivated. With employee engagement at around 32.6%, it is important to know the difference between engagement and motivation.