Rhythm Blog | Strategies for Growth

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

5 Ways CEOs Can Create a Culture of Innovation

Alan Gehringer Thu, Jul 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

We have all heard the saying "A fish rots from the head down," right? Not that I am comparing my CEO friends to fish, but it does drive the point home that creating a culture of innovation starts with you as the leader of the organization.

Peter Drucker, one of the fathers of modern business theory, said if an established organization is not able to innovate, it faces decline and extinction. I could not agree with him more, for in all of my years helping companies, I have witnessed far too many that wait until they are in decline or experiencing shrinking markets, stale product offerings or products that are being commoditized to begin innovating. They usually do not have the resources once in decline to be successful, which is why it is important to build a culture of innovation while your business is strong and healthy.

Are Benefits Enough to Attract and Engage the Best People?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Jul 3, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

While a lot of companies say that employees are their most valuable assets, not all walk the walk. It takes a lot of time and effort to find, hire and retain the right people to join your team. It also takes considerable time to onboard and get them to the point that they are making a positive contribution to your organization -- three to six months in many roles. The last thing you want is to lose someone after all this effort and expense. We also want to fully engage these “A Players” so that they are happy and contribute their best. There are a lot of components that contribute to attraction, retention, and full employee engagement.

How Do I Sell More to My Core Customer?

Alan Gehringer Tue, Jun 26, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Great question right? But before we get to that, let’s define what a core customer is. Robert Bloom, author of The Inside Advantage, defines it as the customer most likely to buy your product or service in the quantity required for optimal profit! Your WHO is the customer you can’t live without and who will help you be successful into the future.

So, in order to sell more to your core, you need to clearly define who they are and understand their deepest needs, not just their wants. 

One thing to consider about your core customer is that he or she is a real person, with wants, needs and fears – not a lifeless profile on paper. Your core customer is alive and is just like you and me – AND has specific reasons, emotions and interests in your product or service.

According to a joint study by Bain and Harvard Business School, “(we) showed that in industry after industry, the high cost of acquiring customers renders many customer relationships unprofitable during their early years. Only in later years, when the cost of serving loyal customers falls and the volume of their purchases rises, do relationships generate big returns. The bottom line: Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”

The Sweet 16 to Scaling Up Your Business

Barry Pruitt Thu, Jun 21, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It’s summer. Bright blue skies, puffy cotton candy-like clouds, and colorful flowers abound in gardens everywhere. This description is also a metaphor for the mindset and optimism of entrepreneurs. And in that mindset, like an approaching hurricane for your garden, lies danger not yet encountered. In fact, even serial entrepreneurs make minor mistakes that wreak hurricane-like havoc on their carefully planted business. You need a contingency plan for health and safety prior to a hurricane, and you need a contingency plan for when things go wrong, or you’ll never be able to scale up your business.

The approach of detailed business contingency planning is one for growing an established business. I won’t address that in this blog as the pattern I’ve seen is that so few entrepreneurs and their business make it to the established, growing stage. I’ve seen many get stuck at $15-50mm in revenue while struggling to break past their growth barriers. My advice here is targeted to those companies. If your business is larger, let this be a reminder of the contingency basics. And, if you have a larger business that doesn’t have contingency planning in place, let this be a warning.

9 Steps to a New Revenue Growth Strategy [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Tue, Jun 19, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Many entrepreneurs romanticize about striking it big with a brilliant business idea. We've all seen that moment in movies where inspiration strikes in the middle of the night, and some innovative new product or idea launches a company to greatness.  In reality, you can't wait around for lightning to strike to keep your company growing. As Patrick Thean shares in his book Rhythm, growth strategies "do not come from eureka moments. They are developed over time..."

Even if you're not trying to be the next Apple, companies in today's competitive landscape have to be disciplined about anticipating what's next and how to generate revenue in the future. If you aren't thinking about your next growth idea and actively working on it in your Annual Planning sessions, you're already behind. If you want a continuous supply of revenue-generating strategies, you need to spend time thinking strategically, and you need a process for creating and implementing your growth strategies.

5 Ways to Bring Your BHAG to Life

Jessica Wishart Tue, May 22, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Once you have done the hard work to determine the right Big Hairy Audacious Goal for your company over the next 10-25 years, now you get to reap the benefits of having your strategic direction set.  In order to use your BHAG to grow with purpose, you need to bring it to life in your organization.

How Do you Know If Your BHAG Is Alive? 

Try the Hallway Test. If you walk down the hall in your office and pick a random person who works in your company, can that person recite your BHAG?  Go ahead, try it.

If you get blank stares or anything other than the answer you’re looking for, then you know you have some more work to do in communicating and helping your team connect emotionally to this long-term goal.

Are Recruitment Challenges Constraining Your Growth?

Jessica Wishart Thu, May 10, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

According to a recent study from the National Center for the Middle Market and the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, "Nearly four out of 10 middle market executives say that a lack of talent constrains their company’s ability to grow. A larger number—44%—say that a lack of candidates with the right skills makes it difficult to recruit.” Even if you have the right growth strategy in place and are using a recruitment method like Topgrading, the study suggests that middle market companies have some unique challenges finding the right people. 

The Daily Huddle: A Key Component in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits [Video]

Chris Cosper Tue, May 1, 2018 @ 06:27 PM

“Are you kidding me? Have a meeting every day! We already have way too many meetings. The last thing my team wants to do is add another one..... every day.

Yep, that was me about 12 years ago when my coach, Dan Weston, suggested we implement the daily huddle in my company. I was reluctant, but he made me promise to give it a try. My team was reluctant at first too, but in time, this became one of the most important rhythms in the company. And, not only did the executive team huddle, but the design team huddled, customer service and sales huddled, the engineers huddled and the front line supervisors huddled.

4 Types of BHAGs: Which One is Right for You?

Liz McBride Tue, May 1, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Suppose you and your team have been in a Think Rhythm to determine what Jim Collins calls your Hedgehog

Specifically, the intersection of these three questions:

  • What are you deeply passionate about?
  • What can you be the best at in the world?
  • What drives your economic engine?

Now comes the easy part, right? Simply take that information, determine where these three questions intersect and craft a long-term goal that drives on that intersection - your BHAG. Are you having writer’s block?

Brand Promise Examples: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Jessica Wishart Tue, May 1, 2018 @ 09:00 AM

Your Brand Promise is the promise you’re making to your customers that both really matters to them and differentiates you from your competition.  It should help you win more of the right customers by helping you focus on how you sell your product/service to your Core Customer.

What makes a Brand Promise “good” is not only its appeal to your Core Customer and its ability to help you close sales with them, but also your ability to consistently deliver on that promise.