Rhythm Blog | Strategies for Growth

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

7 Steps to Scale Up and Launch Your Next Market-Creating Move

Guest Blogger Tue, Sep 11, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Written by the Blue Ocean Team

As a middle market firm, don’t fall into the trap of going up against the biggest established players in your industry. Instead, you should be focusing on creating new markets.

Plenty of successful middle market companies grow fast without going head to head with the competition at all. To take your middle market company to the next level, learn to shift from competing to creating, and grow your business by offering unprecedented value to your buyers. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne show you precisely how to achieve this in their recent New York Times bestseller Blue Ocean Shift. Here we provide a quick snapshot to get you started.

10 Tips for a Successful Quarterly Planning Session (Video)

Melissa Enriquez Mon, Sep 3, 2018 @ 01:10 PM

Quarterly Planning is just around the corner, are you prepared to create a winning plan this quarter with your team?

Here are 10 tips to get you started:

Have You Defined Your Core Purpose? (Video)

Alan Gehringer Mon, Sep 3, 2018 @ 08:48 AM

Peter Drucker stated that ”the best and most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers, for they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.

One of the best articles I have read on Core Purpose is Collins and Porras article titled “Building Your Company’s Vision.”  The authors explain that a well-developed vision consists of two parts, core ideology and an envisioned future.  The core ideology consists of two components, Core Values and Core Purpose.  The envisioned future has two elements, The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of what it will look like when you achieve your BHAG.  The former should never change, while the latter may, once you have accomplished your 10-20 year goal.

Why Personal Productivity Can Only Get You So Far

Jessica Wishart Thu, Aug 30, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I like to think of myself as a highly organized and productive person, and I like reading about and experimenting with tips and methods for improving my productivity and time management skills. Truthfully, however, being personally productive can only get you so far - it’s only one piece of the puzzle for most of us. While being effective and personally accountable to accomplishing your top goals may be all you need as an entrepreneur or freelance worker, if you work in an organization (either as a leader or an individual contributor), you may be as personally productive as humanly possible and still not be effective.

The CEO's Roadmap to Organizational Alignment Bliss

Jessica Wishart Wed, Aug 22, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Alignment can be elusive for even the smallest start up companies, never mind mid-market companies that have multiple divisions, departments, or business units, different locations, new acquisitions, or remote employees. The more successful you are in growing your company, the more complex your organization becomes, and the more challenging it is to communicate effectively and attain alignment. And, as the CEO, aligning your company to succeed starts with you. According to an article in Harvard Business Review by Oxford University’s Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe, "Large, diversified, and geographically dispersed enterprises, in whichever sectors they compete, require the greatest amount of strategic effort by their leadership to be aligned.”

What do I mean by alignment? An article in IndustryWeek quotes Fred Smith, Chairman of Federal Express, as saying “Alignment is the essence of management,” and goes on to say that “Alignment reflects an active ownership on the part of team members, not simply the absence of disagreement… Alignment is an agreement on the goals of the organization and on the process of allocating resources to achieve these goals.” The HBR article I mentioned earlier describes alignment in this way: winning through a tightly managed enterprise value chain that connects an enterprise’s purpose (what we do and why we do it) to its business strategy (what we are trying to win at to fulfill our purpose), organizational capability (what we need to be good at to win), resource architecture (what makes us good), and, finally, management systems (what delivers the winning performance we need). 

Signature Consultants Featured in National Center for Middle Market Report [Client Spotlight]

Tiffany Chepul Tue, Aug 14, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Hearty congratulations are in order for long-time Rhythm client Signature Consultants!

Not only have they experienced mind-blowing growth in the IT staffing space (3x compared with their industry!), but they were also recently featured in the NCMM report, THE DNA OF MIDDLE MARKET GROWTH: The Three Types of Growth Champions and the Factors that Drive Their Success.

No, Your Strategy Does Not Suck - You Just Have Too Many Good Ideas [Video]

Patrick Thean Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ 11:18 AM

“Patrick, my strategy sucks! I am not getting the results and growth that I want. What should I do?” I get this question quite often. On the surface, it appears that your growth strategy is not working. When I ask a few more questions, often I find the strategy or Winning Move is just fine. It’s actually the execution of the growth strategy that is flawed. Most entrepreneurs suffer from the disease of “not being able to say 'NO' to a good idea." So we overeat from the buffet of opportunity, and have too many important initiatives. 

Are Your Annual Plans Really Strategic? Your Results Depend on It [Video]

Alan Gehringer Tue, Aug 7, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I would challenge you to think very hard about this question as it’s not an easy one to answer based on my experience as a facilitator, strategist and execution coach. Part of my job is to help companies prepare for and have effective annual planning sessions that are strategic to help them reach their long term goals. Too often, time is spent at the operational level, action planning or setting unrealistic targets with no real strategy how to achieve them. It is very important for the team to spend ample time researching, gathering data and preparing for their sessions to get the most out of them. I have said many times through the years that it is not enough for a bunch of smart people to get together in a room for a couple days and expect to come up with great plans. There is a lot that goes into the preparation, and the strategy work needs to continue long after the session concludes.

I think this question is so important, I am developing a workshop for this year's Breakthrough Conference to help companies evaluate how they are doing at strategic annual planning and share ideas on how to get better at planning strategically.

How to Have the Right Discussions to Get to Your BHAG

Jessica Wishart Mon, Aug 6, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Ever feel stuck working on your BHAG? Like you just can’t get the right words? You know that your BHAG is supposed to be measurable but also inspire the team; you know it should speak to the heart as well as the head. Maybe you’ve read our blogs or our BHAG Guide or checked out some of Jim Collins’ resources. If you are still feeling stuck, we have a tool that can help you have the right discussions to get to your BHAG.

Before you get in too deep to this discussion with your team, it is important to clarify for yourself and for them what the process of determining your BHAG is… and isn’t. This is an exercise to pick the right mountain to climb, not to create a perfect statement. Coming up with your BHAG is about going on the mission, not writing a mission statement; in other words, it is not a wordsmithing exercise. Your goal is to come up with your goal, not to write a beautiful sentence for your wall or website.

Download a free BHAG guide to help you align your company around a single  strategic vision.

3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Developing Your BHAG

Jessica Wishart Wed, Aug 1, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

A key piece of your long-term strategy is your 10-25 year visionary stretch goal, what Jim Collins calls your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). Your BHAG is so important because it helps you grow with purpose. It should provide guidance and help you and everyone else in your company choose between the opportunities that arise as you continue to grow.