Last summer, Nicole, my 14-year-old daughter, walked into my home office and asked “Daddy, can I intern with you this summer?” I replied “Sure!” She continued, “OK, what would you like me to do for Rhythm Systems this summer?” I laughed and said “I don’t know. You just popped the question. You are the one who wants to intern with me, so how about you think about what you would like to learn, come back, and we can discuss further and decide. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure it gives me and our company value.” Nicole makes a face “OK, Daddy. I'll think about it and come back with some ideas.”
Rhythm Blog | Strategy Execution
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
In January, most of us are thinking about our health and making resolutions to eat better, exercise more, or practice meditation. Taking stock of your personal health is important, and so is taking stock of your business health. As the year kicks off, consider taking our Company Health Check to determine if there are any areas of improvement you should be focusing on for your company in 2018.
Just as your personal health can be measured and improved in four key areas (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual), so can the health of your business.
At Rhythm Systems, one of our core values is Keep Smart; we are a team of voracious learners. But, it can be difficult to keep up with everything we want to learn, especially since there is so much great content out there for leaders to consume. I think it is safe to bet that I'm not the only one with good intentions and a "pile of guilt" (also known as the stack of business books I meant to read last year and never got around to.) It is nearly impossible to keep up with all the great articles and books promising to share the latest business growth hacks, reveal industry trends, and make you a better leader. In our crazy, busy days, sometimes we don’t have time to read a blog post, much less a whole book.
If you are trying to grow your skills and stay informed in the new year, try listening to a few podcasts instead of staring down the “pile of guilt" for yet another year.
For many team leaders, it can be hard to keep a pulse on what’s happening in your team, especially if your company has remote workers or offers flexible schedules so the whole team isn’t always in the office together every day. And, as Gallup’s research on millennials and women in the workplace reveal, the needs of your team members are changing as well. As a manager, you now need to be able to give feedback more frequently, not just in annual reviews, and provide more opportunities for development and collaboration.
With these challenges and opportunities in mind, we’ve designed some tools specifically for team leaders in the Rhythm software. We wanted to give team leaders a better way to manage team performance with quick, visual dashboards that let you see how the work is going on your team, a fast way to know who may be overloaded and needs help, and a better way to have effective, collaborative meetings with your team.
Take a look at your calendar. If you’re like most executives, you’re booked up with meetings weeks in advance. As we all know, meetings can sometimes be a real waste of time. At Rhythm Systems, we help our clients establish the right rhythm or cadence of meetings and use best practices to ensure the time spent in meetings is valuable. We believe that our Daily Huddles, Weekly Adjustment Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Planning, Annual Planning, and ongoing think rhythms help your company (and each of you) work more effectively, solve problems more proactively, and make critical adjustments so you can achieve success. That being said, you probably have some meetings on your calendar that you wonder, “What’s the point?"
We are rapidly approaching the most wonderful - and busy - time of year. With the holidays and end of year deadlines looming around the corner, many of us are gearing up for a stressful season. Do you wish you and your team could be more productive and simultaneously experience less stress? Does it sound too good to be true? I recently listened to a Vital Smarts webinar on “Getting Things Done: How You and Your Team can Become More Productive and Valuable at Work” that cited research proving there are a few key habits that you can implement to accomplish just that. The research is based on David Allen’s Getting Things Done. According to the research study, people who practice these habits “outperform low performers by 68% and experience less than half the stress."
With this quarterly planning season coming to a close, I've discussed hundreds of priorities in the last few weeks with clients - you are a focused and busy bunch! So many of those priorities represented projects. You are designing new products, finalizing new employee & client programs and documenting processes. Each project has its own specific purpose and many times, it spans across multiple departments. So, when it comes time to execute, how do you all get aligned?
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:
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!
The common mistake many companies make is to start designing a bunch of KPI's for their company. They start with a burst of energy, gather together the team and work on KPI's in an offsite planning session. They ask "what do we need to measure in each department?" This produces 18 to 25 KPI's, a couple for each key executive to work on. Convinced they have changed the company, they dash off excited to see what results they will generate in the upcoming quarter. A quarter later, many are demoralized and not much progress has happened regarding measuring these KPI's. They lose steam and by the 3rd quarter, it's back to business as usual.