Rhythm Blog

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.

Getting Things Done and Dreams Executed

Patrick Thean Tue, Jul 17, 2018 @ 11:00 AM
On a recent trip to Amsterdam, I had the opportunity to spend some time with David Allen, author of   Getting Things Done. David is the master of personal productivity and organization. I read Getting Things Done more than 15 years ago. Since then, I have been using his ideas to free my brain of clutter and get more of the right things done.
 
David shared with me that success breeds success. He noticed that people who use his method are already successful people who want to get stronger and better. I shared that we had a similar experience at Rhythm Systems. We noticed the same pattern. Our clients are already successful, and they want to achieve even more. They want to have a way to succeed consistently and have predictable results.

Daily Huddle Template and Examples from Real Companies Just Like Yours

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jul 12, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The daily huddle has been common practice for many companies for ages. No matter your industry (manufacturing, healthcare, technology, etc.) or size, a daily sync-up can be a powerful tool to increase alignment, communication, and productivity for your teams. According to an article in Inc magazine, huddles "keep companies focused on the same strategic goals, ensure timely answers to pressing questions, and enforce accountability because everyone knows what everyone else is up to."

In theory, implementing a daily meeting with your team sounds simple. Establish some ground rules and stick to them. Typically, the rules include no problem-solving or rabbit holes, start on time, end on time (no more than 15 minutes). Keeping this meeting short and sweet is essential to its effectiveness. Include the right people, and if your organization is larger or more complex, cascade this habit to your departmental teams. Customize a simple agenda so you are sharing only the essential information.

How SMACCC Will Save Your Company

Barry Pruitt Wed, Jul 11, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“A good plan executed right now is far better than a perfect plan next week.” - George S. Patton

Patton had it right. An executive pattern that I’ve often seen is paralysis while waiting for perfect. As a mid-market company, you don’t have the time, profit, or revenue that allows you to wait for perfection before execution. It may not be a sexy story, but it's time to SMACCC to save your company.

Several years ago, I was coaching a CEO for a $17mm company. He had a financial officer who would not get the books quickly closed at end of the month, who often had to restate earnings, and who only reported instead of interpreting the numbers for financial decisions, realistic projections, and future initiatives. This CEO worked hard but was unwilling to be hard on the financial results. I sent a copy of Simple Numbers by Greg Crabtree to no avail. My final advice to the CEO? Replace his financial officer. The CEO didn’t, and one year later the company let go of nearly 30% of the workforce. Waiting for the perfect that never happened put them at risk of what occurred. They haven’t recovered.

Top 22 KPI Examples for Technology Companies

Tiffany Chepul Tue, Jul 10, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It can be intimidating to sit down to a blank slate and begin working on your company’s first official KPI dashboard! Over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of technology companies doing just that - beginning their KPI journey in Rhythm. So how do you get started?

First, it’s helpful to think of your business in terms of 4 key areas: Employees, Customers, Processes and Revenue. In order to have a clear high-level view of the health of your company, you should have visibility on all four areas. What can you measure to give you the proper insights on the health of your employees, customers, processes and revenue?

Download our free KPI Guide to help you drive results with KPIs.

If you are still stuck, we’ve compiled the ultimate cheat! Below are some of the most common KPIs we’ve seen from technology companies using Rhythm for each of the 4 key areas:

5 Strategies for Better Team Meetings [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Thu, Jul 5, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

I recently watched a TED Talk from David Grady called "How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings." It's hilarious, and it hits on some real pain points that we all experience with poorly run meetings that suck our time and energy as well as prevent us from getting the real work done. Grady says, "Everyday, we allow our coworkers, who are otherwise very, very nice people, to steal from us...I'm talking about time."

Do you go back to your desk and think, "Man, I wish I had those two hours of my life back?" Do your weekly staff meetings feel like pulling teeth? If you or your team members can relate to the video linked above, then it is time to shake up your weekly staff meetings.

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.

5 Insights You'll Gain From Executive Coaching

Cathy McCullough Thu, Jun 28, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

The famous mountain climber, Phil Powers, said it best during an interview on NPR’s "This I Believe” segment: “Concentrating on how I move through the world is important. It’s why I reach mountain summits and life goals with energy to spare.”

As a best practice, Powers uses a concept taught to him by his mentor, Paul Petzoldt. Penzoldt recommended a ‘rest’ (i.e., a slight pause) with each climbing step taken. It allows a climber to move swiftly, yet still find a brief pause in every step. The cadence of this sequence creates, in the end, a higher degree of forward-movement with what seems like less effort.

Most leaders dive into leadership without a second thought. I love the optimism that comes when people find themselves suddenly leading people (vs. tasks and initiatives they’ve been responsible for completing). The problem, though, is that most leaders simply don’t see the impact their leadership approach has on those around them (positive or negative). They don’t pause while climbing the mountain of business objectives for a rest step. They don’t give themselves quick moments of pause that allow for slowing just enough to gain the energy to keep moving forward.

Couple this lack of ‘pause’ with how fast everything moves in today’s world. Every motion, every thought, every piece of information we gain in a 24/7 world makes the concept of ‘pause’ seem ridiculous. It can even make us feel unworthy, lost, and unproductive. 

3 Leadership Tips for Successful Change Management

Chris Cosper Wed, Jun 27, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

“Innovation is the key to success.”

“If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

“You must create a culture of continuous improvement.”

Here are three pieces of great business advice I’m sure you’ve heard a hundred times. They all make perfect sense, but like most good advice, they’re easier said than done. The reason they aren’t easy is because they all involve change, and change is hard. Let’s face it; coming up with a new idea isn’t that hard. Creating a plan to implement your new idea isn’t even hard. It’s when you start involving all the people affected by your idea that things get messy.

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%.”