At our annual Rhythm Systems Breakthrough Conference in Charlotte this year, we had the opportunity to survey our audience of over 150 mid-market executives and ask the question, “What are the top 8 business challenges for mid-market companies?” The term “mid-market” refers to the size of a company based on its annual revenue, usually between $10 - $500 million. It may seem like a big swing to go from $10 million to $500 million, but not so big when you consider that only 3% of all companies ever make it past the $10 million mark.
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
So many Rhythm companies start off as what we consider “simple” companies. They are experiencing steady, but not explosive growth. They might only have the executive team using Rhythm. Some have a relatively flat structure with few locations and departments.
Think about it - what sets your company apart? Are you poised to quickly enter emerging markets and innovate new products and services that your customers will value? What are the skills, processes, systems, and activities that will propel your company into the future?
It’s time to plan your fourth quarter and finish the year strong! One of the reasons plans fail is due to poorly defined goals and priorities. Most people think that they have finished their plan when they have had good discussions during quarterly planning sessions and come up with their top 5 priorities for the quarter. “Hey, we are all aligned and ready for the quarter!” Not so fast. You need to make sure that your goals and priorities are well defined and SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time bound).
For many companies, the idea of the monthly management meeting can feel like a burden in an already overly scheduled calendar. Why is this meeting, in the midst of so many other meetings, important?
This day or half-day meeting is your key to building the team, learning together, solving problems, working on specific issues, and reinforcing your company’s culture, initiatives and goals.
During Q4, many companies begin to think and plan for the next year. To gain insight into the process and importance of planning for the upcoming year, my team interviewed me. After all, I am an Amazon best-selling author of two books: Rhythm and Predictable Results, and I've helped hundreds of companies with this process.
Question: Patrick, so annual planning time is rolling around again. Are you still looking forward to helping companies develop their plans, and if so why?
Patrick: Oh, I love this part of the year, when people are thinking and planning for the next year. It is a good practice to take stock, learn what went well and what did not go so well, and dream about how to do much better next year. This is a very important process that can really influence whether you have a great year or not.
In a former job, I had a manager who called all of his direct reports together to tell us some exciting news! We were embarking on a big new project that would require everyone in the company to pitch in to make it happen. There was a lot of excitement (mostly from him), and a lot of confusion (mostly from us). Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot of follow up about what the goal was, who was going to do what, and by when. When I asked for more specifics, it was clear that nobody really owned the success of this project - nobody knew who was in charge. Not surprisingly, the project was a failure. I think we've all experienced similar things - some well-intentioned leader fails to clarify the expectations, and there's a lot of confusion, re-work, frustration, and lost productivity.
As the middle market growth experts, the Rhythm Systems consulting team gets a lot of questions about KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators. All dashboards are not created equal! I want to tell you 4 of the most common pitfalls of KPI dashboards and how to avoid them. Read through them below and see which ones you have the ability to improve. If you spot one (or two), make sure that you make a to-do list item to correct them and improve your weekly team meetings with the right KPIs.
Fall is upon us. School is back in session, the leaves are beginning to turn, the air is crisp, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks… and many, many Executive Teams are gathering in conference rooms for the yearly ritual of Annual Planning. In many cases they are clearing their schedules for two full days, traveling to a different location, and spending hours preparing ahead of time for this important event. Why is this such an important ritual?