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Rhythm Blog | Alan Gehringer

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Planning for an Uncertain 2021: Tips to Create Plan A and Plan B

Alan Gehringer Wed, Nov 18, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

We recently held our 6th annual Breakthrough Conference, although it was our first ever virtual conference, and I want to share a few ideas from one of the two sessions I facilitated: Planning for an Uncertain 2021.

These are extraordinary times we are living in right now, and traditional approaches need to be challenged. As we enter into the busiest time of the year for annual planning, I hope you will find these tips useful.

Do You Need a Strategy Refresh?

Alan Gehringer Wed, Oct 28, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

There is no better time than the present to work on completing your strategy. You may have wanted to nail down your work on core customer, brand promise or brand promise guarantee. You may need to review your core competencies and refresh the short list. Maybe you are getting close to reaching your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and need to envision a new one.

As many people continue to work virtually, it creates the perfect opportunity to set aside time and schedule a virtual planning session or two. Working virtually allows more flexibility by allowing you to break sessions into 4-hour increments, if desired, and you can schedule the work over several weeks.

One Page Strategic Plan Template (OPSP) for the Rockefeller Habits

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 05:52 PM

I have recently been involved in a few conversations with clients that are new to the Rockefeller Habits or to long-range planning. The questions that keep coming up are "Where do I start?" and "Should I first establish my BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal), 3-5 year strategic plan, Core Values, etc.?"  

What is the Difference Between a Primary Customer and Secondary Customer?

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

I have written previously about the importance of identifying your core customer because I have seen far too many companies waste their valuable time and resources selling to and serving the "wrong" customers.  They haven't taken the necessary steps to identify their most valuable customers that purchased the primary product and were highly satisfied.

Your core customer is the one who values what you offer at a price and quantity that is good for both you and the customer and will take you into the future successfully. This is the individual that uses the product, the one you look in the eyes and can put a name to and the one you can’t live without. Knowing who the core customer is will impacts sales in a positive manner.

21 Manufacturing KPI Metrics Updated for 2020 to Improve Production Performance

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

It is important to grow the top line of your business on an annual basis, but you also need to make sure the bottom line is healthy which can help fund that growth. This is particularly important if you are a manufacturing company and need to be efficient in your production process. In most cases, the two biggest expenses in your manufacturing business are labor and raw materials. There are exceptions, of course, in machine intensive automated manufacturing plants, but let’s focus on the former. So how can we make sure the production line is running at peak performance? One very effective way is to put the right balance of production KPIs in place. Some of these are leading indicator KPIs that help provide insight into future performance and some are results KPIs that tell you how you have done. It is good to have both, although I always prefer giving my production managers a good set of leading indicator KPIs as these manufacturing metrics drive the results.

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

Here are some of the most effective manufacturing KPIs and metrics:

Strategic Planning Tips: 17 Tips to Create a Winning Strategic Plan

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 10:57 AM

So, you had a great planning session with your team. Everybody left the 3-day session pumped up and ready to hit your targets for the year and move the company one step closer to achieving your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and other long term strategic goals. You've done the strategy work extremely well?  What could possibly go wrong?

Unfortunately, even with everyone’s good intentions, running the day-to-day business can get in the way of making progress on your annual and quarterly rocks if you are not intentional about your execution or operation planning of all of your important projects to help you achieve your vision.  These strategic planning tips should help you execute on your 3 year strategic plan while keeping track of your day to day activities.  As the experts in mid market planning facilitation we are often asked for our best strategic planning advice, so here you go!

21 COVID-19 KPIs to Monitor Now

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 9, 2020 @ 01:12 PM

These are crazy times we find ourselves in right now. I have heard more than one person say that they have never experienced anything like this in their lifetime—and a few of the folks are a bit more senior than me! That being said, I am so proud of the companies I work with and the friends that I have that run their own businesses. Everyone is doing everything they can to take care of their employees and service their customers to the best of their abilities. Most are doing a really great job despite the social, environmental and supply chain challenges.

How CEOs Can Avoid High-Cost Mistakes in Annual Planning

Alan Gehringer Mon, Aug 31, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

We are coming into that time of year where a lot of companies are gearing up or doing their annual planning to prepare for next year. In preparation for that, we are presenting a webinar in conjunction with the Association for Corporate Growth, ACG, to highlight some of the mistakes companies make and three very important lessons that can help you avoid those mistakes and the failure that accompanies them. Did you know that on average, only 50-60% of companies actually hit their annual performance targets?  The stats are not very good, and even worse if you have just participated in a merger or acquisition. Team members involved in a merger or acquisition want to know two primary things: where is the company going, and what do you need me to do today?

Quarterly Rocks: The Difference Between KPIs and Quarterly Rocks

Alan Gehringer Mon, Aug 31, 2020 @ 09:30 AM

What's the difference between KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and Quarterly Rocks? This can be a very confusing question, especially for companies who are new to using the Rockefeller Habits or Rhythm's Think Plan Do as a methodology to grow their company and drive their execution. It can be confusing at first as there are some similarities between the two. Both use clear success criteria to measure results or desired behavior, and quarterly rocks (often called priorities or projects) can often influence the success of the KPIs and metrics you are monitoring.

Power SWOT: Harness the Power of a 2020 SWOT Analysis!

Alan Gehringer Thu, Aug 20, 2020 @ 12:31 PM

A common tool used in planning sessions is the SWOT analysis.  The acronym SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  The tool was developed by Albert Humphrey of the Stanford Research Institute in the 1960’s.  Although we typically use this tool for strategic planning purposes, it can also be used to evaluate a person, product, market, industry or business opportunity.  Typically during quarterly planning, we focus on the external market by looking at opportunities and threats to ensure we are looking outside the organization as we plan and develop priorities.  During annual planning, it is more common to conduct a full SWOT analysis by also looking at the strengths and weaknesses internally to aid in our organizational development and strategic thinking.