Entries by Alicia Croke

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Examples of Crucial Conversation at Work: 5 Common Causes in the Workplace

Posted by Alicia Croke on Mon, Jan 27, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Recently we held a webinar with VitalSmarts on Crucial Conversations in the workplace. I learned a lot from both Patrick and Chase. I wanted to know what were common causes of crucial conversations. I did a little research and found a few examplesI wanted to share from the book, Crucial Conversations.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

3 Team KPIs for A Successful Team

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Jan 22, 2020 @ 12:00 AM

Every week you sit down with your team and discuss what you need to get done to be effective. How often do you enter the meeting dreading it or leave it feeling burnt out? When you meet with your team, you should focus on fixing problems and not statusing your projects. At Rhythm Systems, we use a few KPIs religiously at our weekly adjustment meetings. Check them out below!

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Effective Meetings

5 Reasons Why Strategy Execution Fails

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Jan 2, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

We are already two-quarters deep this year. How is your 2017 plan going so far? Is it already careening off its track, middling along, or right on target?

If you have found that your plan is already off track, have no fear! Harvard Business Review to the rescue! Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes, and Charles Sull found five myths that cause strategy execution failure. 

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Topics: Strategy Execution

How to Have a Productive Company Culture (Infographic)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Tue, Dec 31, 2019 @ 12:00 AM

Company culture is important. If disengaged workers were engaged, they would boost U.S. productivity by $79 billion a year

A boost like that to productivity could be a huge benefit to your company. Good culture and productivity go hand in hand. If your firm is weak in culture, productivity will suffer.

So how do you ensure the right ratio of fun and productivity?

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Topics: Strategy Execution

How to Gain Control of Your Free Time

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Mar 28, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, I felt like time has been getting away from me. I am sure many of us feel like that at the beginning of a new year after the lull of the holidays. Laura Vanderkam, a time management expert, knows all about how we feel we don't have enough time. I recently watched her Ted Talk, "How to Gain Control of Your Free Time." 

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Are You Making These 3 Leadership Mistakes?

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Sep 14, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

As Annual Planning approaches for many companies, leadership teams are sitting down to develop their goals for 2018. How was your 2017? Did you get everything accomplished that you had hoped? Are you closer or farther away from your BHAG?

To develop a stronger leadership team in 2018, start with Annual Planning. Watch out for the three leadership mistakes below during your Annual Planning meeting to have a constructive session!

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

4 Things CEOs Need to Know about Activist Investors

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Sep 6, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

The term activist investor has been floating around Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal for a while now. Activist investors are turning up the heat in companies all over the market, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Buffalo Wild Wings. What exactly is an activist investor? What do they do and how do they impact your business?

According to Investopedia, "An activist investor is an individual or group that purchases large numbers of a public company's shares and/or tries to obtain seats on the company's board with the goal of effecting a major change in the company." 

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Topics: Strategy Execution

5 Ways a CEO Should Think About HR

Posted by Alicia Croke on Fri, Aug 25, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

The Human Resource budget is one of the biggest budgets a CEO sees on his desk every day. Gallup "estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year." 

As a CEO, you are constantly under pressure to meet shareholders' needs and stay under budget. Your human capital is one way to keep a healthy chunk of your budget in check. Our CEO, Patrick Thean, shared with me some ways a successful CEO should think about Human Capital Management.

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Topics: Strategy Execution

5 Tips on Time Management From Busy Leaders

Posted by Alicia Croke on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, our team sat down with our some of our panelists for our Women In Leadership breakfast at the upcoming Breakthrough Conference. I was happy to sit back and soak up all the knowledge I could from these inspiring ladies and men. One thing rang through crystal clear from our calls with them: how to manage time effectively with life and business.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

3 Industry Leaders in Charlotte's Growing Tech Scene

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Jul 26, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Did you know that Charlotte was recently voted as one of the best cities for tech outside of California and New York?

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Topics: Strategy Execution

4 Tips to Promote Gender Equality in the Workplace

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

We have all heard for years how women and men experience life differently. Recently, the discussion has shifted more toward how women and men experience their working lives. With workplace gender disparity still hovering at 30%, companies are trying to combat this number with everything they've got.

However, the Wall Street Journal reported that "just 45% think their company is doing the work that is necessary to achieve gender parity. Even fewer report ever having witnessed a manager challenging gender-based language or behavior, or a leader being held accountable for making—or not making—diverse hires."

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

5 Books By Women Leaders You Should Be Reading

Posted by Alicia Croke on Sun, Jul 2, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

"Almost four in ten businesses in G7 countries have no women in senior management positions," according to Forbes

I am very lucky to work in a company where our executive team is made up of a diverse group of women and men. The women at Rhythm Systems inspire me every day to learn more, be more, and dream more. One way our female leadership empowers other women in our organization is through continuous learning. We constantly share insights, books, and news. In the spirit of lifelong learning and female empowerment, I am sharing 5 of my favorite books by female leaders.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

5 Books Business Leaders Should Read this Summer

Posted by Alicia Croke on Sun, Jun 11, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

It's that time of the year where the office starts clearing out, and everyone starts going on vacations. While the office is quiet, your team should take the time to brush up on your business education, especially reading. Check out my recommendation of 5 books everyone in your organization, especially your leaders, should be reading.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

10 Things to Do When You Fail (Infographic)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

I recently read about a museum of failure, a new exhibition. The Museum of Failure is located in Sweden and showcases high-profile product failures. Some of the items on display include Google Glass, Harley-Davidson perfume, and BIC for her.

When I read about the companies' responses to being featured in the exhibition, I was intrigued to learn that most of them were comfortable with their failure. They had tried and they had failed, but that was okay; it was all part of innovation.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Why Millennials Hate You

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

According to an article I read recently, "People in their late twenties and early thirties are more unhappy about their work-life balance than any other age group, with almost half saying that there is sometimes an expectation from their employer that they work outside normal hours, according to a YouGov poll."

Millennials are not happy, and it shows! So, why are they so unhappy in their current roles?

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Happy Employees Pay For Themselves

Posted by Alicia Croke on Fri, May 5, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

There has been a lot of talk lately about how disengaged employees are in the American workplace. Everyone has been talking about how do you engage them, what incentives can you give them, how do you make them happy.

A recent New York Times article reported that salary and benefits are all well and good, but happiness is really the key:

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

10 Ways to Combat Workplace Burnout

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Millennial women are burning out fast in the corporate world, and it is not just due to childcare. According to Fast Company, "As only 11% of women choose to leave the workplace permanently to have children, the other reason for this gap can be traced to high expectations that companies place on their employees in always-connected work environments."

As a millennial woman who works with other millennial women, I have seen this play out across industries and lifestyles. And it's not just millennial women that are burning out. "And while it's true that women tend to be more stressed than men, burnout is something that affects millennial overall—the most stressed out generation ever, according to the American Psychological Association," according to Fortune. 

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Don't Count Out Baby Boomers Just Yet (Infographic)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

There is a shift in the workforce, and it's not from the much-maligned millennials.

According to a recent New York Times article, "Nearly 30 percent of women 65 to 69 are working, up from 15 percent in the late 1980s, one of the analyses, by the Harvard economists Claudia Goldin and Lawrence Katz, found. Eighteen percent of women 70 to 74 work, up from 8 percent." The study also found, "If people work when they’re younger, economists say, they’re more likely to work when they’re older."

The workplace might be changing, but its demographic isn't shifting as fast as everyone thought it would.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

5 Things Your Boss Expects You to Know About KPIs (Video)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Mar 8, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

So you just started your new job, and your boss sits you down to talk about your KPIs. He says, "Yeah, we are gonna measure your performance based on these, so hopefully you do a great job!"

After your busy first day, you realize you are completely lost when it comes to your KPIs.

He gave you a plan all laid out, but you still need some guidance as you start your new job.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards

It's Better to be Unemployed than In a Job You Hate

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Mar 2, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Your job is important - it's where you spend most of your waking hours. So when the Australian National University recently released a study about how your employment affects your mental health, I was interested.

According to the study, it is better to have no job at all than to have a bad job. "Those who moved into optimal jobs showed significant improvement in mental health compared to those who remained unemployed. Those respondents who moved into poor-quality jobs showed a significant worsening in their mental health compared to those who remained unemployed."

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Accountable Leaders & Teams

What is an Intrapreneur?

Posted by Alicia Croke on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Recently, I have been running into the term intrapreneur over and over again on LinkedIn. So, I decided to educate myself and see what all the fuss was about.

The proper definition of an intrapreneur is "an employee of a large corporation who is given freedom and financial support to create new products, services, systems, etc., and does not have to follow the corporation's usual routines or protocols." Intrapreneurs are different from your typical employees.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Big Egos, Big Game, Big Loss (Video)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Sun, Feb 5, 2017 @ 12:00 PM

Unfortunately, my team won't be at the big game this year, but I will be watching the Falcons face the Patriots. I'm sad that my team, the Carolina Panthers, won't be playing tonight, but hopefully, they will be at the big game next year. 

I think that after a great season in 2015, my team became too big for their britches, and fell apart. They thought they could do no wrong. They thought they could slack off and celebrate. The team forgot what got them to a winning season: great teamwork and breakthrough execution!

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Are You Appreciating Your Employees the Right Way?

Posted by Alicia Croke on Tue, Jan 3, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, my fiance who is a nurse received his Gerontology certification, and he received a record number of positive client feedback forms. How did his workplace reward him? With a single white stemmed carnation. He said he stood there dumbfounded, not because they rewarded him for his hard work, but they rewarded him with a flower, like a contestant on The Bachelorette. He is also introverted, so public recognition is not his favorite thing in the world.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

A Holiday Gift For Our Subscribers

Posted by Alicia Croke on Mon, Dec 19, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

We are so happy you subscribe our blog. We love sharing content that we hope you enjoy and find helpful on your journey to grow your business with purpose.

It's the most wonderful time of the year, or at least that's my opinion. As many of our readers know, at Rhythm Systems, we love being generous and sharing gifts throughout the year! We even had a Friendsgiving recently to share our newest book Predictable Results.

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Are You Running Your Business with Super Chickens?

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Dec 1, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Recently, I listened to a Ted Radio Hour podcast about the meaning of work. Margaret Heffernan referenced a story about William Muir's experiment with chickens. William Muir was interested in what could make groups more effective. He found a flock of average chickens and left them alone for six generations. Muir then had another flock with individually productive members, so he bred those productive members across generations to create what he thought would be a super flock of chickens.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

7 Lies about Leadership You Need to Stop Believing

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Nov 10, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

I am sure many of us have had the same vision of what a leader should look like. They are brash, outspoken and stoic. Well, I am here to tell you that we have been had. Leaders come in all shapes and personalities.

Below are seven leadership myths that you need to stop believing.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Thank You to All of Our Breakthrough Conference Sponsors (Slideshare)

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Oct 26, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Thank you to all of our wonderful sponsors for a great 2016 Breakthrough Conference! This year, we had three wonderful sponsors: Samaritan's Feet, AvidXchange, and SmartCEO.

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Topics: Strategy Execution

How Hollywood Got Habits All Wrong

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Sep 21, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Montages - movies are laced with them today. All of a sudden, a character decides in a very short period that they are going to change their circumstances, their relationships, or themselves. Think Rocky Balboa running up the steps at the Philadelphia Museum or Art or when Julia Roberts remakes herself in Pretty Woman.

We all know montages don't happen. Unlike montages, habits take time to break, and forming new ones is just as hard. In the movies, it is easy to stop bad habits and develop amazing new ones. Granted, a lot of times movie characters also have the best coaches pushing them to be their best.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Announcing Our Charity Partner for Breakthrough 2016

Posted by Alicia Croke on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

I am so excited for this year's Breakthrough Conference! As a new team member and a perpetual volunteer, I am thrilled we are teaming up with Samaritan's Feet.

Samaritan's Feet donates shoes to underprivileged children in the developing world. It all started with Manny Ohonme. Manny's story began in Nigeria, where he won a free pair of shoes from a missionary. The gift propelled him to earn a full basketball scholarship to the US.

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Top 5 2016 Summer Reading Recommendations

Posted by Alicia Croke on Sun, Jul 31, 2016 @ 12:00 PM

Whether you are out at the beach or lazing by the pool, summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading. I usually read a wide swath to keep my brain occupied and happy. As I have gotten older, I have found less and less time to read, but my book pile keeps growing. I am trying to finish that pile sooner rather than later.

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5 Tips for Working with Introverts

Posted by Alicia Croke on Wed, Jul 13, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

One of the most common misconceptions about working with introverts is that we do not work well with others. Susan Cain, an introversion expert, explains in her TED Talk that quiet people bring amazing talents to the world and should be celebrated. "Introversion is more about how you respond to stimulation including social stimulation."

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

4 Tips for a Great First Day at Your New Job

Posted by Alicia Croke on Tue, Jun 14, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

It's the time of year when many people will be searching and starting new jobs. I am one of those many who searched and found a new job this spring; thankfully, I ended up at Rhythm Systems.

Everyone is nervous the first week at a new job. My first week at Rhythm Systems, the team put me at ease and created a great environment. With the help of my team, my onboarding was a breeze. Below are four tips to help you get started on your first day at a new company.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

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