Topgrading is a methodology of recruiting, interviewing, selecting and retaining top talent developed by Brad and Geoff Smart designed to increase your likelihood of hiring and retaining A players. We’ve been recommending this method to Rhythm clients for many years. We even use it ourselves, so we know firsthand the power of Topgrading. You can find a lot of great (and free) resources on their website. When used in conjunction with Job Scorecards, an enhanced version of job descriptions, you can better attract and retain the A-Players you need to hit your growth goals.
“Are you kidding me? Have a meeting every day! We already have way too many meetings. The last thing my team wants to do is add another one..... every day.”
Yep, that was me about 12 years ago when my coach, Dan Weston, suggested we implement the daily huddle meeting in my company. I was reluctant, but he made me promise to give it a try. My team was reluctant at first too, but in time, this became one of the most important rhythms in the company. And, not only did the executive team huddle, but the design team huddled, customer service and sales huddled, the engineers huddled and the front line supervisors huddled daily.
Whether you are an executive team member, a department leader, or a member of the team, the role you play in the company is unique and important. You are there for a reason and you want to be successful. In order to be successful, you have to understand your purpose, what you are responsible for, how success will be measured, the skills you might need to develop, and the values you must uphold. Role clarity is key to your success, and Job Scorecards are a great way to achieve role clarity.
“We need more accountability around here.” “We need to hold people accountable.” This is one of the most consistent themes we hear from clients when asked what they would like to achieve or improve in their business. It’s a worthy goal, but the path to success is not simple. You can’t mandate accountability. Accountability is a choice. Here’s a formal definition of Accountability: the willingness of an individual to account for their actions, accept responsibility for them and disclose the results in a transparent manner.
We often think that by applying negative consequences, or calling people out, we’ll be able to enforce accountability. Who wants to be the accountability police? Our time as leaders is much better spent figuring out what we can do to create an environment that encourages accountable behavior, a culture where people are willing to account, accept, disclose, and even ask for help when needed. Before you jump straight to consequences, make sure you’ve done your part to create an environment where people will choose to be accountable.
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 now, most of us are familiar with Verne Harnish’s book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do To Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm. And, synonymous with the book is Verne’s One Page Strategic Plan. There are so many great concepts and solid theory captured in this material, all boiled down to simple, actionable steps that each of us can apply in our businesses. But it’s all so good, you may be wondering where in the world to start Mastering the Rockefeller Habits.
“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.
The primary goal of any lean initiative is to drive out waste. Have you considered whether or not you have waste in your quarterly planning process? Many companies, especially complex organizations with multiple business units, locations, product lines, or divisions, struggle to find a way to get their teams focused and aligned around the right set of priorities every quarter. The synergy and momentum you’ll gain when you figure this out will increase productivity, improve employee morale, and help you achieve your goals faster.
Over the past 10 years, we have had the unique opportunity to work with hundreds of companies around the world. Our observations and research, via coaching sessions, planning sessions, and the review of over 125,000 company, departmental, and individual priorities has provided unique insights into what specific habits, patterns, and actions helped these companies execute better and grow faster.
Your planning sessions are important and expensive. Whether they’re Quarterly Planning Sessions, Annual Planning Sessions, or Strategic Planning Sessions, you've invested the valuable time and energy of your most expensive employees – time away from the office,