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Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Why You Need a Time Machine for Effective Goal Setting

Jessica Wishart Thu, Oct 10, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

If you want to set compelling and achievable goals for yourself, your teams and your company, drop everything and invent a time machine. OK—not literally, but metaphorical time travel is a key component of effective goal setting.

Why time travel? To paint a picture of success. Why is this important? Why do you need to know what success looks like?

In their classic book Switch: How to Change Things when Change is Hard, Chip and Dan Heath describe the importance of what they call “pointing to the destination” with a destination postcard. They argue you need “a vivid picture from the near-term future that shows what could be possible” to rally the troops behind your goal. Visualizing success in detail is motivating to the team and actually helps you achieve it.

Monthly Management Meeting Agenda Template

Jessica Wishart Wed, Oct 2, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

One of the many things I get to do in my role here at Rhythm Systems is work with our CEO Patrick Thean to coordinate and run our monthly management team meetings. This monthly meeting is a key component for our leadership team’s success; it gets us all aligned, it reinforces and enhances our company culture, it engages and re-focuses our leaders, and it is a great way for us to learn together each month.

How to Prepare for An Effective 2020 Strategic Planning Session [Video]

Jessica Wishart Fri, Sep 27, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

At this point in the year, many companies are gearing up to plan for the next year. Before you lock down your budget for your next year, ensure that you spend a few days with the executive team to assess where you are on your strategic plans and growth targets and really think about where you may need to make additional investments to grow your business. Your annual planning session is a key part of your business rhythm; this is where you develop and advance your 3-5 year growth strategies or Winning Moves, map out the annual initiatives to get you there, and create your blueprint for your entire year of execution. In order to get maximum value out of this expensive time with your team, it is critical to have each person in the room prepare well.  The strategic planning session is an important part of your annual meeting to ensure your plan will help you hit your goals.

How to Use Rhythm to Plan Cross Functionally

Jessica Wishart Wed, Sep 18, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

I just got back from a user conference, and I was reminded of the amazing level of detail and planning that goes into pulling off an event like this - there’s so much to do from all departments. Someone’s got to lock down the venue, plan the budget, secure the speakers, sell the tickets, market the event, set up the registration and event website, handle the hotel room blocks, ensure customers have a great experience, plan the food and beverages, recruit and coordinate the sponsors, purchase the swag, design and print all the signage, name badges, slide decks and more. And then, you have to put on the event with all the inevitable unexpected snags and last-minute surprises, and follow up after the event. A project like this requires alignment, communication, and flawless execution.

3 Better Email Habits to Improve Team Productivity

Jessica Wishart Thu, Sep 12, 2019 @ 01:22 PM

Effective communication is a key leadership trait and one of the 5 Cs of team accountability, and in today’s world, a lot of that communication happens over email. One report said in 2019, an average of 126 business emails is sent and received per person per day. That is a lot of email to process effectively.

Rhythm Software Implementation Roadmap (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Fri, Aug 23, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

One of the best parts about my job is getting to see clients have that "ah-ha" moment in Rhythm - the moment the software and the methodology come together and the client just gets it and sees the tremendous value. However, it takes some clients longer to get to this moment than others. In trying to figure this out, I've come to realize that part of it is human nature. Like any new process or software system, implementing Rhythm requires the team to make some changes. People struggle with change, even positive change.

5 Reasons Why You Need The Right KPIs (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Fri, Aug 23, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Measuring the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is vital to the health and success of your business. However, when we onboard new clients, we find that some of them are uncertain about what they should be measuring and how they can use these powerful tools.  They often ask "Why do we need KPIs?" or "Why use KPIs?" as they think their way of doing things isn't broken.  Effective KPIs are important metrics to make sure that you can accomplish any business objective.

KPIs are more than numbers you report out weekly - they enable you to understand the performance and health of your business so that you can make critical adjustments in your execution to achieve your strategic goals. Knowing and measuring the right KPIs will help you achieve results faster.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Spreadsheets for Your OKRs

Jessica Wishart Thu, Aug 22, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

I’ve just finished reading John Doerr’s book, Measure What Matters: OKRs - The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth, and it is full of really practical goal-setting tips and great stories from real companies like Intel, Google, and even a few smaller companies. What struck me throughout the book, though, is that the companies in many of these stories rely on spreadsheets, documents saved in company intranets, or even Post-it Notes hung up in their offices (and in one story, by the toilet) for communicating the goals. Using a spreadsheet or paper-based process for OKRs is like parking your Ferrari on a busy street under a tree on garbage day. Why would you risk ruining something so beautiful as a well-written goal with poor communication and accountability?

The CEO's Roadmap to Organizational Alignment Bliss

Jessica Wishart Thu, Aug 22, 2019 @ 11:00 AM

Alignment can be elusive for even the smallest start up companies, never mind mid-market companies that have multiple divisions, departments, or business units, different locations, new acquisitions, or remote employees. The more successful you are in growing your company, the more complex your organization becomes, and the more challenging it is to communicate effectively and attain alignment. And, as the CEO, aligning your company to succeed starts with you. According to an article in Harvard Business Review by Oxford University’s Jonathan Trevor and Barry Varcoe, "Large, diversified, and geographically dispersed enterprises, in whichever sectors they compete, require the greatest amount of strategic effort by their leadership to be aligned.”

What do I mean by alignment? An article in IndustryWeek quotes Fred Smith, Chairman of Federal Express, as saying “Alignment is the essence of management,” and goes on to say that “Alignment reflects an active ownership on the part of team members, not simply the absence of disagreement… Alignment is an agreement on the goals of the organization and on the process of allocating resources to achieve these goals.” The HBR article I mentioned earlier describes alignment in this way: winning through a tightly managed enterprise value chain that connects an enterprise’s purpose (what we do and why we do it) to its business strategy (what we are trying to win at to fulfill our purpose), organizational capability (what we need to be good at to win), resource architecture (what makes us good), and, finally, management systems (what delivers the winning performance we need). 

How to Change Your Team’s Bad Habits

Jessica Wishart Fri, Aug 16, 2019 @ 11:02 AM

I recently heard Charles Duhigg, author of the best seller The Power of Habit, speak about the science behind his book. It’s really fascinating how our brains work, and how we can use his work to create healthier habits for ourselves and for our teams. We all know that change is hard, and changing behaviors that have become automatic (aka habits) is even harder.