Many companies invest a lot of time, energy, and resources in crafting a strategic plan for the year. Unfortunately, many of those Annual Initiatives never come to fruition. Once you've done all the hard work of creating a plan, the hardest work of all is yet to come - now, you have to execute that plan. To do this successfully, you can't operate in a vacuum. You need the energy and enthusiasm of each person in your company to make your annual plan come to life.
Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
New research in Dec. of 2018 confirms that podcasts are getting more and more popular, with 26% of people in the US listening at least every month. Most listen on a mobile device at home. On average, most podcast listeners are affluent and educated. But with over 630,000 choices out there, how do you know what to listen to? Admittedly, there’s a lot out there for people interested in politics, news junkies, sports fanatics, pop culture buffs and true crime story addicts, but there are also a lot of great podcasts perfect for business leaders.
In your next weekly team meeting, take a moment to look around. What are you seeing? Are your team members engaged—are they looking at each other, leaning forward, nodding, and exchanging ideas? Or, are they staring at their computer/phone or leaning back with arms crossed and eyes glazed? If you are on a virtual meeting platform, have everyone turn on their webcam so you can observe the non-verbals. However, you might not even need to do this to know that people aren’t really “there.” It is usually pretty obvious when everyone has muted their line and proceeded to work on something else, daydream, or run errands during your meeting.
At Rhythm Systems, we believe that having a strong Think Plan Do Rhythm is essential to growing your business with purpose. And, we think this rhythm is key for departments and individuals at every level of the organization, not just for the executive team. Think about how powerful it would be if each and every person in your company could tell you what the top priority for the company was for the year and for the quarter, how success is measured on those priorities, what their team is doing to support achieving those goals, and how they personally are contributing to the company's success. That's why we think cascading the Think Plan Do rhythm to departments is a key step for your company's success.
Sounds like a simple concept: Alignment. What makes this so hard to achieve? The fact is, if you are hiring the right people, you will have a lot of smart people on your team who disagree with each other. This is a good thing. Alignment doesn’t mean that everyone starts on the same page; if that were true, then you’d just have a bunch of robots running around who all think the same way and who never challenge your ideas or come up with anything creative, interesting, or groundbreaking.
Difference of opinion among your team members is a key ingredient in developing the right strategies for your team, the ones that have been analyzed from different angles and debated in your planning sessions. However, when the dust settles and the decision has been made, this is where alignment takes over from diversity of viewpoints as the key to your strategy’s success or failure.
Because Rhythm strategy execution software acts as a framework for pulling together into one single system many improvement initiatives and management tools that are popular among manufacturing companies, many of our most successful clients come from this industry. One area that our clients come to us for help with is determining the right manufacturing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). Some production managers are not sure where to start, and many are measuring so many things that their metrics are just noise, not driving action or change.
Manufacturing KPI Examples
Leadership development is a growing concern for middle market companies. Growing your leaders is a challenge - whether you are succession planning, thinking about the future of your executive team as your company grows, or struggling to fill mid-level management positions within your company. Right now, employers are looking at the largest number of job openings ever - currently there are more open jobs than unemployed people to fill them. Plus, middle market companies face unique challenges in recruiting and retaining talent. Growing leaders from within your company may never have been more important than it is now.
If you read our blog often, you know that we frequently recommend using a Job Scorecard - we find this tool is exceptionally helpful in a variety of situations. Use it for hiring, use it for clarifying expectations around roles and goals, use it for ongoing performance conversations, use it for personal career growth. The Job Scorecard truly is a versatile power tool that can increase productivity and effectiveness both for individual contributors and for team leaders. However, I’ve noticed that many of our clients get stuck filling out the Job Scorecard template. To be honest, I got stuck on it myself. The part that seems to trip us all up is the part that can maximize the return on your investment of time and energy to create the Job Scorecard - the Desired Result KPIs.
Why Are Job Scorecard KPIs so Important?
It is no secret that your people are instrumental to the success of your business. In order to have a great company, you not only have to hire the right people and get them in the right seats as Jim Collins says, you also have to work to retain and engage those people once you have them.