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Rhythm Blog | Jessica Wishart

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

How to Conduct an Effective Annual Planning Meeting for 2020

Jessica Wishart Sat, Feb 29, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

You can make an argument that your company’s annual planning meeting is the most important thing you do all year. Each of your quarterly execution plans will anchor off of the decisions you make during the yearly planning meeting, and those quarterly plans are what drive the focus of your team’s weekly and daily execution. Plus, your Annual Plan has to move your company’s long-term strategic goals forward and be aligned to your core foundational strategy. Not to mention that you usually have your company’s most expensive leadership team in the room for one or two days - the cost is high and there’s a lot riding on this important business planning meeting.  Don't worry, we have over a dozen years of experience in strategic planning meetings, and we can help get you on the right track.

The Right Meeting Rhythm Will Set You Free! (Infographic)

Jessica Wishart Sat, Feb 29, 2020 @ 08:57 AM

It sounds so simple.  But, I was just discussing scaling up meeting rhythms with one of my colleagues, and she told me that it took her last company three years to get into the right meeting cadence that actually accelerated their team's progress!  They learned through a lot of trial and error (and probably a lot of wasted time in meetings that were unnecessary and some productive time lost catching up in hallway conversations when a meeting was needed but didn't happen).

MBOs, KPIs, OKRs and What the Best Goals Have in Common

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Businesses looking to implement goal setting best practices are often drowning in a sea of acronyms that can be hard to navigate. What’s better - MBOs or OKRs? Where do KPIs fit in? Should I have SMART goals or stretch goals or something else? There are lots of tools and frameworks and different acronyms out there, but there are some key elements of effective goal-setting that underlie all of the most effective business goals.

First, let’s clarify the terminology a little bit. I’ll give a brief explanation of what MBOs, OKRs, and KPIs are and what the pros and cons may be for each.

Effective Goal Setting 101: How to Write Effective Goals [Infographic]

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Successful SMART goal (priority) setting is an essential skill for both personal and professional success. If you aren’t setting goals, you’re likely not making progress. However, research by the University of Scranton found that 92% of people who set New Year's resolutions never achieve them.

Business goals don't fare much better; 67% of great strategies fail due to poor execution. Writing an effective goal will increase your chances of successfully achieving that goal, or quarterly rock. Fortunately, goal-setting is a skill that you can learn and improve. Setting goals and priorities is essential to running a great company so it is worth the time and effort to improve this skill.

Here are 6 Easy Steps to Writing Effective Goals and Priorities:

3 Better Email Habits to Improve Team Productivity

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 09:25 AM

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.

Role Clarity: Setting Clear Expectations with Goals

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 28, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

My husband used to coach a 3- and 4-year-old soccer team (the “Gorillas”) at our neighborhood YMCA. If you’ve never watched toddlers play soccer, it is pretty hilarious. I remember one game, someone walked by the sidelines with a puppy, and every player on both teams ran off the field in the middle of the game to pet it! I also remember one game where little Petunia with her precious braided pig tails was the goal keeper (the kids rotated so everyone had a chance to be the goalie at least once in the season). A particularly big, fast kid from the other team kicked the ball right to her, and she quickly moved out of the way, turned to watch it go in the goal, and then clapped! “We scored!” 

Brand Promise Examples: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly (Updated for 2020)

Jessica Wishart Thu, Feb 27, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Your Brand Promise is the commitment to your customers that really matters to them and differentiates you from your competition.  It is one of the most important building blocks help you win more of the right customers by helping you focus on how you sell your product/service to your Core Customer. 

What makes a Brand Promise “good” is not only its appeal to your Core Customer and its ability to help you close sales with them, but also your ability to consistently deliver on that promise.  You'll find that most of the brand promise examples listed below you are already familiar with as they clearly define the what the brand promises the customer and is used heavily in their marketing as it completely aligns with their brand.

A Tale of Two Unicorns: What They Have in Common

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 25, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Recently, AvidXchange, a Charlotte-based fin tech company, announced Series F funding. Their innovative accounts payable platform is changing the way middle market companies do business, and this new round of funding will fuel their continued growth.

“We’re shaping the future of the B2B payments industry by fundamentally changing the way businesses pay their bills, providing a single platform for AP and payments with the largest payments network for the middle market,” said CEO Michael Praeger in a written statement.

Late last year, Raleigh-based tech company Pendo raised $100 million to fuel their growth. The successful startup provides analytics to help companies improve their websites and software for end users. According to CEO Todd Olsen, the company plans to use the money to hire more software engineers (among other things): “We tend to think that investments in product pay back long-term dividends to the company… A big part of our investment thesis is to continue hiring engineers.”

Why There's Still Hope for Your New Year's Resolution

Jessica Wishart Tue, Feb 18, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Did you have a New Year’s Resolution this year? Any new habits you were trying to develop? How are those new habits coming along? We’re a few months in to 2020, and if you believe the data, you’ve probably fallen off the proverbial wagon by now on those new habits.

Anecdotal evidence does suggest that it is a lot easier to find a parking place at the gym now than it was in the first few weeks of January, so I’m inclined to believe the data that only 64% of people who make resolutions are keeping them a month later, and only 8% successfully complete them. Forming new habits is hard. Changing old behaviors is really, really hard!

Don’t give up yet! If you are trying to start a new habit, here’s a list of tricks to try:

Maximize Your Effectiveness with Custom KPI Dashboards

Jessica Wishart Fri, Feb 14, 2020 @ 11:07 AM

In Rhythm software, there are few different lenses to view your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You can view them in a Scorecard to ensure you have a balance between people and process metrics. You also have a couple of different ways to look at all of the KPIs in a particular group: either as an EnergyMap so you can see at a glance how the linked Individual Priorities are going, or on the 13 Week Race tab so you can see how the status of your KPIs has changed over the course of the quarter.

Finally, Custom Dashboards are perhaps the most powerful tool for viewing KPIs in your weekly meeting. Here, you have the ability to select exactly which KPIs you want to view together regardless of which group the KPIs are in. You can arrange your data to tell the specific story you need to hear. Here are a few examples of how you can use Custom KPI Dashboards to maximize your effectiveness: