Rhythm Blog

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

The Test of True Accountability (Updated for 2021)

This happens all the time. You are holding someone accountable to get something done. Yet you find yourself checking in and chasing for an update on what is going on. Constantly. And if you do not remind them to report the current status to you, they continue to mosey on and forget about reporting in. So frustrating! But they are supposed to be truly accountable, right? So why are you chasing them around as though you are the one that is really accountable?

20 Ways to Achieve Your 2021 Annual Plan

What should you do if you cannot seem to come up with enough sales opportunities to hit the revenue target for next year?  This scenario sometimes comes up during an annual planning session.  You've built a sales and revenue plan for the year based on assumptions and this year's historical performance, and it does not add up to achieve the revenue target that you have set for the next year.  And now you are staring at a gap.  How do we fill this gap?  I would suggest that you do a "20 ways to..." exercise to come up with ideas to fill this gap.  

How to NOT Treat Your Customers

Apple just released the iPhone 12. It comes in various sizes, finishes and configurations as it enters the world of 5G. Of course I want one. I want one badly. I am such a sucker for innovative technology. I've also successfully convinced my wife that it is part of my job to use the latest technologies so that I can share my thoughts with clients. Yup, it's part of my job—and I love it.

3 Year Strategic Plan: How to Achieve your 3 Year Strategy

There are many views or definitions of strategy. Renowned Harvard Business School professor and strategy expert Michael Porter provided one that I like because of both its simplicity and clarity. Porter defines strategy as:
  • The creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.

Porter argues that tactical improvements or operational efficiencies are not strategies but that the essence of strategy is to perform a different set of activities from that of your rivals. For many businesses, regardless of size, strategy work may get completed annually but there is a disconnect between strategy and performance. There have been many books and articles written on the topic of “Execution”.  An Execution framework is critical to be certain, but outstanding execution will not rescue strategy that lacks focus or differentiation. To be successful, a company must master the three areas of Strategic Growth: Strategic Thinking, Execution Planning, and actually Doing the Work.

Strategic Growth Planning: How to Create Your 3 Year Strategic Growth Plans Wisely

In a recent Annual Planning session, one of our clients asked us to help them review and renew their Winning Moves, the 3 year strategic growth initiatives to help you double you revenue.  They wanted to make sure that their growth strategies were still powerful enough to drive growth over the next 3 years. We highly recommend reviewing your Winning Move strategies every year.

During good times, it is easy to neglect working on your Winning Moves. Then when growth begins to slow, we realize that we are already late to the game at developing new revenue growth moves. If you want consistent year over year growth, you must review and renew your 3 year strategic growth plan in a regular rhythm to continue to test assumptions and make adjustments to your plan.

It is best to only have a few Winning Moves. Otherwise, the team might be spread too thin as resources get allocated across too many initiatives, causing teams to inadvertently compete for some of the same resources. Competition for internal resources often causes negative stress and reduces team productivity, even to the extent of building silos.

I’d like to share our Winning Move Strategic Planning Process so that you can have an objective way to discuss, debate and agree on the best 2 or 3 ideas for growth.   In order to sustain long-term growth rates, you need to be continually working on these business plans.  Growth rates will continue to rise organically and your team culture will transform into one that is continually looking for the next the next source of revenue growth.  

Strategy vs Execution: Don't Confuse Strategic Thinking and Strategy Execution Plans

It is easy to confuse your strategy and your 3 year strategic plan. I have seen somany leaders tell me that they have a great strategy.   Yet, when asked specifically what their strategy is, they have difficulty sharing the key strategic initiatives they are going to make - and when.  Strategy and strategic moves should not be as complicated as we sometimes make it.  This is the very reason that there is a strategy or execution debate.  You must do both well to succeed, and you need the right rhythm to get it done. 

7 Keys to Mastering the Rockefeller Habits One Page Strategic Plan (OPSP)

I was in Jakarta speaking at Taipan 2013. We had the strongest showing at Taipan ever with 220 people! CEOs with their teams worked hard on their business. I had a wonderful time. EO Indonesia and EO Malaysia were such wonderful hosts, making the event very memorable. My one day session on Rockefeller Habits (Scaling Up) and the One-Page Strategic Plan template was adjusted for two different types of teams in the audience: teams being introduced for the first time to this framework and experienced teams who wanted to take it further.

Focus and Alignment: 4 Questions to Ask Your Team

If you want your team to be focused and aligned on the right projects, you need to connect your strategy to execution.

Successful companies have too much to do. New opportunities come about, and it is hard to say "No." But strategy is more about saying "No" to the wrong things than saying "Yes" to everything. Most entrepreneurs are not wired to say "No." We are wired to find a way to say "Yes" and get more opportunities into our companies. If that sounds like you, then you don’t have the danger of dying from starvation. But, you do have the risk of dying from over-eating from the buffet of opportunity!

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