Entries by Ryan Walcott

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How Integration APIs Help CEOs Eliminate Expensive Mistakes

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Mon, Feb 1, 2021 @ 04:27 PM

Learn how integration APIs help CEOs eliminate expensive mistakes (28 minute webinar)

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Topics: Webinars

CEOs Need a Business Execution Platform

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Mon, Feb 1, 2021 @ 03:28 PM

Learn why CEOs needs a business execution platform (53 minute webinar)

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Topics: Webinars

The ROI of Replacing Strategy Spreadsheets with Systems

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Jan 29, 2021 @ 11:08 AM

Spreadsheets are a powerful tool and very inexpensive. Compared to most software, they seem nearly free. That's why most businesses use a spreadsheet as their tool of choice for working to solve most problems and run many of their strategic projects. Companies use them for project management, financial management, data analytics, task lists, and so many other purposes that I can't even list them all. While spreadsheets are inexpensive and easy to get things started with, they pose a problem for our businesses as we grow.  Have you outgrown your strategy spreadsheet? What is the ROI of replacing it with a system?

The problem with spreadsheets is that while they seem inexpensive and convenient, the labor involved in creating and maintaining them is not. Spreadsheets don't just magically do whatever you need them to do. They are a blank canvas that a spreadsheet artist must craft. To truly get that spreadsheet right takes time from your most expensive assets: your people.  Even the most detailed excel templates require hours of customization.

You must build them, craft formulas and references, format output, and maintain them as the business changes. This takes time and that time costs money. Lots of money. If you start adding up the cost of that time daily, weekly, and monthly, you will find that you are spending more on your spreadsheet creation and maintenance than you would on best-in-class software crafted to solve your specific business problems. I've worked with clients where staff members devote several days a week of their time creating and maintaining spreadsheets. Several days a week! That's nearly half a work week for a highly paid, highly skilled team member.

Not only that, you need to factor the opportunity cost of this time. What growth goals could you have achieved with the time your people spent creating and maintaining your spreadsheets? Instead of programming rows and columns, they could have been formulating and executing against strategic
growth goals for the business. Wow! What a change in mindset that would be!

A spreadsheet is a computer program. They are usually created informally and lack the core elements of professionally developed software. Elements like good requirements gathering, design, and testing for quality assurance by multiple parties. They also lack documentation and product roadmaps for future improvements. So when the staff member who created the spreadsheet leaves, all that problem domain knowledge goes with them.

So that's enough about the problem. What do we do about all the spreadsheets we have and run our business on today? How do we break free from spreadsheet slavery and direct our energy and time toward growth?

I suggest searching out systems that replace what your home-grown spreadsheets are doing for you. Invest in good project management software, good financial management software, good CRM software, a good Business Execution platform like our Rhythm System. You may think that the cost is too high to buy software, but you are fooling yourself. You are actually paying much more in payroll cost, productivity loss, and opportunity cost than you ever would for professional software license fees.  Spreadsheets have their place, but strategic plan execution isn't one of them.

So, start working on a plan today to understand the spreadsheets you are currently using and why. Then put in place software and processes to replace what your spreadsheets are doing for your business. You will see immediate ROI in your investment in these systems and processes and free the minds of your team to direct their energy and time to achieve your goals and dreams of growing the business.

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Topics: Strategy Execution

Your Journey to Great Execution in 2021

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Dec 11, 2020 @ 11:01 AM

How much did misalignment cost your organization in 2020? Misalignment comes from poor planning, and it results in poor execution and missed numbers. The missed numbers happen in many categories: poor customer delivery, lost revenue, employee frustration/bad morale, great people leave the company and the loss of great customers. You don't want your team looking like this one.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Do You Know if Your Boss is Happy with Your Work?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Many people wonder and worry about whether or not they are doing a good job and if their boss is happy with their work. It is one of the consistent emotional challenges employees face in the workplace, and sadly, most people don't know what to do about it.

One way this challenge has been dealt with is by having the dreaded annual or quarterly performance review. That's the day when you go and find the document (if you had one) from your last review and hope that you were able to improve your work performance from last time you had a formal discussion with your boss. This is usually a lose-lose scenario. You dread these meetings because they feel so formal and awkward. Your boss dreads these meetings because they have to try to figure out something smart, insightful and helpful to say to you to make them look and feel like they are being a good boss. Once it's over, all breathe a sigh of relief and are glad they don't have to do that again for another 3 months—or even a year.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Discipline is the Key to Success

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, May 12, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Working from home can certainly be a challenge. I've been working from home for the last 12 years, and over those years, I learned a key to success that has helped me greatly, especially in this time of sheltering at home during the COVID-19 crisis. That key to success is: DISCIPLINE.

I read Jocko Willink's Discipline Equals Freedom, and in that book, he provides thoughts on the topic of discipline that are very insightful. One that caught my eye is on the idea of motivation vs. discipline. He point out that, if we aren't careful, we can put too much stock in being motivated to do work to achieve our goals. Motivation is fickle; it comes and it goes. It is unreliable, and when you are counting on motivation to get your goals accomplished, you will likely fall short. So don't expect to be motivated every day to make things happen. You won't be. Count on discipline instead.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Work Execution Platform: CEOs Need a Business Execution Platform

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Thu, Apr 30, 2020 @ 02:03 PM

Have you ever wondered just what is going on in your business, how well things are going, and why? How can you know for sure that your people and teams are focused and aligned to achieve your long-term growth strategies and goals? How can you ensure you are doing the right things to attract the best talent and keep them happy in your company so they won’t leave you? These are all questions that an Enterprise Work Execution Platform can help you answer.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution

Frustrated From Your Balanced Scorecard Software Implementation?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Jan 3, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is a popular strategic management system proposed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton and documented in their books and articles on the subject.

We sometimes have clients who come to us who have implemented the Balanced Scorecard approach to management and are looking for ways to improve their ability to execute and achieve their strategic plans.

They have implemented scorecards for Customer, Financial, Learning & Growth, and Internal Business Processes, but are frustrated with their ability to bring consistent improvement to these areas.  Rhythm Systems balanced scorecard software helps you implement the balanced scorecard throughout your organization with visible dashboards that power your team meetings.  If you prefer to categorize them with your own labels, our software gives your the flexibility to align them with your own company culture and nomenclature.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards

How CEOs Use Rhythm to Eliminate Multi-System Chaos

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Nov 5, 2019 @ 11:08 AM

Your company is growing fast and managing projects and tracking metrics across teams is complex and difficult. You now have multiple systems in different teams adding to the complexity and difficulty. The result of this complexity and difficulty is being blindsided by missed goals. You don't want to be blindsided anymore. It stresses everyone out. Opportunities vanish and aren't realized. This costs you and your company millions of dollars. It may cost you and your executive team your jobs.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution

Hey CEOs! Bring Your Data to Life with Rhythm Integration

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Thu, Jun 20, 2019 @ 11:57 AM

CEOs and business leaders spend a lot of time and energy working to hunt down important data and make the right decisions to grow the business based on what they find. The hunt requires time, skill, effort, and consistency. Often teams of people are involved whose whole job responsibility is to collect data and present it in a way that can be understood and acted on.

Understanding and acting on the right data is where things get very difficult and often complex. I've been in countless meetings where stale data is presented in pretty charts. Most of the team in the meeting doesn't understand it and in no way acts on it. Most in the room are embarrassed to speak up for fear they will look stupid, so they nod and go along with the presentation hoping to get out of the meeting as fast as they can so they can get their large pile of work done.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution

Rhythm Software Ensures Your Quarterly Plan is Execution Ready

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Jan 15, 2019 @ 10:45 AM

Our Rhythm Systems consultants have worked for years to help management teams create execution ready quarterly plans to achieve their growth goals each quarter. This practice combines both art and science to analyze plans to ensure they are both practical and complete.

We learned over the years from analyzing patterns of hundreds of quarterly execution plans and built a quarter plan testing tool into our Rhythm strategy execution software. The Quarter Plan 4 Tests feature is just one of the ways we are analyzing execution plan data to help our clients create better plans to achieve their growth goals quarter over quarter, year over year to achieve predictable results.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning

Life & Work Lessons from a Disengaged Elf

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Dec 18, 2018 @ 10:51 AM

Herbie the Elf is a self-proclaimed "misfit." Not happy in his work, he feels like he just "doesn't fit in" with the other elves making toys. His peers are not sympathetic to his plight. They ridicule him for being different and scorn his lack of productivity. His boss is even worse. He yells at him and threatens him regularly for his lack of conformity and performance in the elf culture. It's not surprising, though. There are so many toys to make every year, and the Christmas Day deadline looms large all year long. There just isn't any time or energy for anything to be done outside the norm. So, Herbie decides to leave, become “independent,” and follow his dream on his own to become a dentist.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Conquer Complex Projects with Rhythm Software

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Dec 11, 2018 @ 10:50 AM

Managing projects across multiple teams is really difficult. Isolated spreadsheets and email strings make it impossible for team members to follow and share updates. Traditional project management software is often too complicated, and everyone doesn’t always have access across teams because each team is using their own system. This leads to execution chaos. Multiple systems across teams, difficulty in communication and coordinating effort, slow/no information flow across teams, all resulting in late or failed projects.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

Our New Rhythm Features Help You Build High Performance Teams (Part 4)

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Thu, Dec 10, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

"How can we create something great together?"

That is the thinking and questioning in your mind when you've navigated the journey successfully from thinking "My Job Sucks!" to "I'm great!" to "Let's do something great together." The next level of greatness transcends the greatness of one team to include an entire organization - teams of teams working together in an interdependent way in which there are no longer any functional silos in the organization.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Our New Rhythm Features Help You Build High Performance Teams (Part 3)

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Sun, Nov 29, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

"I'm great! Too bad the rest of my team sucks!"

In my prior posts, I painted a picture of moving from a life where you feel like "My Job Sucks!" to a life where you understand that you own your own career growth and development and you are practicing the right disciplines and using the right tools to achieve personal independence and success in your job. You feel like you are great, but most of the people around you pretty much suck. I ended the last post with the idea that achieving personal greatness isn't enough - that personal greatness is not the end of your journey. There is something more. But what more could there be? Isn't life and work all about becoming the superstar performer that everyone loves?

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Our New Rhythm Features Help You Build High Performance Teams (Part 2)

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Nov 27, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

In my last post I talked about the employee engagement problem and proposed an ownership mindset and the use of Job Scorecards to solve it. That gets you out of the stage of dependence on your boss to a place where you can perform without needing to be told what to do everyday.

Now that you've been freed-up from all that complaining about how bad life is, you can direct all that negative energy towards something positive. You can now learn and grow and achieve success in your job. You own it. You know what's expected and you can achieve it. It doesn't come easy, though. Consistent high performance takes discipline and the right tools. That's why we built performance dashboards into our Rhythm software platform. It is essential to understand what success is on each of your goals and then to track your work to achieve that success every day. You can do this with our Rhythm software so that you will know daily how well you are performing to expectations.  

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Our New Rhythm Features Help you Build High Performance Teams (Part 1)

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

"My job sucks!"

I hear these words from many family members and friends when I ask them about their work. It's likely you have also heard this quote from people when you ask them about their job. It's likely that you feel this way. If you are a manager, it's likely that the people that work for you feel this way. A recent Gallup study indicates that 70% or more of the US working population is disengaged at work. That means they are merely showing up for a job to get a paycheck. They really don't care about their work. Why is it that so many people feel this way about their work? What can be done to change this feeling about our work? I'm writing this blog to offer help. There is a better way.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

My Work for Managers: Work as a Team to Solve Problems Faster

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, May 26, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

As a manager, it is often difficult to manage your own personal work and also lead your team to victory and growth. Wouldn't you love to have a clear picture of how everyone in your department is doing executing against their KPIs and top Priorities every day?

We built our new People EnergyMap in Rhythm to give you that picture. In just 2 simple steps each day you can increase your team's speed of execution by 7x or more over waiting to review your plan execution in weekly meetings alone.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

How to Find the Root Cause of Your Problem Before Deploying a Solution

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

I recently experienced some difficult and expensive home repairs that reminded me of an important factor in problem solving and troubleshooting:  Understand the root cause of your problem before applying a solution.  

I've known this, applied it in the business world, and coached my clients in this for years, but for some reason, I got ahead of myself regarding my kitchen issue and paid the price.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards

Here's Why Your To-Do List Never Gets Done...

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Jan 9, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

If you are reading this blog, it's likely that either you or someone you know really struggles to get their to-do lists done.  

I struggled with this for years and finally gave up on them completely.  I firmly believe that the classic to-do list is ineffective and just doesn't work.  At least for me it doesn't.

Many of us set goals and resolutions for the New Year knowing in the back of our minds that we probably won't be able to fully accomplish those.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

3 Drivers That Increase Your Influence

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Would you like to achieve a 10x increase in performance at no cost?  Of course you would, and you can if you understand persuasion and influence properly.  Influence is the science of understanding the subtle, yet powerful "gear" capable of transforming virtually any interaction.

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Topics: Accountable Leaders & Teams

Why Is It So Hard To Influence Change?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

My daughters and I just attended a morning seminar with Joseph Grenny, Co-Chariman, and Co-Founder of Vital Smarts and the author of Crucial Conversations and Influencer.  I love involving my family in learning from the great thought leaders of our day.

Grenny taught us that we are all social scientists in our practical and everyday lives, but most of us are really bad at it.  That is why we often become so frustrated when we see a behavior in ourselves or in others that we really want to change and are not able to make lasting change happen.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Do You Have a Brand Promise to Attract Customers?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Wed, Sep 17, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

I was recently traveling to Boston and found myself in Logan airport hungry and waiting for my flight.  I had about an hour to get a bite to eat and started considering all the different options for food. Logan is a big airport with lots of options and variety.  So, I did what most people do when given lots of options:  I stood there and did nothing for a while.  :-)

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Topics: Strategies for Growth

The 3 Most Important Words in Marketing...

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Sep 9, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

What are the 3 most important words in real estate?  Location, Location, Location!

A realtor will tell you this because the value of your home or business is affected dramatically by where it is located.  Location makes all the difference in real estate sales.

I had the privilege of attending special training a few weeks ago from our marketing partner HubSpot.  The training was to help us understand the journey HubSpot has been on as their business has grown from a start-up to over 700 employees and over $80M in revenues in 8 years.  They shared with us many helpful learnings from their journey regarding what has worked for them, what has not worked for them, and adjustments they made along the way to continue their impressive growth.  It was so generous of them to share with us, and I am thankful to Brian Halligan and the whole HubSpot team for opening their hearts to us that day to help us.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards

Rhythm Strategy Management Software - How to Effectively Prepare for Weekly Meetings

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Mar 28, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

 

Weekly Meeting Prep is part of your "Do" Rhythm. We call this time a "Weekly Meeting with Yourself."

 

The Weekly Meeting with Yourself is critical to ensure you are making the right adjustments as you execute with purpose each week to achieve your goals for a successful quarter.

 

Benjamin Franklin once said "By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail."

 

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

Rhythm 2.0 - Create a Quarterly Plan for Growth

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Mon, Mar 17, 2014 @ 12:18 PM

A winning quarter begins with a winning execution plan.  My last blog showed how to create a killer plan for the new year.  This blog will focus on what you need to do to create a quarterly plan to help you achieve your annual goals and grow your business.  Quarterly Planning is part of your business’s Plan Rhythm.  The Plan Rhythm is all about creating a rhythm of execution planning to let all teams and individuals in the business know what they are supposed to do in the next 90 days.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

Rhythm 2.0 - Create a Killer Annual Plan for the New Year

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Mon, Dec 2, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

A winning year begins with a winning execution plan.  My prior blog posts on Rhythm 2.0 focused on how Rhythm helps you with a Think rhythm to create focus for the future of your business.  Now, we will move on to talk about how Rhythm 2.0 helps you with your Plan rhythm.  The Plan rhythm is all about creating a rhythm of execution planning to let all teams and individuals know what they are supposed to do.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

Rhythm 2.0 - Think About Your Winning Moves for Growth

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Nov 22, 2013 @ 10:15 AM

It’s Annual Planning time for many companies throughout the world.  In this time, many of you will be thinking of your strategies for business growth.  Patrick Thean recently wrote an excellent blog Do You Have 2-3 Winning Moves on Your Rockefeller Habits One-Page Strategic Plan? helping you to determine 2-3 Winning Moves to grow your business revenues over the next 3-5 years and get you closer to accomplishing your BHAG.  Please read that blog post before proceeding with this one.  The purpose of this blog is to help you understand how to use Rhythm 2.0 to collaborate with your team in and out of planning sessions to determine the right Winning Moves for your business and then track your execution to accomplish them.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

Rhythm Strategy Execution Software - Think About Your Brand Promise Guarantee

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Wed, Oct 16, 2013 @ 10:30 AM

Want to turbo-charge your sales?  Then, read this blog and get to work on a Brand Promise Guarantee!

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Rhythm 2.0 - Think About Your Long Term Strategy - BHAG

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Oct 15, 2013 @ 10:00 AM

Do you have a long term strategic goal that serves to both focus and motivate your company’s people to achieve growth and greatness?  Jim Collins teaches that one of the key differences between “good” and “great” companies is that the great ones have a 10-25 year Big Hairy Audacious Goal or “BHAG.”  Your BHAG should focus your team and stretch your company to achieve greatness.

Rhythm 2.0 has some great new features to help you determine the right strategy, execute your plan, and grow your business.  We like to talk about these in terms of three basic categories:  Think, Plan, and Do.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Rhythm 2.0 - Think About Your Long Term Strategy - Core Values & Purpose

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Oct 8, 2013 @ 09:08 AM

How do you know if you have the right strategy to grow your business AND enjoy the journey along the way?

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Rhythm 2.0 - Think About Your Brand Promise

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Wed, Oct 2, 2013 @ 07:20 AM

What sets you apart from your competitors?  What is it about you that makes you different in the marketplace that your customers value?  Having the right Brand Promise will help you win more of the RIGHT customers and keep the ones you love by helping you focus on HOW you sell your WHAT to your WHO.  Bob Bloom writes about this process in his book The Inside Advantage which we highly recommend you read to help you best determine your Brand Promise.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution

Does Your BHAG Make Your Team Yawn Or Gulp?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 @ 02:36 PM
My team has been living our core value to "Keep Smart" by reviewing some foundational articles on business strategy.  Last week's was "Building Your Company's Vision" by Collins and Porras.
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Topics: Strategies for Growth

So You Have A Strategic Annual Plan - Now What?

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @ 06:13 AM

So you have a strategic plan?  That's awesome!  Congratulations!  You are doing better than the majority of the companies doing business these days.  So now what?   What do you do to get this plan done?

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

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