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Rhythm Blog | Ted Skinner

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

The Importance of Organizational Alignment and How to Achieve It

Ted Skinner Mon, Sep 30, 2019 @ 11:15 AM

Verne Harnish notes in his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits that the difference between organizational vision and organizational alignment as drivers toward success is a whopping 99%. He demonstrates that vision = 1%, while team alignment = 99%.

Think about the power of that assertion for a moment. Why is it that organizational alignment is exponentially more important to success than vision?  The importance of organizational alignment, can't be understated - but how do you achieve it?  How can I increase the level of organizational alignment in my company culture?  What type of work structure allows you to achieve increasingly better business performance?  You need to get into a Rhythm of 3 Year Strategic Planning, Annual Planning, Quarterly Execution Planning and Weekly Team Meetings.

2020 Annual Planning Meeting - 5 Steps to Create a Winning Annual Plan

Ted Skinner Mon, Sep 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Did you know that nearly half of all companies fail to meet their financial targets? Much of this lack of success can be traced back to poor annual planning sessions. Perhaps you talked about the targets and set them, but you failed to create an action plan to get there. I understand - there is an amazing amount of work that goes into facilitating a winning planning session. We know how hard it is, as our Rhythm experts have facilitated thousands of successful planning sessions to set our customers up for success. This blog will give a high-level overview of the five keys to creating a winning annual plan.

4 Steps to A Great Skip-Level Meeting and 17 Engaging Questions to Ask (Updated for 2019)

Ted Skinner Mon, Sep 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

What is a skip-level meeting?

As defined in an article by Jared Lewis, "In a skip-level meeting, upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly to non-managerial employees. Although there's not typically a special position known as a 'skip-level manager,' senior managers conducting these types of meetings are considered skip-level managers."  The manager meets with employees to try to better understand their team members, build trust in the organization and get a better sense of the work environment challenges facing your front line employees.  Skip level meetings for employees are just as important as they are for managers, and both should be well prepared prior to the "skip level meeting."  Done properly, the skip level meeting is an effective tool to improve communications across your organization. 

SMART Goal Setting Theory: To Create SMART Goals, Start With “Why”

Ted Skinner Sun, Sep 29, 2019 @ 03:47 PM

Leadership 101 tells us that it’s important to set clear and specific goals for ourselves and for our teams in order to achieve business goals and objectives. In other words, all of our business goals should be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.) In order to craft a good smart goal, you need to take a couple of steps back and look at the whole picture - why are you doing this? The best SMART goals always start with “why.” Are you taking an educated guess at what you think a good goal is going to be that will equate to business success? Are you confident enough in defending that guess to someone else? If you fully understand the “why” behind the project, it is much easier for you to define your time-based goals. Goal setting theory clearly states that the better you write your SMART goals, the better your team will perform.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Employees for a Merger

Ted Skinner Fri, Aug 30, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

An acquaintance of mine has recently undergone a merger at her corporation. As a mid-level employee, she knew it was coming; her company had announced a few months ago, but she hadn't heard any specific details other than it was going to happen.

When the time came for the companies to merge, there was confusion, misalignment, and miscommunication. Unfortunately when merging companies, often preparing employees for coming change has been left off the agenda or is an afterthought.  Trust me that it is just as important, if not more so, to make the teams are prepared for the merger as it is to worry about day to day operations. The long term success of the merged company depends on the communication strategy to communicate with employees.

Leveraging Core Values to Drive Revenue and Increase Profit

Ted Skinner Wed, Aug 28, 2019 @ 11:03 AM

If you’ve gone through the exercise of determining your company’s core values, you’ve spent a lot of time (and a lot of meetings) thinking and talking about who your company is and what you stand for. These fundamental beliefs and mission statements are things that should drive every decision in your business, be reflected in the people you hire and through your employees’ actions, and identify for your employees and your customers what you consider to be right and wrong. Successful leaders know it is one of the most important aspects of creating a culture of high performance to increase profit. 

Quarterly Planning Best Practices for the Manufacturing Industry

Ted Skinner Thu, Aug 15, 2019 @ 11:04 AM

In any industrial company, there are business goals to hit, KPIs to measure and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) to complete. In manufacturing companies, the business goals and KPIs carry a different weight because of the raw material costs, labor costs, supply chain issues, and other factors involved in getting your product to market. Strategic planning has a special role in manufacturing so you know where your business is starting from and what end goal you want to achieve. Quarterly planning is key in accomplishing those targets.

5 Tips for an Effective Daily Huddle

Ted Skinner Wed, Aug 14, 2019 @ 01:34 PM

It’s an interesting experiment to informally poll your friends and ask them about their planning habits. Do they plan on a daily basis? Weekly? Digitally? Analog? Cruise through YouTube and see how bullet journaling is the new scrapbooking and you’ll see there’s no end to how you can plan. It’s hard to argue with the logic that planning out your day gives you a better chance of accomplishing what you set out to do. Sure, there are days that go off the rails, but that can happen in any business. Having a plan will help you roll with those unexpected scenarios and keep everything on track to hit your goals.

5 Tips for Running Effective Team Meetings

Ted Skinner Tue, Aug 6, 2019 @ 12:14 PM

Team meetings are a key component of a business. It’s important that the employees know and understand what’s going on with the business and what expectations they need to meet in order for the company to be successful.

How does your team react to the weekly meeting? Is it a task they dread? Do they welcome the break from their desks? Do they get frustrated because every single meeting always seems to be about the concerns of one single person? Do the meeting participants believe it is time well spent? We have found that companies that take control of their meetings get a huge return on their investment with high employee engagement.

How To Keep Daily Huddle Meetings Useful in 2019 (Infographic)

Ted Skinner Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 09:00 AM

Staying aligned in today's modern work environment is harder than ever.  There are so many distractions in your daily work, that it is hard enough to know what you are up to - let alone your team members.  One of the best ways to get aligned and everyone on the same page is to have a daily huddle with your team to share your victories, priorities and remove your roadblocks.  You can implement an effective daily huddle as part of your effective meeting rhythm by following the seven rules of Daily Huddle!