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Cascading Rhythm - What Should I Expect?

By Tiffany Chepul

    Wed, Jul 31, 2019 @ 04:34 PM Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution

    In the last two years, many of my clients have taken the brave and ambitious step of cascading Rhythm deeper in their organizations.  It's challenging and requires a high level of commitment from the executive team, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges.  The top 3 reasons companies cascade are as follows:

    1. They need to elevate the skills of their executive team so they are able to support fast-paced growth and scale from a people perspective.

    2. They need a way to align groups to the company plan and create visibility down into the organization.

    3. They want the groups to understand how their execution drives the strategic plan, and therefore get greater buy-in.

    There are several patterns I am noticing in helping clients cascade Rhythm methodology deeper into their organizations: 

    1. More KPIs - The deeper the methodology goes into the organization the more KPIs there are.  At the Company-level, the KPI set should be very high-level and focused - only about 10-15 leading and results indicators in total.   At the Group level, the KPI set gets much larger.  If you think of the Sales team, they might only have two Company level KPIs: Overall Revenue and Overall Pipeline.  When looking at the Sales Group KPI set, they might have Revenue and Pipeline KPIs for each member of the team.  They might also be tracking some additional KPIs for each person like # of Meetings or Leads.

    2. Fewer Priorities - Because the number of KPIs increases, the number of Personal Priorities usually decreases.  Roles at this level are more focused on day jobs, which are measured by the KPIs.  People operating in Groups tend to only have 2-3 Personal Priorities as their activities are less strategic.

    3. More Action Items - Action Items usually are more voluminous at deeper level Groups as those people are more tactically focused.  For example, the Company may have a Priority to "Increase Online Sales Efforts," the Marketing Group might have a priority to "Increase Social Media Presence,"  and the front-line employee who actually makes this happen might have one Supporting Personal Priority with dozens of Action Items.

    There's no magic formula for cascading Rhythm down into the organization.  The mixture of KPIs, Priorities and Action Items will likely vary from group to group depending on the nature of the group's work.  But the value of having a system that links the day to day activities of all employees to the short-term priorities and long-term strategy of the company can be equally beneficial for all.  If you're trying to build focus, alignment and accountability in your company, consider how you might cascade your plan throughout the organization.

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