One of the best parts of our annual Breakthrough Conference is getting our Rhythm community breakthrough conference 2020together to live our core values of Keep Smart, Be Appreciative, Family is a Blessing, No TDC (Thinly Disguised Contempt) and Go the Second Mile. This year’s conference looked considerably different—while we weren’t able to showcase our southern hospitality by having our guests come to Charlotte and enjoy time together in person, we did have an amazing virtual learning experience last week.

Our first virtual conference was a whirlwind of amazing content, and I’ll be thinking about some of the presentations for a long time to come! We heard from amazing speakers and learned a ton from the attendees, as well. In the spirit of our Keep Smart core value, I’m here to share some of our audience’s key takeaways.

We asked the crowd to share their top takeaways into the Zoom Chat, and here's a word cloud for a quick visual of what we heard most often:

breakthrough conference 2020

Here’s a breakdown of one key insight from just a few of the sessions:

  1. The Future of the Office - Todd Custer: Ease the transition back to the office by making the office feel more comfortable and inviting - more like home, and use friendly and attractive signage to remind people of health and safety rules.
  2. How Leaders Work with Their Teams to Unlock Bold Strategies - Kaihan Krippendorf: Don’t look at where you can go from where you are now. Think differently - look to the envisioned future you want as a company, and decide the next move you need to take to get there.
  3. Navigating Org Changes: Relentless in the Pursuit of Awesome - Chris Cronin: Making changes to the leadership team can be really difficult, but focusing on the work or key strategies that need to get done can help take the emotions out of tough decisions.
  4. The Enormous Cost of Misalignment - and What to Do about It - Patrick Thean: You have to align your team on both strategy and tactics; don’t forget to clarify how you will get the work done. 
  5. The CEO Roadmap to Lead, Innovate, and Grow No Matter What Gets Thrown at You - Lucie Voves: Think about what it is you are really selling. Find a win-win for your partners, and include them in your success.
  6. Bold Moves: Navigating Changes in Product, Business Model & Org - All at the Same Time - Filipe Carreira: Sales, Marketing and Operations teams can align and execute at scale when leaders face the brutal facts about their own strengths and weaknesses and keep lines of communication open.
  7. Samaritan’s Feet: How Leading with Courage Provided Hope to Over 7 Million Children - Manny Ohonme: Hope transforms lives and inspiration is contagious.
  8. The Organizational Strategy That Removed Cross-functional Roadblocks & Fixed Problems 90 Days Faster - Todd Cunningham: It’s critical to align at the beginning of the quarter, transparently debate as an executive team, and deliberately maintain alignment during the execution process throughout the quarter.
  9. Your Rhythm Journey to Great Execution in 2021 - Ryan Walcott: Consistency and discipline are key to improve your plan quality, execution results, and weekly meeting effectiveness.
  10. Quick Tips to Align Cross-functional Departments Remotely - Tiffany Chepul: Misalignment is costly on projects that require resources from multiple teams, so slow down to plan for dependencies, shared resources, and collaboration.
  11. Planning for an Uncertain 2021 - Tips to Create Plan A and Plan B - Alan Gehringer: Spend time creating specific contingency plans and have a dashboard of KPIs that trigger you to know when it’s time to go to Plan B.
  12. How Rhythm Can Supercharge HR/Talent Team Priorities - Chris Cosper: Collaboratively set agile goals and have ongoing performance conversations to support adjustments with your team.
  13. Employee Health & Productivity - Top Ideas from Top Talent Leaders - Jonathan Walters: Do what you can to be generous and consider each individual employee’s unique situations and needs.
  14. Time is the Enemy - 2 Ways to Fix Misalignment NOW - Patrick Thean: Use your weekly meetings to have the tough discussions needed to stay aligned; jump right in to have the spicy conversations first.

There are plenty more valuable insights from out speakers, so I encourage you to revisit the recorded sessions if you registered for the event. If you missed it this year, we hope you’ll mark your calendar for Oct. 14-15, 2021, when we hope to be back together in-person!

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Jessica Wishart


Photo Credit: iStock by Getty Images