Having been with Rhythm Systems since 2010, I have had the privilege of consulting with some teams for over 5 years. I love seeing teams achieve their dreams!
One of the most interesting developments over the years is that teams are taking Rhythm deeper and deeper into their organizations. In some cases, we are four management levels deep with cascade planning and weekly execution. Imagine what you and your team could accomplish with that level of alignment and laser-focus across that many teams!
Being that far-removed from the executive team does present unique challenges, however. Thomas H., one of our subscribers, recently asked: "How can managers use Rhythm in support of Executive Teams?" Great question! How do those managers, a team or two away from the executive team, keep their teams connected to the Company plan and support the executive team?
Here are a few Rhythm best practices for managers:
Use the language. When speaking with your team, use the words and phrases that relate directly to the Company Plan. If the Main Thing for the quarter is "Build the Foundation," open with that phrase at every Weekly Meeting.
Use the strategy. When having discussions with your team, root decision-making in the Company strategy. Will this new product feature get us closer to our BHAG? Is how we handle refunds congruent with our Core Values?
Trust the process. Quarterly Planning and Weekly Meetings in the proper sequence is key for alignment and proper flow of information. Executive team plans first, then teams plan from the top down. Teams should also share plans across departments to work out dependencies and conflicts. Weekly Meetings happen in the reverse. Team Weekly Meetings should happen first, with the executive team meeting last so they always have the most up-to-the-minute information.
Ask the question. When the executive team finalizes the Company Plan, they also set a Daily Question - use it! Ask your team the Daily Question often - either one-on-one, in passing or on your Team Daily Huddle.
Make the connection. In your team's Weekly Meeting, remind the team how their priorities connect to the bigger picture. Show the Parent items your team's priorities link up to support, and talk about how your team's work impacts the goals for the executive team.
Foster team interdependence. During your team Weekly Meeting, open other teams' dashboards to check in on cross-functional priorities. If the Marketing team wants to see if a Product priority is on track, quickly check in on it in Rhythm. Better yet, make a Comment in their dashboard to ask a question and open the line of communication across teams.
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