Topgrading is a methodology of recruiting, interviewing, selecting and retaining top talent developed by Brad Smart and Geoff Smart designed to increase your likelihood of hiring and retaining A players. We’ve been recommending this method to Rhythm clients for many years. We even use it ourselves, so we know firsthand the power of Topgrading. You can find a lot of great (and free) resources on their website. When used in conjunction with Job Scorecards, an enhanced version of job descriptions, you can better attract and retain the A-Players you need to hit your growth goals.
Craft breweries are one of the fastest growing industries in our region. They are popping up all over the country and the regulatory environment is finally catching up. Recently, regulations were lifted to allow brewing up to 50,000 barrels. Breweries now have increased opportunities to grow at an exponential rate.
Growth is tricky, however, especially when there are so many ways your company can grow. The key is to pick only 2-3 Winning Moves for Growth and then hyper-focus on how you execute those moves.
I just got back from a user conference, and I was reminded of the amazing level of detail and planning that goes into pulling off an event like this - there’s so much to do from all departments. Someone’s got to lock down the venue, plan the budget, secure the speakers, sell the tickets, market the event, set up the registration and event website, handle the hotel room blocks, ensure customers have a great experience, plan the food and beverages, recruit and coordinate the sponsors, purchase the swag, design and print all the signage, name badges, slide decks and more. And then, you have to put on the event with all the inevitable unexpected snags and last-minute surprises, and follow up after the event. A project like this requires alignment, communication, and flawless execution.
Mike, a long time customer, asked me recently how to revitalize his daily huddle. He shared how they have been doing it for years and have received great value in the past with their daily huddle. They are clear on the purpose of their daily huddle:
- Sync up the team and get aligned
- Help and support each other
- Act on issues faster instead of waiting until the weekly meeting to find out about the issues
Effective communication is a key leadership trait and one of the 5 Cs of team accountability, and in today’s world, a lot of that communication happens over email. One report said in 2019, an average of 126 business emails is sent and received per person per day. That is a lot of email to process effectively.
I’ve observed a common theme in client companies. I should say, a specific type of client companies. The type that successfully grow year after year. Not companies that had a great year because of the economy, or a tariff, or a one-time software win, or companies that had some government protection that made their success easy. I’m talking about companies in competitive markets and industries who won over strong competition year after year.
Like many great business learnings, it began with glass of wine. I had a business manager named Jim who was experiencing employee problems, sloppy results and missed deadlines.
As we sipped our wine, I realized that there was a pattern. This pattern has proven true in my consulting with great companies in 20 countries and across 4 continents.
We read a lot these days about strategic leadership and tactical leadership (as we should). Leaders find themselves up against a multitude of scenarios and situations, all of which they’re supposed to magically handle in the right way with the right methods for each situation. When you study leadership, you quickly discover the massive complexity that surrounds it. So let’s take just one slice of strategic vs tactical leadership and dissect it for the purpose of your own reflective thinking about what kind of leader you tend to be (and the pros/cons that surround these tendencies).
The slice of leadership we’ll look at is the tactical leader vs. the strategic leader. Both are needed, but when you’re trying to lead a team (or teams) of people toward a common endpoint and/or if you’re trying to grow a company, understanding the differences between these two management styles is imperative. Without a sense of understanding around your own leadership tendencies, you can’t move the needle on much of anything let alone work towards achieving a strategic plan or objective.
Philip Kotler implores us to do a better job of understanding “who” our valuable customers are and then to deeply please them, rather than trying to please everyone. It is much better to serve your Core Customer completely and fully, than to try to be everything to everyone. It will create a core market that you can please and creates a loyal fan base.
Every company should have a brand promise that it makes to its customers. The promise should differentiate you in your market and support the sales process by making it easier to close deals. The first step in developing your brand promise is to identify and define your core customer. The better job you do with this step, the more effective your brand promise is going to be and the more likely your prospects are to purchase a product. This is needed for business to business and business to consumer companies.
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.