Top 5 Mistakes People Make in Planning

By: Patrick TheanThu, Feb 23, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

I recently facilitated an annual planning session for a client. During our debrief after the session, the team shared that it was one of their most productive annual planning sessions. I asked them to share with me what we did differently that worked so well. “Well, first, the outcome is awesome. We all know what we are supposed to do and are totally aligned about what we want to get done this year.” They shared with me that having an outside facilitator made a world of difference as I helped them avoid a number of pitfalls they encountered when they ran their own planning meetings. These pitfalls cost them dearly in time and money, two very precious resources! I distilled our debrief into five pitfalls that having a facilitator helped them avoid.

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Topics: Annual Planning

How to Use Your Main Thing to Engage Your Team (Video)

By: Nicole HradekThu, Feb 2, 2017 @ 09:00 AM

Most of you have probably wrapped up your Annual Planning sessions and feel prepared for 2017. You have the best 3-5 initiatives to move your business forward this year, you have your targets in place and set high, you have your theme or Main Thing that you and the executive team are so excited about - it’s really going to motivate all your employees! You have it all organized in Rhythm or a spreadsheet, and then what? How do you keep your team motivated all year and use your Main Thing to keep employees engaged and focused on your initiatives and targets? There are certainly many right answers to this, but I thought I would share what we did at Rhythm Systems since we do practice what we preach!

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Topics: Annual Planning, Employee Engagement

How to Conduct an Annual Planning Meeting

By: Jessica WishartFri, Nov 25, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

You can make an argument that your company’s annual planning meeting is the most important thing you do all year. Each of your quarterly execution plans will anchor off of the decisions you make during this session, and those quarterly plans are what drive the focus of your team’s weekly and daily execution. Plus, your Annual Plan has to move your company’s long-term strategic goals forward and be aligned to your core foundational strategy. Not to mention that you usually have your company’s most expensive executives in the room for two days - the cost is high and there’s a lot riding on this one meeting.

No pressure, right?

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Topics: Annual Planning

Top 10 Things To Do For Your Team in Q4 (Video)

By: Tiffany ChepulThu, Nov 17, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Fall is finally in the air - the season for celebrating the close of another year and preparing for a fresh new start in the year to come. Trees are losing their leaves, grass is planted in hopes of a green Spring. Soon we will all be making plans for the holidays with our families - planning trips, buying gifts, sending cards, decorating, making meals. 

Which means, it's also the season of lists. I know I will write myriad lists between now and the end of the year - grocery lists, address lists, gift giving lists, guest lists - I'm getting tired just thinking about it!

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Topics: Annual Planning

Annual Planning for Departmental Groups

By: Chris CosperTue, Mar 1, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

Annual Planning is a key component in any successful company's Plan Rhythm. It's the linchpin that connects strategy to execution. It's the guideline you will use for the next 365 days to determine what to say yes to and what to say no to. Every company needs alignment around the Main Thing they will be focused on this year and the top 3-5 Key Initiatives they are committed to accomplishing. This alignment, focus, and prioritization should always happen at the highest level in the company first so that all other departments and groups can rally around the same inspiring future you are creating.  

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Topics: Annual Planning, Cascading

Think You’re Ready to Execute Your Annual Plan? Take This Quiz

By: Jessica WishartThu, Feb 4, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

This is going to be a great year! You spent two full days working hard, envisioning the year you want, having the tough conversations, figuring out the right targets and initiatives for 2016 to get you to your 3-5 year goals, and documenting what you think is the best plan. Now that you’ve put all that time and energy into your Annual Plan, let’s make sure it is execution-ready so you’re set up for the success you want.

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Topics: Execution, Annual Planning

Close the Execution Gap

By: Ted SkinnerTue, Nov 24, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Okay, I don’t want to create “holiday creep” where Christmas decorations are out even before the Thanksgiving dinner is over, but as they say, "the early bird gets the worm." I am sure that you already have your Annual Planning Session done, or at least on your calendar, right? If you haven’t already done so, get it on the calendar now, while you can still accommodate the tight schedules of the leadership team.

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Topics: Execution, Annual Planning

4 Tips for a Strong Annual Plan

By: Patrick TheanSun, Nov 22, 2015 @ 12:00 PM

It’s that time of year again when executives are thinking about their annual plan and asking themselves, “where do I start?” A lot of companies out there start their process with budgeting. Then once they have their budgets set, they move to developing their annual plan. This may sound like a smart idea to ensure you don’t blow your budget, but it may be keeping you from executing strategic growth moves.

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Topics: Annual Planning

Leadership Team Alignment: When Less Truly Is More!

By: Alan GehringerThu, Aug 6, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

If you have ever downloaded any tools or other resources on our site, you know that we usually ask you about your Biggest Business Challenge in our forms. In response to your feedback, we are featuring a blog series on your biggest business challenges! This post is a response to the challenge “aligning senior team around clear goals."

How much can your leadership team really take on this quarter and accomplish well?

We have all heard the saying, “Less is More.” I try to exercise this concept in my personal life when it comes to toys, although my wife would tell you I am more successful some years than others. I do like the acid test of “will it make my family’s or my life better” when contemplating a new purchase. 

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Topics: Quarterly Planning, Annual Planning, Organizational Alignment

My Encounter with “Level 5” Leadership

By: Cathy McCulloughWed, Mar 18, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

The Stage is Set…

Have you ever had this "strange" feeling that you just couldn’t shake? I recently went through that. It was after a two-day Annual Planning Session with a newly formed executive team (the company had been through a major transition). It was a great two days but the reality is that as the session began, the “stage” was a bit of a mess because the executive team was fractured in their vision for the company. In spite of that, alignment and clarity of vision were created over those two days. But after the session, my reflective thinking left me feeling suspended inside. It was a strange feeling.

The strange feeling actually began to linger as the two day session ensued; it was just something I noticed but I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around what it was. It was subtle, non-obtrusive yet politely prominent. It just lingered. Upon reflective thinking after the session came the epiphany. It was the CEO. Yet, I still couldn’t pinpoint anything. So, I asked myself: What is it about this CEO that I can’t grasp? What is it? 

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Topics: Annual Planning, Leadership, BHAG