Effective Meetings Resources

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Meeting Best Practices for Hybrid Teams

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Fri, Apr 9, 2021 @ 11:03 AM
As some teams head back into the office, many are facing a unique challenge for the first time - running a meeting where some team members are in-person and others are remote. After Zooming from home for months, many are very eager to get back to the conference room, but for various reasons, not all team members may be able to physically be there. This could be the reality for teams for quite some time, so it's worth investing some time and energy into getting the hybrid team meeting right.
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Topics: Effective Meetings

Effective Team Meetings: How to Run Zoom Team Meetings

Posted by Ted Skinner on Wed, Mar 31, 2021 @ 02:14 PM

Team meetings are a key component of any business. It’s important that the employees know and understand what’s going on with the company and what expectations they need to meet in order for the company to be successful.  It is one of the best ways to create a culture of continuous improvement.  Want to run a great meeting and save time each and every week?  Just follow our tips on how to run a team meeting.

How does your team react to the weekly meeting? Is it a task they dread? Do they welcome the break from their desks? Do they get frustrated because every single meeting always seems to be about the concerns of one single person? Do the meeting participants believe it is time well spent? We have found that companies that take control of their meetings get a huge return on their investment with high employee engagement.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Meeting Execution: How to Run an Effective Weekly Team Meeting in 2021

Posted by Ted Skinner on Tue, Mar 30, 2021 @ 11:00 AM

It’s a fact in today’s business world that meetings typically take up a large part of your day. In fact, some days are spent running from one meeting to the next with barely any time to catch your breath! However, I have rarely (okay, never) heard anyone say that these meetings are the best tools to execute against their company’s strategic plans. Well, at least that’s not what they tell me before they come to Rhythm Systems to fix their problems and leverage our unparalleled expertise on how to run meetings that truly work. In fact, so many of our prospects tell us that their meetings have become ineffective, we decided to make a video about it. If you’d like to see what a great cadence of effective meetings can do for you, visit our client page to find out more about what they say after working with us! 

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Welcome to the Team: New Hire Onboarding (Virtually)

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Mon, Mar 29, 2021 @ 11:03 AM
If your company has hired anyone over the last year, chances are you've had to do at least some of that new hire's onboarding and training remotely. If you haven't hired yet but have decided to move your operations fully remote, it's only a matter of time before you have to design a great new hire experience to be delivered over Zoom.
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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Using OKRs for Your Weekly Team Meeting

Posted by Ted Skinner on Mon, Mar 29, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

In working with hundreds of mid-market CEOs as a consultant at Rhythm Systems, I often get asked about KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). As a data nerd, I love having these discussions and helping our clients rank the top in their industry. Often, I find they are really asking, “How can I fix my weekly staff meeting to have a data-driven discussion that helps me exceed my goals?” It doesn’t really matter what KPIs and OKRs you are measuring if you don’t use them to drive the right discussions each and every week to make the adjustments in real time as needed.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Effective Meetings

Management Meeting Agenda: Make Your 2021 Zoom Management Meetings Effective

Posted by Ted Skinner on Sun, Feb 28, 2021 @ 12:00 PM

In my last blog, I talked about how most meetings suck. Now, I want to focus our energy on ways that we can fix them and have effective meetings. One of the biggest complaints that I hear about bad meetings is the lack of an agenda or getting it two minutes prior to the meeting. While having a meeting without an agenda is horrifying, I have attended several bad meetings that had a detailed agenda sent well ahead of time! The problem was that the agenda didn’t cover all of the areas that the company needed to discuss in order to grow their business. It isn’t just having an agenda; it is about having the right management meeting agenda template focused on solving problems facing your organization.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

COVID 19 SWOT Analysis: SWOT Analysis in a Pandemic

Posted by Barry Pruitt on Sun, Feb 28, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

Many planning tools are used on an annual basis—yet, they are often overlooked in the middle of a pandemic like COVID-19. There is an opportunity, now more than ever, in your team's need for direction, a way to focus their action and a bumper rail to keep them moving forward. This will allow you to harness the energy of your team rather than sinking in the quicksand of panic.

Many executives have heard of SWOT but aren’t familiar with how to leverage it for their business plan, much less how to utilize it in a time of crisis. Every business I work with has seen affects from the pandemic—either positive or negative. Let’s look at how to utilize the SWOT approach for either effect by making it a cSWOT (Crisis SWOT). A SWOT analysis about covid 19 is key to establishing a healthy decision-making capability and communication rhythm in your company during trying times.

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Effective Meetings

Zoom Icebreakers: 55 Pro Tips to Energize Your Virtual Meetings

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Sun, Feb 28, 2021 @ 10:59 AM

As I was scrolling through my social media feeds this week, I noticed a trend that more tech companies are announcing a permanent move to hybrid or even a “remote-first” approach for the indefinite future. As companies look to 2021 and make their make budgeting and resourcing decisions, it’s not a mystery why many are choosing to reduce investment in physical spaces and double down on the remote work infrastructure if their business model allows it. That means many of your meetings will be moving online to Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WebEx, Skype or any of the video conferencing applications available.  As the experts in effective weekly meetings, we have compiled a list of the best Zoom Icebreakers for you to increase engagement and productivity at you next team meeting.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

5 Steps to Having a Productive Zoom Monthly Meeting

Posted by Nicole Hradek on Sun, Feb 28, 2021 @ 09:00 AM

Remote workers and companies are becoming more popular these days. In 2015, Gallup reported 37% of workers said they worked remotely, up from just 9% in 1995.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Using Zoom to Facilitate Your Strategic and Execution Planning Meetings for Stellar Results

Posted by Alan Gehringer on Fri, Feb 12, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

As in the past many years, I entered 2020 with a full schedule of strategy and execution planning work with my clients. Then the pandemic hit, and I was not sure what that was going to mean and how I was going to take good care of clients. The good news is that nearly every session went forward virtually. Other consultants in our firm had the same experience. I give our clients a lot of credit for having the trust in us to run the sessions virtually using Zoom, and the courage to work with their teams this way. A couple of CEOs expressed concern and doubt up front, but they knew that moving forward with planning was mission critical; their teams needed to work on their strategies and develop strong execution plans that would ensure people would execute on the right priorities.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

2021 Meeting Audit: Design Your Team's Meeting Rhythms Now

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Feb 3, 2021 @ 11:03 AM
As we head into 2021, now is the perfect time to step back and take a hard look at your team's meeting rhythms. Much like your junk drawer at home, some of us collect meetings over time—a weekly team huddle, a 1:1, a coffee break, a
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Topics: Effective Meetings

Increase the Value of Your Weekly Team Meetings with Expert Coaching & Feedback

Posted by Tiffany Chepul on Thu, Jan 21, 2021 @ 11:03 AM

There is no way around it—the quality of your Weekly Team Meeting makes or breaks your Quarterly Plan. Most teams simply update each other on the status of their various projects, rather than problem solving the biggest challenges keeping you from your goals.  Whether you are new to leading a weekly meeting or a 10-year veteran, everyone is vulnerable to the dreaded weekly meeting rut.  Don't worry as experts in strategy execution we have decades of experience helping teams just like yours make their meetings productive.

I have seen it at one time or another at just about every company that I have had the pleasure of coaching.  It starts out as a few people falling behind on their Weekly Meeting Preparation process —missing statuses, Comments stop going in and some Actions become overdue. Before you know it, a Weekly Adjustment Meeting gets cancelled here and there, attendance drops and there's no chance of an effective weekly meeting. The Weekly Adjustment Meeting devolves into a status read-out with only a few people talking. Next, people start saying the meeting is a waste of time. Quarterly Plans start getting missed, and the snowball is already halfway down the hill.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Executive Meeting Agenda: Maximize the Effectiveness of Your Weekly Leadership Team Meeting

Posted by Tiffany Chepul on Thu, Dec 31, 2020 @ 11:29 AM

Executive Weekly Meeting Team Size

For the most effective weekly team meeting, your weekly leadership meeting team should consist of 8-10 people. If your group is too large, consider who truly should be part of the executive team meeting. Perhaps some people should participate at the departmental team-level weekly staff meeting only if they aren't part of the strategic planning process.  You can always invite them into the executive meeting when they have an important project that you need to discuss when it is time for an important update or discussion.  Your goal is to avoid unproductive meetings by inviting too many people for the entire executive meeting, when they might only be relevant for a portion of the meeting.

Executive Meeting Framework

Also, the executive team should be using your Quarterly Plan as the framework for the meeting. The plan should consist of 3-5 Strategic Company Initiatives and 3-5 Personal Priorities each. Owners of those Priorities should have statused them Red, Yellow or Green prior to the Weekly Leadership Team Meeting.  You need to discuss long term growth initiatives, not just the "urgent" items from your daily firefighting that need to go through the executive decision-making process.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

How to Make Staff Meetings More Engaging: 5 Tips to Increase Engagement in Team Meetings

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Thu, Dec 31, 2020 @ 11:02 AM

In your next weekly team meeting, take a moment to look around. What are you seeing? Are your team members engaged—are they looking at each other, leaning forward, nodding, and exchanging ideas? Or, are they staring at their computer/phone or leaning back with arms crossed and eyes glazed? If you are on a virtual meeting platform, have everyone turn on their webcam so you can observe the non-verbals. However, you might not even need to do this to know that people aren’t really “there.” It is usually pretty obvious when everyone has muted their line and proceeded to work on something else, daydream, or run errands during your meeting.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Align People in 2021: Getting Everyone on the Same Page to Drive Alignment

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Thu, Dec 31, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Sounds like a simple concept: Alignment.  What makes this so hard to achieve?  The fact is, if you are hiring the right people, you will have a lot of smart people on your team who disagree with each other.  This is a good thing.  Alignment doesn’t mean that everyone starts on the same page; if that were true, then you’d just have a bunch of robots running around who all think the same way and who never challenge your ideas or come up with anything creative, interesting, or groundbreaking.

Difference of opinion among your team members is a key ingredient in developing the right strategies for your team, the ones that have been analyzed from different angles and debated in your planning sessions. However, when the dust settles and the decision has been made, this is where alignment takes over from diversity of viewpoints as the key to your strategy’s success or failure.  

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

Zoom Facilitation: Host a Virtual Meeting Like a Pro

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Dec 16, 2020 @ 11:08 AM

Think about the last in-person meeting or conference you attended. Close your eyes and visualize the space. Was there a stage? What was on the stage? Was there a notepad or a glass of water at your seat? A tablecloth? What was the lighting like in the room? What was the temperature? Who was sitting at the head of the table? Was there a whiteboard or a big screen?

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Your Journey to Great Execution in 2021

Posted by Ryan Walcott on Fri, Dec 11, 2020 @ 11:01 AM

How much did misalignment cost your organization in 2020? Misalignment comes from poor planning, and it results in poor execution and missed numbers. The missed numbers happen in many categories: poor customer delivery, lost revenue, employee frustration/bad morale, great people leave the company and the loss of great customers. You don't want your team looking like this one.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Company Culture Checklist for Remote & Hybrid Teams

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Fri, Dec 4, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

We’ve known for a while that an increase in remote work was coming, and the pandemic has accelerated this trend. Many workers are eager to return to offices (some have already), and many more want to continue working from home for the foreseeable future. Gallup found that 2/3 of the people who have been working remotely due to the pandemic would like to continue doing so.

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

CEO Secret Weapon: Simple, Proven System for Success

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Dec 2, 2020 @ 11:39 AM

For over a decade, our consultants have worked with client CEOs to help them exceed industry standards and build great companies. Having seen thousands of business plans and helped hundreds of CEOs around the world, some very clear patterns emerge in our work. We’ve distilled the most important factors to building a great company of aligned teams who execute flawlessly into a simple system. I say “simple,” because the concepts are easy to understand; however, they can be challenging to implement—just as the concept of exercise and balanced diet are easy to understand but be difficult to achieve.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

Weekly Staff Meeting: Time for a Meeting Makeover in 2021 [Infographic]

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Mon, Nov 30, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Weekly Team Meetings…we’ve all got them. Conventional business wisdom has proclaimed since the beginning of time that the weekly staff meeting is a necessary evil. Lately, ditching the time you spend in meetings is a popular productivity hack, but without the regular time to collaborate with your team, you miss valuable problem-solving time and run the risk of everyone working in a silo—potentially on the wrong things.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

How to be a Good Facilitator: Top 10 Qualities of the Best Facilitators [Updated for 2021]

Posted by Barry Pruitt on Sat, Nov 28, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Are your meetings the butt of work-related jokes? Why is it that we roll our eyes with disdain when our calendar is loaded with meetings, and more specifically, why do we dread the planning meetings that are so important to our strategic success? Let me ask, have you used senior team members as facilitators? If so, you’ve likely chosen the wrong person. Save yourself an unwise decision before your next planning session. Don’t choose your CEO or an executive team member for strategic planning. If you do, you’ll pay for it all year (or quarter) based on the plan developed and the pain to get there.  Most executives are great at their jobs, but they don't have all of the qualities of a good team facilitator and may not be the best at facilitating a productive discussion.  When you are in charge, it is hard to be an active listener, which is extremely important to bring out all the great ideas from the team and cover every relevant point of view.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

Team Huddle: How to Lead Successful Team Huddle Meetings [Updated for 2021]

Posted by Tiffany Chepul on Fri, Nov 27, 2020 @ 09:03 PM

The foundation of a successful Daily Huddle Meeting, Team Huddle Meeting or Weekly Huddle Meeting is a great facilitator to keep the weekly team huddle on track for an effective and productive meeting.

Team Huddle best practices:

Be dedicated.  A good facilitator is dedicated to the regular meeting rhythm. Weekly Huddle Meetings and Daily Huddles should happen on their designated days/times without fail and held to strict time limits. If a person is not able to attend, they should still prepare by doing their Weekly Meeting Prep and sending their Victories, Priorities and Stucks to the Daily Huddle facilitator so that their voice can be heard. A good facilitator holds the team accountable to being prepared for each and every huddle.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Skip-Level Meeting Questions and Agenda [Updated for 2021]

Posted by Ted Skinner on Fri, Nov 27, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

What is a skip-level meeting?

As defined in an article by Jared Lewis, "In a skip-level meeting, upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly to non-managerial employees. Although there's not typically a special position known as a 'skip-level manager,' senior managers conducting these types of meetings are considered skip-level managers."  The manager meets with employees to try to better understand their team members, build trust in the organization and get a better sense of the work environment challenges facing your front line employees.  Skip level meetings for employees are just as important as they are for managers, and both should be well prepared prior to the "skip level meeting."  Done properly, the skip level meeting is an effective tool to improve communications across your organization. 

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Daily Huddle Meetings: Agenda to Make Them More Productive in 2021 (Agenda)

Posted by Ted Skinner on Tue, Nov 24, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Staying aligned in today's modern work environment is harder than ever.  There are so many distractions in your daily work, that it is hard enough to know what you are up to - let alone your team members.  One of the best ways to get aligned and everyone on the same page is to have a daily huddle with your team to share your victories, priorities and remove your roadblocks.  You can implement an effective daily huddle as part of your effective meeting rhythm by following the seven rules of Daily Huddle!

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Topics: Effective Meetings

What We Learned about Remote Meetings by Planning a Virtual Conference

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Mon, Nov 16, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

The feedback surveys are still rolling in, but I can say without a doubt that our first virtual conference was a success! Our amazing clients (and our generous CEO who matched contributions) raised enough money for Samaritan’s Feet to provide shoes and COVID kits for 1,200 children. We heard inspiring keynotes and gained insights from client speakers sharing stories on everything from the future of the physical office to the challenges of innovating during a crisis. We had some fun, and we learned a ton—and not just from the content.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Creating Synergy Between Cross Functional Teams (Updated for 2021)

Posted by Tiffany Chepul on Tue, Nov 3, 2020 @ 06:55 AM

One of the most important components of the Rhythm Systems, the Think-Plan-Do methodology is to implement a planning rhythm that includes the next level of management.  Taking Think-Plan-Do to operational teams creates alignment to the company plan and helps each team get focused on the next 90 days. But, how can that help teams that need to work together?  How do you get two different operational teams to work together, not only in a positive way, but in a way that produces maximum impact on results and creates synergy between teams?

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

How to Conduct a Meeting Audit to Eliminate Waste

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Thu, Oct 29, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Take a look at your calendar. If you’re like most executives, you’re booked up with meetings weeks in advance. As we all know, meetings can sometimes be a real waste of time. At Rhythm Systems, we help our clients establish the right rhythm or cadence of meetings and use best practices to ensure the time spent in meetings is valuable. We believe that our Daily Huddles, Weekly Team Meetings, Monthly Meetings, Quarterly Planning, Annual Planning, and ongoing think rhythms help your company (and each of you) work more effectively, solve problems more proactively, and make critical adjustments so you can achieve success. That being said, you probably have some meetings on your calendar that you wonder, “What’s the point?"

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

Improve Team Mental Health with Your Weekly Meeting

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Tue, Oct 6, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

A recent survey from SHRM found, "Work-related concerns left more than 40 percent of employees feeling hopeless, burned out or exhausted as they grapple with lives altered by COVID-19.” The survey found that younger workers (Generation Z) and women were more likely to report symptoms of depression, and only 7% of those experiencing symptoms had reached out to a mental health professional for help. As a leader in your company, your team’s mental health should be a top concern; your company can’t emerge from this crisis strong and ready for the future without a team that’s mentally fit.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Monthly Meeting Agenda Template [Updated]

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Tue, Sep 29, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

One of the many things I get to do in my role here at Rhythm Systems is work with our CEO Patrick Thean to coordinate and run our monthly management team meetings. This monthly meeting is a key component for our leadership team’s success; it gets us all aligned, it reinforces and enhances our company culture, it engages and re-focuses our leaders, and it is a great way for us to learn together each month.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Communication and Empathy Are Key to Leading Mid-Crisis

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Fri, Sep 11, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

I have two small children sleeping quietly (for once) as I write this a little before 6 am. While the COVID-19 crisis has been hard for everyone—especially those who have been sick or lost loved ones or livelihoods—I know firsthand just how challenging it has been for working parents with small children. In the early days, when preschool and daycare were closed, I was trying to distract them with a movie long enough to get through a Zoom call or two and that would inevitably lead to a game of “push mama’s buttons,” both figuratively and literally, in which I’d have to hold the computer above my head so they didn’t hang up the Zoom.

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Daily Huddle Meeting Template and Examples from Real Companies Just Like Yours

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Mon, Aug 31, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

What is a huddle meeting?  The daily huddle meeting has been common practice for many companies for ages. No matter your industry (manufacturing, healthcare, technology, etc.) or size, a daily team huddle can be a good idea to increase alignment, communication, and productivity for your teams. According to an article in Inc magazine, huddles "keep companies focused on the same strategic goals, ensure timely answers to pressing questions, and enforce team accountability because everyone knows what everyone else is up to."  The face to face time every 24 hours keeps team members aligned and on task.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Create a Virtual Plan for Grief during COVID-19

Posted by Barry Pruitt on Fri, Aug 14, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

This Saturday, my aunt will be buried. She's the last of my dad's generation for my family. She passed due to complications of cancer, and my grief is further complicated by COVID-19. I had to make the gut-wrenching decision to not attend the funeral in Stephenville, TX. I have great memories of that little town, but I wonder if I’ll ever return. We all need a virtual plan for our varying experiences with grief during this time.

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Don’t Let COVID-19 Disrupt Your Strategy and Execution Planning Cadence!

Posted by Alan Gehringer on Wed, Aug 12, 2020 @ 12:12 PM

Most companies we work with are still operating in a virtual or semi-virtual world, and fortunately, employees are adapting well. It is amazing what technology can allow us to do these days. Can you imagine working virtually twenty years ago? As an unforeseen benefit, companies are taking a fresh look at their businesses to evaluate how they can take advantage of this trend to structure the business more efficiently from the standpoint of both employees and companies. I think the landscape of how we work will forever be changed—and in a good way.

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

Leadership Meetings: Align Your Team and Engage Employees Monthly with this Agenda

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Fri, Jul 31, 2020 @ 12:30 PM

For many companies, the idea of the monthly meeting can feel like a burden in an already overly scheduled calendar. Why is this leadership meeting, in the midst of so many other meetings, important?

This monthly leadership meeting with employees is your key to building the team, learning together, solving problems, working on specific issues, and reinforcing your company’s culture, initiatives and goals. 

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

How to Fix a Meeting in 4 Easy Steps [Agenda and Video]

Posted by Ted Skinner on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

Weekly staff meetings are often a huge waste of time and money. Too often, they are just boring status updates that could have been better solved by sending out an email. People have gotten into a rut and just don’t think that there is anything they can do to fix their meetings and they have given up hope. You can change your weekly staff meetings quickly and easily following the four simple steps outlined below. Putting in the effort is well worth the reward of being able to solve problems each and every week in a fun environment that you actually look forward to attending. Just imagine how much better your company’s results would be if every department solved one of its biggest challenges each and every week!

At Rhythm Systems, we have been fixing weekly staff meetings for more than a decade with our unique methodology and patented strategy execution software to focus your most important resources on the most important projects. It isn’t all that difficult once you have a clear execution-ready quarterly plan in place. Once you have you have a clear quarterly plan, aligned with your annual plan, you have the basis for your weekly meeting agenda. If you aren’t connecting your strategic planning with your execution, of which your weekly staff meeting is the cornerstone, you aren’t having the right discussions to move your strategy forward to achieve your BHAG.

There are 11 million meetings in the United States alone every work day. Up to 50% of the time in those meetings is wasted, and that’s probably a conservative estimate, and costs about $37 billion per year in lost productivity in the United States alone. The real question is how much this is costing you and your organization by not fixing your weekly staff meeting?

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Huddles: The Benefits of a Daily Huddle Meeting (Even Virtual)

Posted by Chris Cosper on Wed, Jul 29, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

So, how’s your Daily Huddle meeting going? Over time, it’s easy for this habit to begin feeling a little stale, and you might even start wondering if anyone would miss it if you killed it. They would! And they probably don’t even realize it (so don’t bother polling the team to ask). Instead, be the leader and huddle on!  Sometimes the benefits of Daily Huddles are so subtle they go uncelebrated, but the truth is, the habit of huddling daily with your team might be the most valuable 10 minutes of your day. The next time you feel like it’s an inconvenient interruption or someone tells you they’re too busy to huddle, keep these benefits of the morning huddle in mind.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

High Performance Team Culture: How to Create a Team Rhythm for Success

Posted by Ted Skinner on Tue, Jul 7, 2020 @ 12:35 PM

High performance teams are critical to success in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that organization's create a high performance culture. In order to create a

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Problem Solving Meeting Agenda: 4 Simple Steps to Conduct a Problem Solving Session

Posted by Ted Skinner on Tue, Jun 30, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

I hear time and time again from people that their meetings are a complete waste of time. In fact, they can often be a huge productivity killer. When I dig deeper, I can easily find out why. They typically don’t accomplish anything - the team gets together, but they don’t work on solving the problems facing the company. Team members often update the status of their pet projects, highlighting their accomplishments and glossing over the challenges. Many people get the feeling of Groundhog Day as they talk about the same topics time after time and never make any progress on the real, pressing issues facing the company. However, they don’t get the comedic genius of the great Bill Murray to keep them entertained during their problem solving meeting. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better way to run weekly meetings to get real work done in their team meeting.  It starts by framing them as a problem solving meeting so that your meeting has a purpose.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

How the Best Remote Teams Fight Zoom Fatigue

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Jun 24, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

According to CNBC, since the onset of COVID-19, Zoom use has surged to over 300 million daily participants. Microsoft Teams has more than 75 million daily active users. and Rhythm client Connex International's business has dramatically expanded as they help companies connect, collaborate, and expand their business. Other video conferencing platforms have surged as well. For many people, all of the in-person interactions—team meetings, project work, strategic planning sessions, one-on-ones, daily huddles, coffee breaks, happy hours, and even personal social gatherings—have been replaced by video conferencing.

While many teams are heading back to the office, increased usage of video conferencing platforms in the workplace is likely here to stay. As different people cope with their health risks, childcare and eldercare challenges, and the need for more flexibility to work from home, remote work will likely only increase as we move forward from here.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

15 Zoom Tips and Tricks for Your Virtual Meeting

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Fri, May 29, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

At Rhythm Systems, we’ve been using Zoom for many years as a way to share screens, audio and video with our clients who are all over the world. About half of our team also works from home, so we’ve used it for our internal meetings as well. However, though I am far from new to Zoom, even I have been taken aback by how ubiquitous it has become in the last two months. In addition to all the regular work calls over Zoom, I’ve also been to a few Happy Hours, some playdates and story times, an Easter celebration, a birthday party and even a gender reveal party virtually with Zoom.

For many of us, Zoom is going to be part of the ongoing landscape of how we communicate—personally and professionally. With that in mind, now’s a good time to ensure we are using it well.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Meeting with Yourself: The Key to Personal Productivity

Posted by Alan Gehringer on Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

If you do not operate your business using Rhythm or the Rockefeller Habits, you might be asking yourself "why would I have a meeting with myself?"  Let me explain, because I know we have all heard the old saying, it is okay to ask yourself questions, just don’t answer them!  Let me start with some background that will help set the stage.  The fastest way to fix your weekly team meeting is to set the expectation that everyone come prepared, no excuses!

Effective companies develop 3-5 year plans to help them achieve their 10-25 year Big Hairy Audacious Goal  (BHAG).  In addition, these companies develop robust annual plans and quarterly plans to continuously work on the right priorities to reach their long-term goals.  In order to have effective quarters that consequently lead up to effective years, we have to run great weekly team meetings (you can get your weekly meeting agenda there too!) with our executive teams and supporting groups.  The only way to have an effective weekly meeting is to prepare for it before hand.  How many of you have attended meetings where people show up unprepared and either try to think on the fly or lack the information they need to contribute effectively?  I have participated in many of these meetings through the years.  In order to avoid this, we need to have a meeting with ourselves each week to prepare for the meeting with our team.  This is effective whether you use Rhythm, the Rockefeller Habits or neither.  Let me tell you how we do it.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

My Huddle - Daily Huddle With Myself

Posted by Chris Cosper on Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

I’m a big fan of the Daily Huddle. I’ve been huddling in different companies and with different teams since 2001, and I’ve never once questioned whether it was the right thing to do. Well, okay, there was one time I questioned it, but that was before I tried it. Read here to see how I got started.

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

Does Your Daily Huddle Need a Makeover?

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, May 13, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

As many of our clients find themselves leading remote teams of people who are working from home for the first time or spreading out shifts so that they can better practice social distancing, the Daily Huddle is making a big come back. Even for teams who previously did not find value in the practice are adopting the daily sync-up as a necessary way to stay connected and aligned in this rapidly changing environment.

If you’ve been doing huddles for years, or even if it is a new habit over the last several weeks, now is a good time to evaluate how well your Daily Huddle is serving your team. I recommend starting the process of evaluating your huddle by writing an objective statement. What are you trying to accomplish with the huddle? Once you are clear on the purpose, you can better answer the question of whether your current practice is satisfying your goals.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

Essential Tech Stack for Remote Work

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Apr 8, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Many companies are re-tooling and finding the best ways to remain connected and productive in a remote work environment in the work from home economy. At the same time, most companies are looking seriously at conserving cash and eliminating non-essential expenses. To help, I wanted to offer recommendations on the essential tech stack for virtual work—no fluff, just what your team needs.

At Rhythm Systems, we’ve always had several remote employees, and we had the benefit of doing a lot of research and vendor comparisons before we were all in crisis, so I wanted to share what we’re using in case it helps your team:

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Topics: Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

Continuous and Never-Ending Improvement to Scale Your Company

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Apr 8, 2020 @ 09:40 AM

For any growing business, ensuring that you have the processes in place to “scale up” your business is very important.  Here at Rhythm Systems, we focus heavily on coaching our clients to develop and implement Winning Moves to double revenue over the next 3-5 years. Those are balanced by Key Thrusts that ensure you have the infrastructure in place to support that growth.  But, not all scalability improvements are large enough to warrant a spot on your 3-5 year plan.  Sometimes, it is the series of small process tweaks made continuously over time that add up to the biggest benefit and save you the most time and resources.  

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Strategy Execution, Effective Meetings

Composite KPIs - Changing the Conversation at Weekly Meetings

Posted by Tiffany Chepul on Wed, Apr 1, 2020 @ 05:00 PM

Many times, the Key Performance Indicators we review at the executive team level are actually the sum or average of several smaller KPIs.  Viewing KPIs in this composite form is a powerful tool that one of my clients has recently employed.  What they have discovered is that it is changing the conversation at their weekly meeting and making it possible to identify bright spots more effectively.  Once they have a bright spot, it is easier to scale what is working across their 20 store locations. Composite KPIs have been a minor adjustment for them that resulted in a major positive shift in their ability to adjust. 

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Topics: KPIs & Dashboards, Effective Meetings

How Can I Source Ideas From Remote Employees Without Being Disruptive?

Posted by Ted Skinner on Tue, Mar 31, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

How can I better source ideas from employees, even when they are working from home?

When looking for new ideas, some large organizations take their talent searches beyond their own walls. Almost one-quarter of Fortune 500 CEOs at the world’s 2,500 largest firms were hired externally from 2012 through 2015. Sometimes these executives are hired to reboot the operations or provide fresh perspectives to the organization.

That particular arrangement is less common at SMBs and middle-market companies, which are more often run by founders and other early employees. Still, the inclination to search outside the company for inspiration can be irresistible. Seeing what competitors or other experts in the field are doing at the moment is undoubtedly a key part of staying competitive, but it’s not everything.

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Topics: Effective Meetings, Accountable Leaders & Teams

How to Use Daily Huddles to Stay Aligned with Remote Teams

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Wed, Mar 25, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Many people are working from home or have team members working remotely for the first time. It’s a big adjustment for many, and you may be wondering how to successfully lead your team from afar, especially in such uncertain times. If you’ve never had a Daily Huddle with your team, it’s a great time to give this proven technique a try. We’ve used Daily Huddles and worked with our clients to implement them for over a decade, and this simple, 15-minute meeting could be a minor-major to keep your team focused, aligned and productive in this time of rapid change.

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Topics: Effective Meetings

The Daily Huddle Meeting: A Key Component in Mastering the Rockefeller Habits [Video]

Posted by Chris Cosper on Sat, Feb 29, 2020 @ 06:27 PM

“Are you kidding me? Have a meeting every day! We already have way too many meetings. The last thing my team wants to do is add another morning huddle meeting..... every day.

Yep, that was me about 12 years ago when my coach, Dan Weston, suggested we implement the daily huddle meeting in my company. I was reluctant, but he made me promise to give it a try. My team was reluctant at first too, but in time, this became one of the most important rhythms in the company. And, not only did the executive team huddle, but the design team huddled, customer service and sales huddled, the engineers huddled and the front line supervisors huddled daily.

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Topics: Strategies for Growth, Effective Meetings

The Right Meeting Rhythm Will Set You Free! (Infographic)

Posted by Jessica Wishart on Sat, Feb 29, 2020 @ 08:57 AM

It sounds so simple.  But, I was just discussing scaling up meeting rhythms with one of my colleagues, and she told me that it took her last company three years to get into the right meeting cadence that actually accelerated their team's progress!  They learned through a lot of trial and error (and probably a lot of wasted time in meetings that were unnecessary and some productive time lost catching up in hallway conversations when a meeting was needed but didn't happen).

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Topics: Annual & Quarterly Planning, Effective Meetings

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