At our annual Rhythm Systems Breakthrough Conference in Charlotte this year, we had the opportunity to survey our audience of over 150 mid-market executives and ask the question, “What are the top 8 business challenges for mid-market companies?” The term “mid-market” refers to the size of a company based on its annual revenue, usually between $10 - $500 million. It may seem like a big swing to go from $10 million to $500 million, but not so big when you consider that only 3% of all companies ever make it past the $10 million mark.
Rhythm Blog | Strategies for Growth
by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team
So many Rhythm companies start off as what we consider “simple” companies. They are experiencing steady, but not explosive growth. They might only have the executive team using Rhythm. Some have a relatively flat structure with few locations and departments.
CEOs are constantly being pulled in a million directions - they have shareholders, partners, investors, employees, customers, industry groups, community stakeholders and other constituents (not to mention family and personal relationships) to answer to on a daily basis. Even if you are somehow balancing all of these demands, running a successful business, and leading your team effectively, you still may not be doing everything you need to do as a CEO. According to a recent study by Harvard researchers, “It’s vital for CEOs to block off meaningful amounts of uninterrupted time alone, to give themselves space to think, reflect, and prepare.”
This idea of spending alone time “thinking” is counterintuitive to many CEOs, who may have gotten where they are today by working longer and harder than those around them. Taking time out of the rat race to think could be considered a weakness by some executive leaders. But, on the contrary, the research clearly indicates that this think time is an absolute necessity for CEOs.
When I was in college, I took a course called “The Meaning of Work” and enrolled in a corresponding internship program following the course. As part of the program, I met weekly with a small group to discuss the work we were doing and reflect on its meaning. I earned a minor in “Faith and Work” as a result and gained experience in the non-profit sector and higher education through my internships. As a Millennial, I was fully indoctrinated in the belief that where I spend the majority of my waking hours should be meaningful in some way and, like many in my cohort, I entered the workforce craving something deeper than a paycheck. As they say, life happens, and my career hasn’t been what I imagined it would be as a 22-year-old college graduate (no surprise there!). But, I do still believe in the importance of finding meaningful work, the critical nature of doing work that matters, that has some purpose deeper than feeding my family and paying the bills. And the research backs me up on this, too.
Studies have found that “employees who derive meaning and significance from their work are much more likely to stay with organizations."
My previous blog shared about how people issues might be mistaken for execution issues. There are a number of reasons why it is difficult to solve people problems in growing companies. Most of these reasons come from an emotional place of fear. Fear paralyzes us even though logically we know that people issues don’t go away with time. They don’t work themselves out. In fact, they usually become much worse. These baby elephants grow quickly into large elephants.
By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail – Benjamin Franklin
It is that time of the year again: time to prepare for your quarterly planning session. A question that I get frequently is, “should we plan for a one-day or a two-day quarterly session, and what do most of your clients do?”
Who is facilitating your next One-Day Quarterly Planning Session?
Whether you are doing it yourself, bringing in an outside facilitator, here are some tips to help you.
Every quarter is like a 13-week race that contributes to your Annual Plan priorities and Long-term 3-5 year goals. It is important to take the time to prepare a sound plan that your team is aligned with and bought into. To ensure a good planning session, you need to do some preparation.
Written by the Blue Ocean Team
As a middle market firm, don’t fall into the trap of going up against the biggest established players in your industry. Instead, you should be focusing on creating new markets.
Plenty of successful middle market companies grow fast without going head to head with the competition at all. To take your middle market company to the next level, learn to shift from competing to creating, and grow your business by offering unprecedented value to your buyers. Chan Kim & Renee Mauborgne show you precisely how to achieve this in their recent New York Times bestseller Blue Ocean Shift. Here we provide a quick snapshot to get you started.
Quarterly Planning is just around the corner, are you prepared to create a winning plan this quarter with your team?
Here are 10 tips to get you started:
Peter Drucker stated that ”the best and most dedicated people are ultimately volunteers, for they have the opportunity to do something else with their lives.”
One of the best articles I have read on Core Purpose is Collins and Porras article titled “Building Your Company’s Vision.” The authors explain that a well-developed vision consists of two parts, core ideology and an envisioned future. The core ideology consists of two components, Core Values and Core Purpose. The envisioned future has two elements, The Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) and a vivid description of what it will look like when you achieve your BHAG. The former should never change, while the latter may, once you have accomplished your 10-20 year goal.