Need a new plan for 2020 or preparing for 2021? Consider a virtual planning session. Explore Your Options
Watch Demo

Rhythm Blog | Strategy Execution

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

Implementation Process: Implementing New Processes and Procedures

Tiffany Chepul Sat, Nov 28, 2020 @ 11:00 AM

What is process implementation and what does it mean to me?  As companies grow, the need to establish and effective implementation processes to help you scale to meet your business goals becomes inevitable. We've all reached a place in our role when the way we used to do things no longer works and we have to innovate. Necessity becomes the mother of invention - there's really no way to avoid it in a healthy growing company.  The best companies are continually improving and have systems to implement a new process quickly and effectively.

The truth remains, however: implementing new processes at work is hard. It's some of the most challenging work that teams do. Some teams struggle with change itself - it pushes people out of their comfort zone and sometimes there is resistance. Other teams struggle to develop the processes themselves - they can't agree on the best way to proceed to improve the business process. Even if you can define a new process and make some headway on changing people's mindsets, there is still the uphill battle for implementing the key processes that turn plans into action. Management teams can help their employees to implement a new business process in five simple ways to maximize their implementation efforts and build the best project team to get it implemented.

Accountability in Leadership: The 5 C's Framework to Build Leadership Accountability

Cathy McCullough Sat, Nov 28, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

From a leadership perspective, there’s a real thirst for increasing leadership accountability. Executives have recently asked me various questions that linger over the concept of building team accountability to help them achieve their strategic plans while creating high performing teams:

“How do I build accountability in teams?

"How do I increase accountability in leadership?"

What else can I do to get people to do what we need them to do?”

“How can I hold a team member to be held accountable and still be seen as a good leader?”

"How do I balance leadership accountability and personal accountability when building a team?"

"Creating a culture of accountability is hard, how do I provide constructive feedback without being the bad guy?"

Building team accountability requires that we understand a few dynamics because it’s more complicated than we might recognize.  It goes beyond the responsibility for the outcomes, which is obviously important, but effective leaders know that they need a culture of accountability in their teams that provide the inputs needed to achieve the expected team performance.  Holding people accountable is one of the most important things that a successful leader does, but it is also one of the hardest.

Rhythm Helps Drake Forecast Better to Meet Customer Deadlines [Client Spotlight]

Cindy Praeger Wed, Nov 11, 2020 @ 10:30 AM

A Better Way to Forecast Customer Growth

How a manufacturing company improved their ability to forecast when production needed to ramp up to meet customer demand

As a provider of custom-built machines that help food processing companies load frankfurters, sausages, cheese sticks and other products, Drake has to forecast when customer demand arises so they can have all of the appropriate teams and resources in place (engineering, welder, machinists, etc.) in order to meet their deadlines.

George Reed, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, shared that sales forecasts, expenses and hiring plans were historically determined once a year during their annual budgeting and forecasting process.

3 Year Strategic Plan: How to Achieve your 3 Year Strategy

Patrick Thean Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 04:00 PM
There are many views or definitions of strategy. Renowned Harvard Business School professor and strategy expert Michael Porter provided one that I like because of both its simplicity and clarity. Porter defines strategy as:
  • The creation of a unique and valuable position, involving a different set of activities.

Porter argues that tactical improvements or operational efficiencies are not strategies but that the essence of strategy is to perform a different set of activities from that of your rivals. For many businesses, regardless of size, strategy work may get completed annually but there is a disconnect between strategy and performance. There have been many books and articles written on the topic of “Execution”.  An Execution framework is critical to be certain, but outstanding execution will not rescue strategy that lacks focus or differentiation. To be successful, a company must master the three areas of Strategic Growth: Strategic Thinking, Execution Planning, and actually Doing the Work.

What is the Difference Between a Primary Customer and Secondary Customer?

Alan Gehringer Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 12:00 PM

I have written previously about the importance of identifying your core customer because I have seen far too many companies waste their valuable time and resources selling to and serving the "wrong" customers.  They haven't taken the necessary steps to identify their most valuable customers that purchased the primary product and were highly satisfied.

Your core customer is the one who values what you offer at a price and quantity that is good for both you and the customer and will take you into the future successfully. This is the individual that uses the product, the one you look in the eyes and can put a name to and the one you can’t live without. Knowing who the core customer is will impacts sales in a positive manner.

Departmental Silos: The Silent Productivity Killer [New Research]

Cindy Praeger Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 11:04 AM

Written by Cindy Praeger and Eskinder Assefa

Departmental silos in business are organizational units that should operate as specialized components of the proverbial ‘well-oiled machine’ but, unfortunately, almost always wind up operating increasingly in isolation of the rest of the company and will often end up in turf wars.

Organizational units created to provide excellence in some functional area inevitably grow to the point that they become more or less independent of the rest of the company. That, in turn, leads to fragmentation, destroying synergy with the rest of the organization and, at the same time, wasting resources by replicating expertise and data found elsewhere in the company choking the flow of information and making most cross departmental projects failures.

Why are KPIs Important? How to Choose the Right Key Performance Indicators

Jessica Wishart Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Measuring the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is vital to the health and success of your business. However, when we onboard new clients, we find that some of them are uncertain about what they should be measuring and how they can use these powerful tools.  They often ask "Why do we need KPIs?" or "Why use KPIs?" or "Why are KPIs important" as they think their way of doing things isn't broken.  Effective KPIs are important metrics to make sure that you can accomplish any business objective.

Agile Business Plan: Use Agile Business Planning to Execute Your Strategy

Ted Skinner Wed, Sep 30, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Business is moving faster than ever before, and these days your business needs to be as nimble possible to respond to the rapidly changing business landscape. In today’s nonstop global economy, there is always somebody, somewhere trying to capture part of your market and your customers. You need to create an organization able to respond to the changes in the market more quickly than ever, or you will lose market share to the competition. Unfortunately, many of the legacy tools that businesses use don’t adapt fast enough to work in today’s cutthroat global economy and need to be modernized. Software teams realized this decades ago and quickly shifted from the outmoded Waterfall methodology to the Agile software development framework; it is time for the whole business to catch up to this advancement.

Breakthrough 2020 Goes Virtual: What to Expect

Jessica Wishart Wed, Sep 23, 2020 @ 11:03 AM

Our first-ever virtual Breakthrough Conference is just a few weeks away! Here's a sneak peek so you know what to expect from this can’t-miss event.

Strategic Planning: Examples of What to Start, Stop and Keep Doing for 2021

Jessica Wishart Thu, Sep 17, 2020 @ 10:03 AM

It may seem daunting to tackle your Strategic Annual Planning session for 2021. With so much uncertainty due to the ongoing pandemic, economic crisis, and upcoming election, it may be tempting for some company leaders to postpone planning. The temptation is understandable; nobody wants to waste time crafting a detailed annual plan that will have to be scrapped in Q1, which happened to many of us in 2020.