Operating Rhythm

Build an adaptable operating rhythm


Our proven processes ensure that your organization is constantly pumping information across the enterprise and making progress against your high-level strategies.

We will help you streamline your communications, processes, and operating models to eliminate waste and increase effectiveness, building a team of teams that can quickly adapt to any situation.

We partner with you to design a battle rhythm that better aligns day-to-day operations with strategic goals.

You will improve cross-functional communication and increase alignment across teams, eliminating wasted time and ensuring that your enterprise functions optimally in today’s resource constrained world.

Contact us to learn more about our services.

Read more about the inspiration behind this offering, our unique approach, and the solutions we provide below.

Backstory

While commanding the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Iraq in 2004, General McChrystal found that his elite force was losing to Al Qaeda (AQI). He and his team of world-class operators recognized that the environment had dramatically shifted and AQI operated as nothing they had ever seen before.

On the brink of defeat, General McChrystal and his team drove a fundamental culture change in how their organization operated, shared information, and communicated across silos, transforming from a command of teams into a networked team of teams.

A key driver in building a team of teams was changing how the organization operated. The daily Operations & Intelligence (O&I) meeting started as a half-hour, two-location video-teleconference, but it rapidly expanded to include nearly 7,500 participants spanning over 70 locations, every day for 90 minutes.

State-of-the-art technology was installed to enable better discussion for the globally dispersed teams. The entire purpose of the meeting was overhauled, morphing from a “report up” to a “report across” focused on generating cross-talk and sharing information. The power of sharing knowledge across the entire network was undeniable—best practices were widely disseminated and the latest learnings and innovations were quickly captured and shared. Ultimately, the meeting drew connections between teams that otherwise wouldn’t have interacted and identified additional opportunities for action.

But the O&I went beyond a new video-teleconferencing system and a longer attendee list. General McChrystal quickly found that it required real leadership behavior change to make this new system work. Decisions had to be pushed down, transparency had to be driven from the top, and the senior leaders had to take a much more active role in drawing out context and connecting the dots.

Adopting this new operating style allowed the Joint Task Force to move as quickly as the environment required. It created a true fusion of operations and intelligence that allowed the organization to go from executing 18 raids a month in 2004 to 300 raids a month in 2006, or 17 times faster. They were able to pivot, adapt, and learn at an enterprise level, breaking down traditional silos between different military units and government agencies to create a true team of teams.

Our Approach

Through our various, custom-tailored solutions, our team partners with yours to design and implement an operating rhythm at the corporate, team, and individual levels to drive adaptability and build a team of teams.

Inspired by the experiences of General McChrystal and his team, our experts have extensively researched what drives effective communication and operations across organizations and teams, providing an academic underpinning to our practical experience. Furthermore, our consultants are incredibly experienced, having implemented operating rhythm solutions at a number of companies, spanning across sectors.

Overview of Solutions

Our custom-tailored offerings are designed to suit the needs of your organization. Our engagements are centered on operating models and organizational communications: usually beginning with an assessment, followed by a design and implementation phase. We then partner with you to continuously refine and improve so that your organization is capable of pivoting to changing circumstances.

Assessment

Evaluation of current operating cadence through meeting observations and targeted interviews

Keystone Forum

Inspired by General McChrystal’s O&I meeting, we design, implement, and refine a large forum to share information and drive action across organizations

Video-teleconferencing system implementation and “war room” design

In order to drive effective communication, we advise on installation processes to build the most effective communication hub

Design and implementation of more effective meetings

Decision-making forum, special topics or product reviews, quarterly and annual planning sessions, offsites

Chief of Staff development

Training and development of a CoS role to drive operating rhythm and ensure senior leaders' time is used most effectively

Time analysis

Analysis of how senior leaders spend their time, which is compared against stated priorities to identify gaps and opportunities

Results

We’ve implemented a Keystone Forum and other operating rhythm solutions with great success at many Fortune 1000 companies, including:

  • An asset management firm
  • A major media and telecommunications company
  • A large software provider
  • A company in the natural resources sector
  • A leading consumer products brand

Creating an adaptable operating rhythm allows you to better align day-to-day operations with strategic goals, speeding up execution and improving performance.

A tailored operating rhythm ensures your team is constantly sharing information, allowing you to learn, innovate, and create more value as an enterprise.

Finally, a disciplined cadence creates predictability, eliminates unnecessary meetings, and frees up white space for senior leaders to spend their time where they are most effective.