When you’re new to leading a department, it’s important to establish a rhythm of business (ROB) model. Here’s how.
“The first month in my new role felt like I was drinking water from a fire hose,” my career coaching client told me. “But I took your advice about the first six things to do when promoted to manager, and I feel like I have a good understanding of the department and what we need to accomplish.
“But today, another manager warned me that I should get prepared, because my boss will want to see my rhythm of business model,” she added. “I’m not even sure what that means, and I don’t want to ask her because she might think I don’t know what I’m doing.”
It can feel a bit intimidating when you’ve started a new job at a different company and are learning all their terminology and acronyms. Don’t worry, this term merely means to visually depict what will happen each month throughout the year, and the meetings or milestone activities that need to occur so you can best manage your department to achieve its goals and objectives.
This rhythm of business (ROB) model is also sometimes known as a governance model or business cadence model. It doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, the simpler it is, the better, because it will be used by you and everyone on your team.
To create your ROB model, here are some steps to follow:
Document what is needed for HR. Every company has certain HR processes that require participation from each department and management. Find out everything you’ll need to know and do, to ensure you’re complying with all the required HR activities.
Document what is needed for finance. Similarly, meet with your finance counterpart to understand the annual budget creation process, reporting, financial review process, etc.
Document what is needed for the strategic planning process. Most companies have some sort of annual strategic planning process that requires input from each department and is also tied into the annual financial planning/budgeting process. Find out what will be required of you and your department, to whom and when it’s needed.
Determine the meetings you’ll want to hold within your team. Will you hold brief weekly meetings? A monthly staff meeting? Meet with your direct reports each week or each month?
Create a list of what needs to take place each month throughout the year. It’s usually easiest to create this list based on your company’s fiscal calendar. Write down everything you’ve learned from your research and your thoughts on the meetings you’ll want to hold within your department. If you can visually depict this information in PowerPoint slides, even better!
Obtain feedback. Review the draft version with your team, your counterparts and then with your boss to solicit feedback and input.
Implement your ROB model. The goal is to ensure everyone on your team knows what to expect and when, and to ensure individuals are focused on the most important activities at the appropriate times. Once you’ve communicated with your team, share the tool with your counterparts within the company, so you can create the best possible working relationship with other groups.