Negotiating lessons from the Jerome Iginla trade

As any hockey fan now knows, after almost 17 seasons with the Calgary Flames, Jerome Iginla has been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins. In return, the Flames didn’t receive what would be considered adequate value for a player of Iginla’s stature and ability. But the Flames general manager was not in a strong negotiating position with other teams.

Iginla had a “no move” clause in his contract, which meant that he could veto any trade. This also meant that Iginla could provide a list of teams where he would agree to be traded. No doubt it was a very short list. And Iginla was an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, meaning that the team he was traded to might only have him for the remainder of this season. This is not an ideal situation for the Flames GM to be in.

But, there are some things he could do to strengthen his negotiating position:

  • Have a clear understanding of the teams where Iginla would agree to play and use that as leverage to increase what he got in return.
  • Negotiate for additional players that would become part of the deal if the team Iginla goes to wins the Stanley Cup and/or is able to sign him to a contract beyond this year.
  • Be prepared to walk away from any and all deals.
  • Wait until the trade deadline to create a sense of urgency for Iginla.
  • Ensure there were no leaks in communication, or leak incorrect information, to try to even the playing field.

Negotiations are always difficult, especially when one party has a clear advantage over the other. But there are always strategies you can implement to try and give yourself an advantage.

Having an Innovative Corporate Culture

Andrew explains how to determine if your company’s innovation process is working well, and how to manage it.

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Can Employee Turnover be Too Low?

Andrew shares 5  reasons why employee turnover can be a good thing.

  • Employees who are not meeting expectations are replaced with people that can
  • New employees bring new ideas to your company
  • New employees often challenge management and offer suggestions
  • Gives companies a way to restructure and phase out unnecessary positions
  • Shows your top people that there is no culture of entitlement

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Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.
Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 25, 2013
Lululemon Athletica has been in the news a lot lately because of massive recalls of the black yoga pants that have made them so famous. The recalls were a result of the material being too sheer and not living up to the company’s standards for quality. This is an unfortunate situation for Lululemon, but only the first real hiccup we have seen from this rapidly growing company. Now is not the time to panic. It is still a great company that makes great products and has a very loyal customer base. The analysts have declared that the sky is falling, but Lululemon has a terrific opportunity to resolve this issue quickly and minimize the damage. Here’s what they should be doing:
  • Publicly accept responsibility for the issueIt doesn’t matter whether it was Lululemon’s quality department that didn’t identify the issue before the pants made it into the hands of customers or that their supplier didn’t manufacture the right product. Lululemon needs to publicly apologize to customers and take responsibility for the issue and its’ resolution.
  • Communicate changes openly and transparentlyLululemon needs to communicate what steps they are taking to identify and resolve the issue, as well as how they are improving their business operations to ensure it won’t happen again.
  • Use this as a way to improve performanceLululemon should look at this as an opportunity to improve the way it operates. Looking at how it manages its’ supplier base and how it manages product quality assurance would be two places to start.
Rapidly growing companies often encounter some issues as a result of that rapid growth,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “That is why it is important for organizations to grow responsibly. Even some of the best companies in the world, like Toyota and RIM, are not immune to issues resulting from rapid growth.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.

A positive story about Air Canada

I have written a few posts on this blog about Air Canada, and most of them have been negative. However, just to show that I don’t have anything against them, I did want to post a positive story.

Last night I arrived in Las Vegas and after a few minutes it became clear that someone had accidentally taken my suitcase off the carousel and left with it. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure this out because I was the only person left waiting for a bag and there was only one bag left. The problem was, it wasn’t my bag.

Air Canada immediately contacted the person whose bag it was, found out the hotel they were staying at and within three hours had my suitcase delivered directly to my hotel room. I went from frustrated to satisfied very quickly and I was impressed with the speed at which they dealt with the issue.

As I’ve said before, it’s not about whether or not you make a mistake, it’s about how you deal with that mistake that differentiates you from other organizations.

Are you letting bad policies drive your business?

A colleague was recently relaying a story to me about his experience with ADT Security and it made me think about how companies develop processes and procedures that actually hinder their ability to do business.

My colleague wanted to suspend his security system monitoring while he was doing renovations on his house. The renovations were going to take about eight months.

Here are some of the highlights of his story:

  • ADT would only allow him to suspend monitoring service one month at a time, so he was forced to call them each month to “renew” the suspension of service
  • His only other option for suspending the monitoring service was to cancel his contract with ADT altogether and then re-sign up when he moved back in
  • Even though monitoring service was suspended, ADT continued to charge him each month for that service and then credited him the full amount at the end

This doesn’t sound like a company that has their customers best interests in mind. It’s not like he was the first customer to ever want to suspend their service. So why not create a policy or process that better serves that need?

Don’t let your systems or your policies dictate how you operate. Those systems and policies should support the right way of doing business. Too many organizations force customers to fill out unnecessary information, jump through useless hoops or wait for unreasonable amounts of time because of internal processes and systems.

Are you one of those companies?

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – March 18, 2013
March Madness is upon us. By that, I mean the annual NCAA basketball tournament begins on Thursday. This pits the best US universities against each other in sudden death elimination games in order to crown a national champion. Since this is such a momentous annual event, I thought I would write about what organizations can learn from the whole tournament lead-up and experience.
  • Sometimes tough decisions need to be made-Every year the tournament selection committee decides who makes the tournament and who doesn’t. There is always scrutiny, but they forge ahead with the decision that they think is best. The best decisions aren’t always the most popular ones.
  • Money doesn’t always motivate us to perform-It’s easy to say that these players are playing for future wealth, but in most cases this is simply not true. Most collegiate players will never get paid to play basketball so they are playing for personal satisfaction and pride for their institutions. This is similar to what motivates most top performing employees.
  • What got you here won’t get you thereThis phrase was made famous by Marshall Goldsmith and is applicable in this context. Last year’s tournament champion, Kentucky, did not even make the field of 65 teams in this year’s tournament. You need to constantly innovate and improve to stay on top.
It’s interesting what we can learn from this amazing experience,” says Andrew Miller, President of ACM Consulting. “Organizations can’t ignore what motivates these young athletes to perform and how sport can be such a great metaphor for business.”
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
 
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2013.