Helping Your Customers With Innovation

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Andrew shares tips on how to develop new processes for the identification, evaluation and adoption of innovation.

Bringing back the old boss

I always find it interesting when an organization brings back an old boss to help make the company successful again. What are the reasons behind it? Was the old boss that good or was the new boss that bad? Was it a failure in succession planning or a bad hiring? It could be all of the above. Here are some examples of companies bringing back old bosses:

  • Proctor & Gamble bringing back A.G. Lafley
  • Apple bringing back Steve Jobs
  • Dell Computers bringing back Michael Dell
  • InfoSys bringing back Narayana Murthy

In all cases (except InfoSys because Murthy was just brought back), the companies performed better when the old bosses came back. It makes you wonder why they left (or were asked to leave) in the first place. Maybe a classic case of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”

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 – June 24, 2013
For those not fans of baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays are in the midst of an 11-game winning streak. It’s a pretty remarkable feat for a team that has been underachieving for most of the year. I started to think about how companies can get on “winning streaks” and that some are able to sustain that success while others aren’t.
 
Here’s what organizations should remember when they are on a “winning streak”:
  • Determine what is leading to the success the organization is having and continue to replicate it.
  • Anticipate situations and roadblocks that may arise that could hinder that success.
  • Look for ways to improve on the success to make it more sustainable.
  • Enjoy the period of success and remember that it won’t last forever.
Too many organizations achieve tremendous levels of success and forget to keep improving,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “Organizations need to remember that success is not granted to them, they need to earn it, so determining what has been working and what will work moving forward is paramount to maintaining that success.
 
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.

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 – June 17, 2013
I know this concept sounds counter-intuitive, harnessing child-like tendencies to improve business performance, but maybe it’s not so far-fetched. We spend our whole lives trying to become more “grown up.” But on my run this morning, I was thinking about some of the characteristics children have that are actually beneficial for successful leaders and executives. We need to harness the inner child that permits us to live more in the moment and take more chances without fear of consequence. Here are some examples of what I mean:
  • Children are curious about everything and want to absorb as much new information as they can. Great leaders exhibit that same characteristic as they search for any insight or idea that can help improve the performance of their organization.
  • Children are fearless and have not yet been trained to concern themselves with failure or consequence from their actions. I’m not suggesting we take unnecessary risks, but great leaders will always be open to trying new ideas and will consider them successful even if they fail, as long as something was learned from them.
  • Children are attracted to shiny things and then get bored of them quickly. Great leaders want to hear about new ideas but are quick to abandon the ones that don’t work.
  • Children have a desire to impress their friends with new tricks and new abilities. Great leaders are driven by that same desire to impress shareholders, employees and customers.
I’m not suggesting we turn the business world into a playground,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “However, we should recognize what behaviour is innate and that we can harness to make us better leaders, improve the performance of our organizations, and allow us to be better contributors to society.
 
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.

Finding your departmental sweet spot

Every department and every organization has a sweet spot. It is the point at which structure, process and talent intersect. Where you have the right people, in the right roles, supported by the right process.

The talent in your organization is being used effectively to maximize results. They understand what is expected of them, what they are accountable for and are empowered to do what is needed to meet and exceed expectations.

The structure in place facilitates collaboration and applied wisdom, providing the appropriate measures of success and discouraging siloed thinking.

The processes support the fastest and most effective way to achieve results.

Finding the sweet spot can be difficult, but just like a baseball player on a hitting streak or a basketball player in the “zone,” once you find the sweet spot, achieving tremendous results becomes much easier.

Alberta Health Minister dismisses entire AHS board

In a sweeping move to show who’s boss, Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne dismissed the entire board of directors of Alberta Health Services yesterday.

The board was dismissed after agreeing to provide AHS executives with performance bonuses at a time when front-line AHS workers are being given a wage freeze or even a reduction in salary. The board’s decision wasn’t aligned with the direction Minister Horne wants to take healthcare in Alberta, so they were all relieved of their duties.

You have to respect the Minister for carrying out such a tough decision. Firing the entire board of AHS leaves a huge gap in the administration of AHS and filling the board with new directors will require a great deal of time and effort.

You have to wonder why the board was so adamant in wanting to provide bonuses to AHS executives when everyone else has had their wages frozen. The chair said he didn’t want to go back on the promise the board had made to AHS executives and taking away those bonuses at this point was unfair. I guess the Minister of health thought differently.

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 – June 10, 2013
Organizations have been controlling the way they spend money over the past few years and many are now sitting on piles of cash. We have already seen many acquisitions and we will see many more over the coming months. The success of an acquisition will be determined well before the due diligence phase begins. That success hinges on the process the acquiring company uses to identify potential acquisition targets and the decisions it makes before an offer is even made. Here are three things acquiring companies need to consider before engaging in talks with another company:
  • There needs to be a clear decision as to the future culture of the overall organization. Companies usually don’t get acquired for their culture, but for their technology or customers or expertise in a certain area. The acquiring company needs to be clear right up front about what the adopted culture will be.
  • There needs to be a fit at all levels. Organizations tend to just focus on synergy or opportunity at the executive level, but acquiring organizations need to understand the steps required, and how easy or difficult it will be, to integrate the new company into their culture.
  • There needs to be an alignment of goals. The acquiring company needs to ensure that it clearly communicates the goals for the future and that the company being acquired aligns with that vision. If the focus needs to be growth and innovation, the organizations need to be aligned to best take advantage of opportunities.

You will notice that I haven’t used the word “merger” because I don’t believe they truly exist in business. A merger is only a term to describe the financial terms of a certain transaction, but no business transaction is ever truly a merger. One culture needs to dominate. And since no two organizations are alike, eventually one culture wins out. The sooner that decision is made, the easier the integration will be. 

Like any other element of business, a company needs to have an acquisition process,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “It needs to approach each acquisition target with some key decisions already made in order to make the acquisition successful. Acquisitions fail when the acquiring organization neglects making key decisions early on in the process.
 
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.