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 – October 27, 2014
Many parents around the world spend many Saturday and Sunday mornings in hockey rinks. This week we received an email from my son’s house league convener with very strict rules about the arena parking lot. The email directed us to use only one opening to enter the parking lot and the other opening to exit. At the time, these seemed like some arbitrary rules that were being issued.
 
However, as I was leaving the parking lot this morning (out the assigned exit), a woman pulled into the parking lot through the exit opening, cutting off everyone trying to leave the parking lot. Chaos ensued. Horns blared. And the woman had to reverse out of the lot onto a busy street, endangering herself and others. I guess she never got the email.
 
Some rules are made for good reason, and others are made without any expected improvement to outcomes. In this case, the rule was made to ensure the safety of the children walking through the parking lot and to ensure a quick and orderly exit from the parking lot.
 
How many of your organization’s procedures improve outcomes, and how many create unnecessary frustration and additional work with no improved result?
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

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 – October 20, 2014
Growing up playing hockey, I was never the biggest or the strongest player on the ice. But once I started playing contact, I realized that I could knock almost any player over. I had a low centre of gravity and I developed a good sense of skating at the right speed, taking the right angle, and delivering the impact in the right spot.
 
Organizations that want to be successful need to develop a low centre of gravity. When you have a low centre of gravity you are able to knock over bigger obstacles. Those obstacles might be external (competitors, market access, government regulations), or they might be internal (unwillingness to change, bureaucracy, poor leadership). Organizations that develop that low centre of gravity do so by focusing on speed, angles, and impact.
 
They determine the optimal speed at which to operate. They approach from the proper angle in order to maximize the impact of what they are doing.
 
Does your organization have a low centre of gravity or are you standing upright, ready to be knocked over?
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

The Year of the Spinoff

This week, HP announced that it is splitting up into two separate businesses. eBay already announced it was going to spin-off its PayPal division. Siemens is separating out its’ healthcare business. And there are a few other organizations that are spinning off or have already spun off divisions. Is this the new trend? Does this mean the days of the large, diversified organization are gone?

Newer companies like Google and Facebook are seemingly the new diversified conglomerates, because they are pursuing many different businesses. So the days of the large, global, diversified organization are not yet dead. Just ask GE or Philips.

But how do you know when big is too big? When is the right time to spin-off or separate different businesses? Here are some guides:

  • When the business offerings to customers are no longer complementary.
  • When there is minimal information and knowledge that can be shared across divisions.
  • When the different divisions are growing at very different rates.
  • When the opportunity for growth is very different for each division.
  • When a division can clearly be more profitable on its’ own and it won’t hinder the overall performance of the overall organization (too much).

This will be an interesting trend to watch as the economy continues to move at a rabid pace.

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 – October 6, 2014
This past weekend was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. During Yom Kippur, Jews are supposed to ask forgiveness of those they have wronged, and forgive those who have wronged them. It’s sort of like starting each Jewish new year with a clean slate. And like many other religions, Jews are asked to give something up to show their dedication, so many Jews fast during Yom Kippur.
 
There are many organizations that could use a clean slate. An exercise for reflecting on all of the things it has done well and all of the areas of opportunity (which can either be areas to improve upon or creating something new). This exercise would help the organization “atone” for past sins – entering a market too quickly, treating customers poorly, hiring the wrong people.
 
Next time you hear about Yom Kippur, think about what sins your organization needs to “atone” for and how you can go about making improvements. Also think about the “sacrifices” that you may have inadvertently made (lost customers, lost employees, etc.) while committing those sins.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.

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 – September 29, 2014
Yesterday I participated in an amazing event. Rock N’ Stroll is an event to raise money for Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto to improve patient care for the smallest patients and have healthier moms and babies. More than 1,200 people came out yesterday to the inaugural event, which will raise more than $250,000 in its’ first year. What may be more amazing is that the original concept for this event was developed back in 2008.
 
Sometimes we need the right circumstances and the right people in order for a great idea to be successful. Rock N’ Stroll was a great idea in 2008, but the circumstances around it were not right to make it successful. Sometimes we need to be patient enough to wait for the right circumstances and people. If we don’t wait, the idea will fail, regardless of how good of an idea it may be.
 
To request an interview or more information, please contact:
 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336

Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2014.