The DGAS Principle

DGAS stand for Don’t Give a S*&! and it is a good principle to do business by if you are in the advisory business like me. It doesn’t mean you are malicious or mean or provide bad advice, it means you can’t worry about how people react to your advice or your insights. It means you give the advice that you think is right, and not worry about how people react to it, because you know it’s the right advice.

As a consultant and strategic advisor, here’s what DGAS means to me:

  • You don’t chase bad prospects or opportunities
  • You don’t worry about “lost” business (which is really business you never had)
  • Your happiness isn’t tied to whether or not you close business
  • You tell clients and prospects what you are thinking, not what they want to hear
  • You build relationships on your terms, not others
  • You follow your process, not that of others
  • You don’t worry about things you can’t control
  • You don’t put undo pressure on yourself to do too many things at once
  • You don’t overthink things
  • You do your best and go home

What does DGAS mean for you?

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 8, 2015
We often talk about needing to fail in order to succeed. Some might define that as innovation. But failure is only a viable option if it is accepted by the leaders in an organization. How do they react when someone fails? How do they react when someone gives an opinion that is contrary to that of the majority? Do they reward only successes or the behaviour they would like to see exhibited?
Failure takes many different forms. It might mean selling a new product or service that nobody buys. It might mean building a partnership that doesn’t work out. It might mean moving forward on a project when your gut tells you it is destined for failure.
We can choose to embrace failure, or we can take steps to try and avoid or mitigate it. Or, we can redefine what failure means so that people aren’t afraid to fail.
If you were to look into the future and find out that the project or initiative you are currently working on was a failure, what are the top three reasons why you think it might have failed?
Wouldn’t you rather know that now, and not after the project has already failed?
Looking for more insights?
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

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 – May 5, 2014
We talk so often about the importance of experience and we feel that the longer we have been doing something, the better we are at it. But that’s not necessarily true. Just because someone has been in the same job for 25 years doesn’t mean they can do it better than someone who has never done it before. The fact that a person has 30 years experience in the same industry doesn’t make them an expert in the industry, it just means they have been there a long time.
 
We often overrate experience because it gives us comfort to hire someone with experience. You can’t go wrong hiring someone who has 25 years experience in the same industry, can you? Of course you can.
 
The Toronto Raptors lost to the Brooklyn Nets yesterday in Game 7 of their playoff series. Through the previous 10 games, the teams were very evenly matched even though Brooklyn’s players have a great deal more experience than the Raptors. But they only won by one point. If the Raptors, the more inexperienced team, had won, would anyone talk about the importance of Brooklyn’s experience?
 
Experience may be a factor in the results a person can achieve, but we shouldn’t be hiring or making decisions purely based on someone’s experience. We should be hiring someone based on their ability to achieve the results we expect. Experience is only one factor that may contribute to their ability to get those results.
 
Before looking at experience, organizations that are hiring should be looking at a candidate’s attitude, competency, and mindset. This is my ACM model. Experience only matters if it will help achieve better results. Don’t hire purely based on experience, but based on whether you think the candidate can meet or exceed what is expected of them.
 
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 – April 28, 2014
We always read about these organizations and they sound like such fun places to work. On-site chef, mini-golf courses in the office, slides to get from one floor to another. But what happens when those organizations grow? Can they maintain that fast-paced, fun, entrepreneurial culture? Some can, but most don’t. Here are five start up characteristics that the most successful organizations, large or small, are able to employ:
  • No fear of failure – Most young organizations aren’t afraid to fail and encourage it as a way to improve how they do business. As organizations grow, they tend to become more risk averse because there’s more at stake.
  • Cross trained employees – Start ups don’t have the luxury of lots of employees so people have to be able to handle multiple roles. Larger organizations don’t cross train enough and tend to consolidate knowledge within too few people.
  • Passion for the outcome – Young companies have employees who are very passionate about the organization and what it is trying to accomplish. This usually comes from a combination of an energetic leader and a shared vision of what can be done. As organizations grow, that passion can wane.
  • Lack of complacency – Start up organizations can’t afford to be complacent or they will fail early. The larger an organization becomes, the more complacent it becomes.
  • Lack of bureaucracy – Smaller, younger companies have not yet had to deal with internal bureaucracy because decisions are usually made quickly by the founders or owners. As organizations grow, they need to implement a certain level of discipline, but many mistake that discipline for the creation of bureaucracy.

As organizations grow, they tend to add layers of people and many new functions. but it’s important to remember some of the characteristics that helped the organization become successful in the first place.

 
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 – March 24, 2014
When we consider companies that were having tremendous success and then failed, like Nortel, Enron, Blackberry, and Blockbuster, there are only a few reasons for their sudden fall from grace:

  • Arrogance and/or stubbornness – The organization and its leaders believed that continuing to operate in the same way would lead to continued success. They refused to change the way they operated even though the market required them to do so.
  • Inability to take advantage of new opportunities – The organization was either unable to see new opportunities or not flexible enough to take advantage of them.
  • Increased distance from customers – The organization created too wide a gap between itself and its customers and wasn’t able to anticipate what customers wanted or needed.
  • Misalignment of strategy and tactics – The tactics being performed on the front lines of the organization did not align with the strategy being developed in the executive boardroom.
  • Greed – The organization’s leaders focused too much on creating money and power for themselves and not enough on creating value for customers.

Just avoid these five things and you will see continued success in your organization and operational excellence will come naturally.

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 – January 13, 2014

We are constantly hearing about new ideas and new strategies to improve the way our organizations operate. We may hear something at an industry conference or read about it in a book. But we often don’t implement that idea effectively enough and this is usually because we don’t test the idea effectively enough to give it a chance for success.

 
Testing the idea doesn’t mean taking a long and arduous process to identify every single activity that is required. But it does mean taking a disciplined approach to making a decision whether the idea should be implemented. Here are five questions you should consider before implementing a new strategy within your organization:
  1. Does the strategy align with the direction that my organization is going?
  2. What impact would the strategy have for my organization?
  3. What do I need to do to achieve that impact?
  4. Does the organization have the capability to implement the strategy successfully?
  5. Who should be accountable for achieving that results?
These questions take you through a simple process to ensure that the new strategy aligns with your overall strategy, that there is a good reason for using organizational resources on the new strategy, and that the organization has the opportunity to actually achieve those results. Take a few minutes with your senior team and apply these questions to a new idea or strategy you would like to implement and see if they helps look at the strategy from all sides.
 

They should help to eliminate some ideas that may sound good, but would end up being a waste of valuable time and resources.

 
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 simple process for any initiative

For any initiative that you are embarking upon, here is a simple process to help make you successful:

  1. Identify the key stakeholders – those most impacted by the initiative.
  2. Engage those stakeholders and show them the value of the initiative – show them why it’s in their interests to support it. I call this the “What’s in it for me?” principle.
  3. Develop a plan for implementing the initiative – what tactics are required to make it happen and who will be accountable for success?
  4. Determine the right metrics for success – what will success looks like?
  5. Execute on the plan and review the success measures.

As you can see, the formula for implementing a new initiative is not that complicated. Are you using a process that is more complex than it needs to be?