Operational Elegance

To achieve Operational Elegance, you need to score well in two areas: technical and artistic. Just like the best figure skaters and gymnasts, elegant organizations are both technically sound as well as graceful and flexible.

Rank yourself from 1-5 for each statement in these two areas.


  1. We focus on one priority (the single fastest and most effective way to achieve our ideal future state)
  2. We replicate internal best practices across the organization
  3. We practice optimal speed (we know when to speed up and when to slow down to maximize results)
  4. We identify and maximize impact from our best ideas
  5. We practice operational transparency (we share information so employees understand decision-making and customers are more empowered)
  6. We measure outcome, not activity level
  7. We know who our ideal customers are
  8. We have a clearly communicated ideal future state and ensure everything wee do aligns to it


  1. We know who our best and next best employees are and focus on their development and retention
  2. We have processes that focus on efficiently achieving the right outcomes
  3. We communicate the expected behaviours for peak employee performance
  4. We hire for where we are going, not where we are
  5. We encourage healthy debate and productive failure
  6. We don’t tolerate poor performance

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?

Does Your Office Space Align with Your Company’s Culture?

I was sitting down with a friend of mine, Joseph Wise, and we were talking about the challenges businesses have today around growth. Not just revenue growth, but also the number of employees. He asked me this question about my clients, “Does their office space align with their culture?” I told him that I had to think more about that, but that probably many of them didn’t think of office space in that context. It was an interesting perspective and I asked Joseph to provide me something that I could share with my clients and colleagues to help them think about office space differently.

In the attached document, Joseph provides some key questions to think about when considering new office space.

Joe Wise Corporate Culture Piece March 2016 Grey