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 – December 28, 2015

If you want 2016 to be the best year ever for your organization, here are four essential things you need to do:

  1. Identify your ONE PRIORITY – Find the one priority that can most rapidly and effectively achieve your ideal future state.
  2. Implement OPERATIONAL TRANSPARENCY – Be clear and transparent about how the organization will make decisions and prioritize initiatives. Also, share as much relevant information as you can with customer and business partners to improve performance.
  3. Make the INTRINSIC EXTRINSIC – Identify your internal best practices and determine how to apply your success across the organization and figure out how to better manage internal knowledge.
  4. Demonstrate TOUCH POINT LEVERAGE. This could also be called the “King Midas effect” where everything you touch turns to gold. Every step in a process, every interaction with a customer, or every part of your manufacturing process should add value and leverage the previous “touch point.” You are enhancing at every touch point, not just assembling something.

2016 should be about raising the bar through operational excellence, not about restoring past performance.

What will will you do differently and how will you ensure you sustain momentum?

Looking for more insights?
Are you a small or medium-sized business owner looking to accelerate growth and maximize profitability? Then you need to register for my free workshop on How to Accelerate Growth Through Operational Excellence.
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
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.
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Andrew Miller
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Mindset vs. Methodology

I gave a talk at the Rotman School of Management this morning on redefining operational excellence. We had an interesting discussion about how organizations with different divisions and types of employees could implement a mindset of excellence. Many of the comments were related to different divisions and groups of employees within the same organization not buying into the same vision because they had different customers or different motivations.

Pursuing excellence doesn’t mean that all divisions or employees do things the same way. Excellence is not necessarily about standardization. Here’s what it is about:

  • Communicating a desired outcome that the organization wants to achieve (eg. 80% customer retention).
  • Setting expectations within each division or group of employees on how each will contribute to achieving that desired outcome.
  • Identifying best practices from any of the divisions and determining how to apply them effectively across all the divisions.
  • Aligning the tactics being employed by front line people with the desired outcome of the organization.

That is the difference between a mindset and a methodology. With a methodology, you attempt to pick up a process or guideline and move it elsewhere. With a mindset, you first determine what you want to achieve, then you determine the fastest and most effective way to achieve it.

Which way does your organization behave?

The four levels of adopting best practices

One of the greatest opportunities organizations have to increase performance and profit is to improve their adoption of new ideas. If you can maximize the impact of your ideas, then you will be able to achieve better results. There are four levels of adoption you need to master in order to maximize results from your own internal best practices:

  • Level 1 – One department. This should be the easiest result to achieve, ensuring that the best practices are replicated across the department where the idea was generated.
  • Level 2 – Across multiple departments. At this level, you are able to successfully implement these best practices across multiple departments across the organization and are seeing results from those best practices.
  • Level 3 – Across the organization. At this level, you are able to replicate the best practices across the entire organization.
  • Level 4 – External appeal. At this level, you are able to commercialize those best practices and sell them to others.


Organizations that make it to Level 3, share these common traits:

  • They have common criteria to determine the ideas and practices that will have the greatest impact.
  • They formally manage the idea process.
  • They encourage productive failure and reward behaviours, not just victories.
  • They are able to articulate the value and impact of their best practices.
  • They aggressively break down silos to share best practices.

At what level is your organization?