Three Kinds of Companies

There are only three kinds of companies:

  1. Those that are growing at the right pace.
  2. Those that are growing too fast.
  3. Those that are growing too slowly (or not at all).

Any other kind of company will fail. If you are not growing, you are declining. There is no such thing as the status quo because even if your organization is not changing, everything else around you is. Your competitors are changing. Your customers are changing. Your people are changing. Your industry is changing. Your government is changing.

So you need to become a company that grows at the right pace. How do you know you are growing at the right pace? You don’t make stupid mistakes. The quality of your product isn’t declining. You are able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise. You don’t feel like you are always playing catch-up.

Toyota grew too fast and it led to millions of cars being recalled because quality was sacrificed. Blockbuster grew too slowly and it became obsolete because it ignored the messages that customers were trying to deliver. Procter & Gamble continues to grow at the right speed, which is why it has had such tremendous success for such a long time.

There are four stages of growth. Once you commit to growing at the right pace you will find yourself at one of these four stages.

Four Types of Growth

Which stage are you at and what can you do to rapidly climb the stairs?

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.

Why Successful Companies Fail

When you think of companies like Nortel, Enron, Blackberry, and Blockbuster, companies that were having tremendous success and then failed, there are only a few reasons why the sudden decline.

  • Arrogance and/or stubbornness – The organization and its leaders believed that continuing to operate the same way would lead to continued success. They refused to change the way they operated.
  • 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.

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 27, 2013
When pursuing, and eventually mastering operational excellence, there are only four things that can happen to an organization:
  • They can achieve operational excellence and maintain that mastery (3M).
  • They can achieve operational excellence and then lose significant market share (Blockbuster).
  • They can achieve operational excellence and then disappear (Netscape).
  • They can achieve operational excellence, lose it, and then reappear even stronger (IBM).
The organizations that are able to maintain a high level of operational excellence implement stops or gates to prevent them from sliding backwards from the culture they worked so hard to build. These gates help them anticipate future changes in their industries, their customers, their employees and their products and services. Some examples of ways to ensure forward progress are:
  • Hold an innovation competition in your organization. Ask for improvement ideas from employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners and hand out awards for the best ideas. This will generate an influx of new ideas that might help improve performance.
  • Have a third party interview some of your key customers and suppliers to identify why they like working with you and what could be improved. This will give you some insights on what you need to keep doing to be successful and what you need to improve.
  • Ask your existing customer base for referrals to new prospective customers. This will provide you with a series of new leads to follow up with and gives you a reason to have additional conversations with current customers.
  • Perform a review on a key department in the organization and look for gaps in the processes or in communication. Odds are you will find some opportunities to improve the way you operate.

“The most successful organizations can anticipate where they need to be next in order to take advantage of changing markets and changing customers,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “They don’t rest on their laurels as they know they need to constantly grow and innovate to stay successful.”

 
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.

 

Give HMV Canada an “A” for innovation

I often talk about innovation and how if organizations are not innovating and adapting, the only news we will read about them is that they are bankrupt. So let’s give credit to HMV Canada for being innovative and recognizing that the world of music has changed.

HMV operates more than 100 stores in Canada, selling CDs, DVDs and other audio and video recordings. Today they launched a digital music service called The Vault. Users can sign up for a subscription based service to stream music (and eventually movies) or even download them to a phone or mp3 player. Bravo to HMV Canada for recognizing this changing customer need and doing something about it.

The president of HMV Canada, Nick Williams, said, “We absolutely believe we should provide people with music in any way they choose to experience it, whether that’s (to) download, stream it…or come into stores and buy it physically.” What an enlightened way of thinking.

This is a great example of innovating to meet new customer demands. It’s what Blockbuster should have done with movies (although Netflix is glad they didn’t) and what Indigo and Barnes and Noble should do with books (although Amazon is glad they didn’t).