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 8, 2014
If there was ever an argument on why North America needs to become less reliant on foreign oil and focus on developing other industries, we saw it this week. Saudi Arabia slashed the price it will charge for oil in order to maintain it’s market share and the OPEC countries have refused to lower production in order to help raise prices.

So how does that decision made halfway around the world affect North America? Resource and energy company shares take a huge hit, but more importantly, the lower price will reduce the amount of income flowing into countries that sell oil, like Canada. The Governor of the Bank of Canada said these lower oil prices could reduce Canada’s growth rate by 0.3% (the latest growth rate for the country is around 3%). That is a 10% reduction in the growth rate of an entire country because of decisions made in Saudi Arabia.

Maybe it’s time to put more money and resources into developing some of the other sectors of the economy. Read more about that in one of my recent Monday Morning Messages.

Imagine your profitability eroded by 10% almost overnight because of a decision that you had no control over. Wouldn’t that prompt you to make some changes?

Listen to my podcast on why Operational Excellence needs to be redefined.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM
Register for my free event to dramatically increasing your profits and improve your performance.

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© 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 – June 30, 2014
Just like many of you in your businesses, I am forced to send you all a way to consent to continue to receive emails from me, or unsubscribe. This is a results of Canada’s new Anti-Spam Law (CASL).
 
I don’t know about you, but I have probably received well over 200 emails asking me to consent to receive further emails. I have received emails from companies that I wasn’t receiving emails from before. I am receiving emails from companies that I am a customer of. I am receiving emails from companies that I have never, nor will ever, buy products and services from.
 
I was talking with a friend the other day who says that most of his business comes from targeted emails to a large list of people with special offers. My email list are targeted based on the type of content that I send. So who exactly is the CASL trying to to target?
 
I’m not sure it will have any impact because much of the spam I receive is about some Nigerian prince who is offering a fortune or a barrister representing one. The source of these emails is almost impossible to find. So all we have really done is force many legitimate businesses to risk losing a significant portion of a distribution list it took years to build up and in the process, force companies to spend untold time and money to comply, and force people to receive hundreds more emails within a short period of time.
 
In the end, will it really be worth it? In three years, when the full force of the CASL comes into play, will we be any better off?
 
My book, Redefining Operational Excellence, is now available. Click here to order your copy.
 
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 – November 11, 2013
Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, so it is a day where we should all be thinking about those who risk their lives for us every day, and those who have lost their lives protecting Canada. We wear poppies to show that we have not forgotten and to show our support for our veterans. It is a day to step back and have some perspective.
 
Here is just a brief reminder of what we are all fighting for, both at home and abroad:
  • A democratic country where people have the ability to say and do whatever they want.
  • A universal healthcare system where everyone has access to basic treatment.
  • An education system that helps our children learn skills that will not only help  them in the workforce, but also help them in life.
  • A social system that provides special services for those in need.
  • A thriving economy where jobs and opportunities are available.
  • Natural resources that not only benefit our country, but are also desirable to other countries.
  • An infrastructure that allows for ease of movement.

We need to put this all in perspective. We live in one of the greatest countries in the world and have access to everything we need. We are in this position because of those that have been willing to fight to maintain our way of life, both Canadians and and our allies. So today, take a moment to appreciate where we live. Sure, we have issues that need to be resolved because no system is perfect. But, instead of complaining about it, of all days, today is the day we should all be thinking about what we can do to make it better and appreciate those who have given us the opportunity to sustain our way of life in this great country.

 
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.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message-Happy Birthday Canada!

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – July 1, 2013
Happy Canada Day to those Canadians celebrating Canada’s birthday today. And for those in the U.S., happy early fourth of July.
 
We have a lot to be thankful for in Canada, despite the fact that we complain a lot. The economy is going well, we have a strong healthcare system, we have great universities to educate our children and we have a stable political system.
 
Many take the contrary viewpoint to the statements I just made. That the economy is stumbling. That is the healthcare system is too expensive and getting worse. That our education system no longer meets the needs of our children. That our political system is a mess.
 
But many of those same people don’t do anything about it but complain. When asked for solutions, they don’t have any better ones. When asked to pay more taxes, they refuse. When asked to get involved, they decline.
 
Let’s spend this Canada Day enjoying what we do have in this great country, which is a place where we are all free to voice our opinions, to contribute to make society better, and to live in a place where our children can truly grow up to be whatever it is they want to be.
 
Let’s give Canada a break for at least one day, and instead of focusing on what’s missing, let’s focus on what we have and be thankful for it. Everyone deserves a free pass on his or her birthday.
 
Happy Canada Day!
 
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.

Succession Planning

As I mentioned in a recent article, there is currently a leadership gap in healthcare. More importantly, there is an issue with succession planning because of this gap. Or to put it more accurately, this gap has been created because of a lack of succession planning in many organizations.

This will lead to increased external hires for key roles moving forward, which in turn will increase the cost of doing business for these healthcare organizations. Hiring externally is not always a bad idea (and in some cases it is necessary), but it should be done by choice (the organization needs a new direction), not by necessity (the organization doesn’t have anyone ready to take over key positions). It will also have a ripple effect in that, if we don’t engage them quickly, key young leaders will leave their organizations to find better opportunities elsewhere.

But all is not lost. We can start right now with developing better succession plans for key roles. Here’s how to get started immediately:

  1. Identify the critical roles in your organization. Which roles have the most impact on the success or failure of your organization? Hint: These do not have to be only executive positions.
  2. Determine the critical outcomes for which those roles are accountable. What is the expectation in terms of results (not just what is being done today)? Remember to focus on results and outcomes, not activities and tasks.
  3. Determine the skills and background required to perform those roles well. Are the skills and expertise different from what is currently required?
  4. Identify key performers in the organization and assess their capabilities for the best fit. You want to find the right fit for these key performers to challenge them enough to stay engaged where they can learn and have a positive impact.
  5. Develop a plan for those key roles. This includes assessing the current people in the role and looking at potential candidates for the role (including your key performers identified in step #4). Who needs to be involved in the planning? What is the transition plan? What is the timing for transition?
  6. Be open and transparent in communicating the selection process, the criteria and the time line for those critical roles. Everyone in the company should have advanced notice of when a new leader will be taking over and what the transition will look like.
  7. Know the future vision and direction of the company. This will help with the selection process so you can match the leaders’ skill sets with the direction of customers and the business.
  8. Begin to decentralize some decision-making. Organizations that give employees the ability to make decisions on their own will be better insulated when someone from the top leaves as there is less reliance on them to make all decisions.

Succession planning is one of the key areas that many organizations need to improve upon. Knowing who the next top managers and executives will be allows you to maintain consistency in the direction of the organization and often makes the leadership transition easier.

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 13, 2013
I was fortunate enough to spend a few days last week with some of the finest healthcare leaders in Canada, both on the provider and the industry side of the equation. Based on the many discussions I had with them and my own experiences, here are a few observations:
  • Providers and suppliers are trying to accomplish the same goals-Everyone involved ultimately wants to find a more cost effective healthcare system and one that improves patient care. The challenge is aligning short-term goals to ensure that happens.
  • No solution can happen without the involvement of government-This may even mean that government needs to step back and alleviate some of the legislation that hinders health care leaders. As it stands, some of the legislation is counter-productive and only makes it harder for leaders to do their jobs.
  • There is a lot to learn from different areas of the country-Although each region is different, many of the challenges are the same (aging population, mounting legislation, reduced budgets, and so on). We need to do a better job of sharing solutions and best practices from across the country.
  • There is a leadership gap-Many of the healthcare leaders have a great deal of experience and have been in the industry for years. It is not yet obvious where the next generation of healthcare leaders will come from. Organizations need to do a better job of succession planning to ensure that this gap gets minimized.
  • Perception is not reality-Many industry organizations assume that the roadblocks and constraints happen at the individual organization level. In fact, many of the largest challenges to overcome were not created by the individual organizations, and they are struggling just as much as industry to overcome them.

“It’s amazing what can happen when you bring some of the best minds together and talk about specific issues and opportunities,” says Andrew Miller, president of ACM Consulting. “You realize that it is not hard to find common areas of interest and benefit. The problem is that we don’t provide enough forums for all of the parties to come together and develop the right solutions.” 

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.

Innovation is more successful when formally managed

According to a recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada, more than half of the 450 companies surveyed have no formal innovation process. How is that possible? And we wonder why Canadian companies lag behind other countries in developing and implementing innovation.

Creating a process to manage innovation is not that difficult. Frankly, most organizations are probably already doing it in an informal way, but there’s no doubt they are missing some important components. Here’s a cycle of innovation organizations can use as a guide.

circle_of_innovation

Within this cycle of innovation, there are some questions organizations should be asking:

  • Where are the innovative ideas coming from? Where should they come from?
  • How do we evaluate the ideas to ensure we move forward with the right ones?
  • How do we know if an idea was successful or not? How do we measure progress?
  • What plan do we need to execute in order to turn the idea into something commercially viable?
  • How do we compare against our best competitors?

In a complex and inter-connected world, organizations can’t afford to miss any opportunity for an advantage. Managing innovation according to the process above may just give you that advantage you need.

Click here for more details on this cycle of innovation.