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 9, 2015
My son’s hockey team was invited down to the Air Canada Centre on Saturday to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs and the St Louis Blues practice. When we arrived, there were probably 50 other kids hockey teams there. Most kids were either wearing their team jerseys or their Maple Leafs jerseys. When it came time for the Leafs to take the ice, all of the kids were excited to see their favourite players. But, to their disappointment, only one of the Leafs’ best players came on the ice for the practice. Since it was an optional practice, the rest of the team took the opportunity to miss the practice…..disappointing hundreds of kids.
Contrast this to the St Louis Blues, who held a short, but spirited practice with their full team. The kids cheered throughout, even though it was the visiting team. It’s no wonder that the Blues won the game 6-1.
This was another missed opportunity by an organization whose culture and behaviour comes off more like a group of entitled and spoiled kids, and less like a professional hockey team. There seems to be a total disconnect between players and the management of the team, and even the players and the fans. I don’t know why the players didn’t come to practice. Maybe they didn’t know hundreds of hockey playing kids from across the province would be there to watch them. Maybe they didn’t care. Either way, the message was pretty clear for all of us who attended…the Leafs don’t merit our support.
I then started thinking about this in the context of organizations and having an engaged and happy workforce. Here’s some ways of knowing your employees are passionate about working for your organization:
  • They go above and beyond what is asked of them, and they don’t do it because someone asked them to. They do it because they want to.
  • They defend each other and the organization both publicly and privately.
  • They try to convince others to join the organization.
  • They take leadership roles to help the organization improve.
  • They constantly bring new ideas forward.
  • They hold each other accountable and aren’t afraid to confront others in a productive way when expected results are not being achieved.
Do your employees exhibit these characteristics? If not, you need to look at what kind of organization you’ve created and what you need to do to change it.
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