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 8, 2015
We often talk about needing to fail in order to succeed. Some might define that as innovation. But failure is only a viable option if it is accepted by the leaders in an organization. How do they react when someone fails? How do they react when someone gives an opinion that is contrary to that of the majority? Do they reward only successes or the behaviour they would like to see exhibited?
Failure takes many different forms. It might mean selling a new product or service that nobody buys. It might mean building a partnership that doesn’t work out. It might mean moving forward on a project when your gut tells you it is destined for failure.
We can choose to embrace failure, or we can take steps to try and avoid or mitigate it. Or, we can redefine what failure means so that people aren’t afraid to fail.
If you were to look into the future and find out that the project or initiative you are currently working on was a failure, what are the top three reasons why you think it might have failed?
Wouldn’t you rather know that now, and not after the project has already failed?
Looking for more insights?
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
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© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Playing the Blame Game

Why is it the default position for so many people to blame others when something goes wrong? What’s wrong with taking accountability for something?

Reading about the healthcare.gov website in the US made me think about this. While CGI was being put through the ringer by US Congress yesterday, one of the congressman asked for a simple apology. “A simple ‘I’m sorry’ would be fine.” But it never came.

I’m not saying CGI is fully to blame, and they certainly won’t say that, but why is “I’m sorry” such tough words for people to say? Because our pride gets in the way. No one wants to admit that they made a mistake. For some reason, we have a culture where making a mistake is frowned upon and reputations can be ruined because of it.

I think that’s bull. Reputations get ruined by how you handle situations, not the situations themselves. People get judged on how they handle failure, not the failure itself.

The best companies in the world deal with failure all the time because they are always trying new products and services and pushing the envelope. They embrace failure, so they can see what comes from it.

Stop worrying about failing and start focusing on how you handle failure, because failure is inevitable.