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.
Listen to my podcast on why Operational Excellence needs to be redefined.
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To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

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 – April 28, 2014
We always read about these organizations and they sound like such fun places to work. On-site chef, mini-golf courses in the office, slides to get from one floor to another. But what happens when those organizations grow? Can they maintain that fast-paced, fun, entrepreneurial culture? Some can, but most don’t. Here are five start up characteristics that the most successful organizations, large or small, are able to employ:
  • No fear of failure – Most young organizations aren’t afraid to fail and encourage it as a way to improve how they do business. As organizations grow, they tend to become more risk averse because there’s more at stake.
  • Cross trained employees – Start ups don’t have the luxury of lots of employees so people have to be able to handle multiple roles. Larger organizations don’t cross train enough and tend to consolidate knowledge within too few people.
  • Passion for the outcome – Young companies have employees who are very passionate about the organization and what it is trying to accomplish. This usually comes from a combination of an energetic leader and a shared vision of what can be done. As organizations grow, that passion can wane.
  • Lack of complacency – Start up organizations can’t afford to be complacent or they will fail early. The larger an organization becomes, the more complacent it becomes.
  • Lack of bureaucracy – Smaller, younger companies have not yet had to deal with internal bureaucracy because decisions are usually made quickly by the founders or owners. As organizations grow, they need to implement a certain level of discipline, but many mistake that discipline for the creation of bureaucracy.

As organizations grow, they tend to add layers of people and many new functions. but it’s important to remember some of the characteristics that helped the organization become successful in the first place.

 
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 – February 24, 2014
Now that the Olympics are over and we have had two weeks of national pride, it’s a good time to reflect. During the gold medal hockey game yesterday morning, I’m sure almost every Canadian family was watching from wherever they were. Why is hockey so important to us? Because we are good at it, we are passionate about it, and we are proud of our abilities in it.
 
How can you ensure that your employees have that same level of pride and passion for your organization? There are three key components:
  • Strengths – Employees want to be a part of a successful organization, so focus on your strengths and leverage them to improve.
  • Passion – People throughout the organization need to be passionate about what the organization is trying to accomplish.
  • Pride – Employees need to have something to be proud of. Do you give them proud moments they can tell friends and family about?
It seems easy to have national pride, but it’s important to recognize why we have that national pride and apply it to your organization to foster a similar feeling amongst your employees.

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.