8 simple questions inspired by 20 years of celebrating Canada's Best Managed Companies

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Applications are now open for the 2013 Best Managed Companies program. Learn more: http://www.bestmanagedcompanies.ca

Thinking like one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies is surprisingly simple…and that’s what so hard! But simplicity leads to clarity. And clarity leads to focus which leads to success.

That’s what twenty-plus years of working with Canada’s Best Managed Companies teaches us in Power of the Best.

We’ll show you how Canada’s Best Managed Companies responded to their challenges with simplicity, discipline and focus and by asking themselves questions about eight aspects of business, questions about innovation, talent, productivity and more.

Our “8 simple questions” were inspired by stories in the best-selling business book, Power of the Best: Innovative Strategies from Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

www.deloitte.com/ca/growthenterprises

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8 simple questions inspired by 20 years of celebrating Canada's Best Managed Companies

  1. 1. 8 simple questions Inspired by 20 years of celebrating Canada’s Best Managed Companies #BestManaged
  2. 2. Thinking like one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies is surprisingly simple. That’s what makes it so hard.
  3. 3. Simplicity leads to clarity. Clarity leads to focus. Focus leads to success. Canada’s Best Managed Companies cut through today’s complicated business landscape with simple questions.
  4. 4. We’ll show you how some of Canada’s Best Managed Companies responded to their challenges with simplicity, discipline and focus. Hopefully, they’ll inspire you to do the same when you face challenges in these areas. Let’s look at simple questions for 8 aspects of business inspired by our book, Power of the Best. Mergers and Acquisitions Innovation Attracting Talent Productivity Strategy Leadership Globalization Raising Capital
  5. 5. A struggling discount brewery in Saskatchewan recognized that the beer market had changed. • Young people were drinking less beer • Quality beer became more important than cheap beer • Many of the ‘authentically Canadian’ breweries were purchased by foreign companies The CEO knew they had to change, but the company had been doing things the same way for 30 years. Strategy 1. Does everyone buy into the plan?
  6. 6. Rather than imposing his 6-point plan on his people, the CEO showed them what the result of the plan would look like. • A new flagship brand that honoured the company’s heritage • A return to authentic Canadian brewing techniques that could make them feel proud With everyone on board, from the assembly line staff to the sales teams, the brewery reversed its fortunes in just three years. 1. Does everyone buy into the plan? Strategy
  7. 7. 1. Does everyone buy into the plan? It’s easy for your people to lose sight of goals in a sea of ‘action items’. Strategy
  8. 8. It’s easy for your people to lose sight of goals in a sea of ‘action items’. Make sure everyone in your organization knows your strategy, understands it and believes in it. The more buy-in you have, the greater chance you have of success. 1. Does everyone buy into the plan? Strategy
  9. 9. An oil & gas distribution company was growing quickly due to an aggressive M&A strategy. • These acquisitions essentially meant they were hiring people they had never met • They were inheriting corporate cultures that might not have aligned with theirs • They had more staff but fewer people to lead them They knew they needed more leaders, but weren’t in the position to identify them. 2. Are your natural leaders leading? Leadership
  10. 10. Rather than look for leaders within their organizations, they help budding leaders come to them. • Their financials are transparent to all employee so anyone can put forward a well-informed proposal • With an operational mantra of ‘the person doing the job knows best’, they give everyone an opportunity to lead By giving employees the tools to be proactive, the company can more easily identify and support its natural leaders. 2. Are your natural leaders leading? Leadership
  11. 11. 2. Are your natural leaders leading? It’s easy for natural leaders to get lost in a company’s process. Leadership
  12. 12. It’s easy for natural leaders to get lost in a company’s process. A clear path to leadership, and a company-wide commitment to empower people who take that path, make identifying the future leaders of your company easier. And it makes the future health of your company stronger. 2. Are your natural leaders leading? Leadership
  13. 13. A toy company was about to pitch for the global licensing rights for ‘Monsters 2’. • They were strong in North America, but not as strong around the world • Outside North America, they were reliant on local distributors to make deals for them • They were unable to communicate directly with those distributors and retailers They needed a more local presence around the world to effectively manage the opportunity. 3. Where do you need to be? Globalization
  14. 14. Rather than remain a Canadian company that sold products globally, they invested the money to become a global company. • They opened branded offices across the globe • They developed an IT system to connect them directly with retailers and distributors in real time With a physical presence around the world, they had more control of their operation, knew more about their global inventory and could better service their retailers. And they won the Monsters 2 pitch. 3. Where do you need to be? Globalization
  15. 15. 3. Where do you need to be? It’s easy to say you’re a global company. Globalization
  16. 16. 3. Where do you need to be? It’s easy to say you’re a global company. Just because you sell global doesn't mean you are global. Globalization
  17. 17. It’s easy to say you’re a global company. Just because you sell global doesn’t mean you are global. The more places you can be, the more control you have, and the more successful you can become. 3. Where do you need to be? Globalization
  18. 18. 4. How much do you have and how much do you need? A refueling company needed more money to continue its strong growth momentum. • Their line of credit was maxed out • They wanted to avoid spending more borrowed money • They wanted to move quickly They knew they had to find an innovative way to raise capital. Raising Capital
  19. 19. Rather than look to alternative sources, they looked to their own receivables. • They adjusted the payment terms on their invoices to get paid sooner (from 34 to 25 days) • This saved them close to $10 million in monthly operational costs Instead of borrowing more money, they took back money their customers were essentially borrowing from them. 4. How much do you have and how much do you need? Raising Capital
  20. 20. 4. How much do you have and how much do you need? It’s easy to spend someone else’s money. Raising Capital
  21. 21. It’s easy to spend someone else’s money. But before you borrow, take a look at how you manage cash flow. You may already have what you need. 4. How much do you have and how much do you need? Raising Capital
  22. 22. 5. How do you fit into the company you’re buying? A veterinary management company was purchasing or partnering with vet clinics across the country. • Pet owners like the experience of going to a local vet • The idea of going to a vet chain would have been widely rejected • No one who worked for the vet management company was actually a vet or had any vet training The company had to find a way to integrate themselves into the clinics without devaluing them. Mergers and Acquisitions
  23. 23. Rather than assuming control of the companies they purchased, they played a supporting role. • Their company name is not visible in any of the clinics they own • They let the vets manage the day-to-day operations of the clinics • They have 97% vet retention in their clinics They were humble enough to recognize their place. 5. How do you fit into the company you’re buying? Mergers and Acquisitions
  24. 24. It’s easy to walk in to a company you buy and immediately put your stamp on it. 5. How do you fit into the company you’re buying? Mergers and Acquisitions
  25. 25. It’s easy to walk in to a company you buy and immediately put your stamp on it. By understanding what you’ve purchased, you may find that being a silent partner (even when you have a majority stake), is the best arrangement for success. 5. How do you fit into the company you’re buying? Mergers and Acquisitions
  26. 26. 6. When is doing nothing riskier than doing something? In 1998, after years of unpopularity, eggs were making a comeback and one egg farm wanted to lead the way. • Cholesterol fear is what drove the market downturn • Another downturn could easily happen again • Every egg farmer that survived would have their own plan to make up for lost profits The egg farm knew it had to stand out in what would be a very loud marketplace. Innovation
  27. 27. Rather than continuing to produce the same old eggs, they altered the biological make-up of eggs – something that had never been done. • They infused their eggs with Omega-3 fatty acids to make them healthier • They created the first on-the-shelf egg white product • These and other innovations led to 13 Canadian Product of the Year wins Their eggs are now endorsed by the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Health Check Program. 6. When is doing nothing riskier than doing something? Innovation
  28. 28. 6. When is doing nothing riskier than doing something? It’s easy to maintain the status quo. Innovation
  29. 29. It’s easy to maintain the status quo. But if you’re not dreaming big, one of your competitors is. And if you’re not coming up with the next great thing, they are. 6. When is doing nothing riskier than doing something? Innovation
  30. 30. An energy company was having trouble finding men who wanted to be electricians. • The‘90s downturn sent many aspiring electricians on different career paths • Many boomers who took up the trade during their time were approaching retirement • The trade colleges in the company’s province were in remote, inconvenient locations They knew they would be facing a labour shortage if they couldn’t attract and retain skilled people. 7. How are you finding the best people? Attracting Talent
  31. 31. Rather than continue searching for more men, they invested in women; an untapped source of human capital in the industry. • They created an on-site training program for women • Their female electricians led by example and recruited others • Only 1% of the province’s electricians are women, but this company employs 15% of them They also have a successful aboriginal employment outreach program. 7. How are you finding the best people? Attracting Talent
  32. 32. It’s easy to think there’s only one ‘right kind of person’ for a job. 7. How are you finding the best people? Attracting Talent
  33. 33. It’s easy to think there’s only one ‘right kind of person’ for a job. Keep an open mind and instruct your hiring managers to do the same. It can lead you to valuable human capital you may have never considered. 7. How are you finding the best people? Attracting Talent
  34. 34. 8. Are there redundancies in your process? A countertop company recognized a flaw in their process – and in the industry as a whole. • Installers would measure a space, cut a Cardboard template, then drive the template to the workshop • The stone-cutters would then cut the slab to match the template • They were measuring twice to cut once, while also wasting time and fuel transporting cardboard They knew they could be more productive by eliminating the cardboard template. Productivity
  35. 35. Rather that doing away with the template altogether, they digitized the entire process to ensure more precision and increased productivity. • They invested in a mobile device that linked installers directly to the workshop • They significantly reduced the time it took to complete a job • They reduced opportunities for error by 50% They reported a 33%-50% improvement in productivity. 8. Are there redundancies in your process? Productivity
  36. 36. It’s easy to stick to the process you’ve always known. 8. Are there redundancies in your process? Productivity
  37. 37. It’s easy to stick to the process you’ve always known. Standing back and evaluating it once in a while can lead you to opportunities you might not have seen, technologies you might not have thought were possible, and improvements you might not have considered. 8. Are there redundancies in your process? Productivity
  38. 38. As you can see, it’s the simple questions that often lead to the best solutions. We’ve been working with Canada’s Best Managed Companies for 20 years and they consistently demonstrate the power of simple thinking. We can help you succeed like they do.
  39. 39. To learn more about Canada’s Best Managed Companies and how to become one, contact us at: bestmanagedcompanies@deloitte.ca Professional coaching throughout the process makes applying to become a Best Managed company a benefit in itself. Let’s talk about your strategies for success. JOIN THE #BESTMANAGED CONVERSATION Follow @DeloitteCanada Like Deloitte Canada
  40. 40. Want to read more? Our “8 simple questions” were inspired by stories in the best-selling business book, Power of the Best: Innovative Strategies from Canada’s Best Managed Companies. In Power of the Best, authors Peter Brown and John Hughes delve into the key themes that are essential to business success, illustrated by front-line examples from owners and executives of Canada's Best Managed Companies.
  41. 41. Deloitte, one of Canada's leading professional services firms, provides audit, tax, consulting, and financial advisory services. Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see www.deloitte.com/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms. © Deloitte LLP and affiliated entities. 14-2042T

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