PeopleFirst! with Michael Canic


By Morag Barrett

Michael Canic is the President and Chief Flag-Bearer (love that title!) of Making Strategy Happen, a consulting firm that turns ambition into strategy, and strategy into reality through strategic management consulting, provocative presentations, and a dynamic resource center.

Back to Basics... 

Michael wanted to be an Aerospace Engineer and even went to university with that intent. A course in Kinesiology transformed his entire career trajectory. He became fascinated with the psychology of performance, especially in business. Some fast facts before we dive in...
 

Fast Facts: 

  • His favorite food is sushi … especially when paired with a fine, cold sake!
  • Not your typical sports fan, Michael enjoys Formula 1 auto racing, US college football, and championship curling.
  • Before it’s all said and done, Michael intends to earn a black belt in Aikido and write a book on philosophy.

Okay, moving on. Here are just a few nuggets from our conversation to pique your curiosity - you’ll gain so much by pulling up a chair and watching this episode
 

Smoldering Discontent… AND Why It’s Important

This goes into the psychology of human performance and change. Turns out, pain is a more reliable predictor of change than pleasure. The part we have to figure out is what is causing discontentment and pain in order to enact change. If we’re being honest… strategic planning and execution… kinda sucks. That’s because most of us look at strategic planning as an event when it’s really a process. (Let that seep in!) Understanding that the strategy is a process is key when executing your change initiatives. 
 

Why Companies Fail

A great many companies fail when executing strategies. Why? There’s not anything you can do, it’s EVERYTHING you can do. Every arrow has to point to the goal. If one arrow is misaligned, your strategic plan is at risk, and it won’t work. You’ve set yourself up to fail. How does failure feel? Back to the initial point - it sucks. Mixed messages kill companies. Ruthless consistency (read as unwavering commitment) is critical to implementing the upcoming changes. 
 

The Magic Word

Every business wants engagement (spoiler, that’s the magic word) internally and externally. One of the biggest mistakes managers make is communicating AT people instead of WITH people. This squelches engagement. The moment of truth comes when a controversial statement is issued, or a question is asked. The solution? Thank the individual for asking the challenging question. This reinforces asking well-intentioned questions. Don’t feel like your answer has to be perfect because guess what? You aren’t perfect. Shocker! You gain more credibility when you acknowledge you don’t know or haven't considered the question posed. 
 

The 2020 Takeaway

Check-in on your people. Care for your people. Use video as much as you can to keep the human connection going. Now, more than ever, that interaction matters! Align actions with intentions and understand that they will shift with our ever-changing environment. In all things? Consistency! Michael’s biggest takeaway? You’ll have to watch or listen for that golden nugget!
 

Watch away: Here! 
 

Treat your earbuds: Here!

Resources:

Michael’s Website


 
Go Back