Podcast 014 – Dirk Milliman – Importance of Board’s “Owning the Problem”

Podcast 014 – Dirk Milliman – Importance of Board’s “Owning the Problem”

By on Feb 16, 2015 in Accountability, Associations, Board Leadership, Board of Directors, Board President, Disruption, Navigator, Podcast, Purposeful Disruption, Reinvention, Simplify | 0 comments

Get a behind the scenes look at why one association decided it was time to reinvent and how they made it work. This week’s guest:   Dirk Milliman, Owner of Milliman Communications and member of the Michigan Press Association Board of Directors Co-hosts: Mike Bills, owner and CEO of MB Strategies, and PureReinvention founding member Misty Elliott.


Photo from Jan 2015 Photo Stream copy




Near the beginning of the interview, around the 2:30 mark, Dirk describes how the composition of many boards today have shifted from a group of owners to a group of employees and why that changes the direction of the board.

At 6:50 Dirk explains what disrupted Michigan Press Association and made the board recognize it was time to change course.


“{Board meetings] turn into a lot of brainstorming. Lots of good ideas. “Let’s do this, let’s do this.” They key is – who is the ‘let’s’?” (3:00)

“We certainly can’t do it the way we’ve been doing it. So let’s figure out a better way to do it.” (8:40)

“You can’t cut yourself to health. You have to grow.” (18:50)

“I think sometimes in our quest to solve problems we put too complicated a solution in place.” (25:49)

Main Take-Aways:

1 – “Purposeful” disruption – Disruption with ownership is vital in the reinvention process.

2 – Ownership changes the way a person makes decisions that affect the organization.

3 – Successful teams push each other and ask meaningful questions and view the problem from an owner’s perspective.

4 – We have to work hard to simplify every aspect of the process.

5 – The role of a third party navigator is very important to bring stakeholders together and to help the owners approach the problem from a different angle.


Next episode: February 23, 2015 – Mike Bills and Misty Elliott discuss the third pillar of PureReinvention – Simplify.

Produced by: Will Carlson, WillPower Consulting (www.williamrcarlson.com)


Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *