Roy's Blog: December 2010

December 30, 2010

#ServingCustomers: The House of YES

A sign that reads The House of YES sits above the kitchen area of every Cactus Club Restaurant in Canada.

Recently, I asked a server what it meant to her, and here is what she said:

- their mission is “Every Customer Leaves Happy”

- their culture is to “say YES” to whatever their customer wants;

- if someone wants something that is not on the menu the kitchen will happily make it;

- if the customer’s request involves an ingredient that they don’t have, they will run out and get it. For example a special drink that requires a liquor not in stock. They will go to the liquor store and buy it. WOW!

- she is empowered to make whatever decision is needed to “say YES”

- her manager is there to support whatever she does. Management’s role is to make it easier for servers to say YES, not to give them orders.


A servant leadership strategy for any organization is tough to achieve. It requires frontline serving behaviors that are supported by Management.

Cactus Club has figured it out.

Nice job!

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.30.10 at 10:58 am by Roy Osing
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December 27, 2010

Choose wierd fans to serve and you just might…

One path to stand out from the crowd is to choose a customer group to serve and do it in a way that is completely different than anyone else: products and services offered, the customer experience created and deep, intimate customer relationships could be the ways to succeed.

There is another approach that might also work.

What if we targeted people who were:

- “weird”. Who have really different tastes than everyone else. Not just sightly different but orders-of-magnitude different?
- not just border line eccentric but way over the top?
- connected to people who liked to stand out in a crowd?
- contrarians who refuse to go with the flow and go in the opposite direction?


They could be described as being odd in terms of the market norm (whatever that is).

What if we chose these people to serve and did everything we could to dazzle them?

Could that be a winning strategy in terms of establishing uniqueness and distinction in the cluttered and overcrowded marketplace that we all find ourselves in?

I think so.

The winning strategy might just be possible by picking different people to serve.

Pick DiFFERENT people to serve.

A “normal” solution to a “weird” person just might be revolutionary, remarkable and unforgettable!

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.27.10 at 10:55 am by Roy Osing
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December 23, 2010

Wanted: Vice President - Experience Marketing


Marketing today is boring, lazy and lacks imagination. Probably 95% of all marketing activity is spent flogging products to mass markets. So is the rest of the herd. Sameness proliferates. Undifferentiation happens. Corners are rounded to try and satisfy everyone with a bland result.

Product myopia is the result of a supply-minded view. Marketers are infatuated with the capabilities of what they produce. The coolness of their technology. The functionality of the thing.

The problem is, with virtually everyone follwing this marketing prescription, no organization achieves the exhalted position of DiSTINCTION, UnFORGETTABILITY, UnIQUENESS, GaSPWORTHINESS and ReMARKABILITY.

Consumers see a blur of offerings and capabilities with no one standing out from the herd. VALUE is a spoken word with no substance. It’s all about the “iron” of production. The secret desires of the fan are lost in the flurry of Product Management activity to ship the product.

We need to intervene and change the course of Marketing. People buy when they are Happy (thanks Tony Hsieh of Zappos for his thoughtful book “Delivering Happiness”). Tangible goods don’t create long term happiness. If what-is-promised is delivered in terms of functionality consumers rate the product a ‘C’. No adulation and loyalty is produced. Happiness wanes and disappears into the feature cloud.

People remember EXPERIENCES. They FEEL experiences. They talk to others about experiences. They buy repeatedly on experiences. They are happier when they are in a memorable experience. Not rocket science. So why don’t Marketers listen? Because we are a “push” enterprise society. But it has to change.

The new world marketing MUST focus on creating Dazzling ExPERIENCES for their fans. Where feelings reign supreme. Where emotion rules. Where marketing success is measures by how blown away the customer was with the Experience Offer rather than how many sold.

We have a long way to go. Marketing needs the Experience Virus, or rather leaders need to get with the program! Lets add Experience Managers to the marketing organization to be held accountable to create Offers that crystallize high emotion experiences based on the Secrets learned about their high-value fans.


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  • Posted 12.23.10 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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December 20, 2010

Are you a change leader or change manager?


Stand-out organizations are dominated with people with a Change Leadership profile.

Here, in Quick Hit form is the contrast with Leaders and Managers of change:

The change manager          
- Loves continuity  
- Protects status quo                    
- Manages momentum
- Limply reacts to unforeseen events            
- Incremental change artist
- Huge Comfort Zone
- Tolerates change
- Takes baby steps
- Evolutionary speed

The change leader
- Hates continuity; loves change
- Morphs current state to something new
- Creates discontinuity
- Brilliant reaction agent
- Breakthrough change driver
- Huge Discomfort Zone
- Drives change
- Takes Giant leaps
- Revolutionary speed

What if your organization had more change leaders than managers?

Remarkable not invisible. Distinctive not common. Unique not average.

DiFFERENT not dead.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 12.20.10 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
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