Roy's Blog

November 9, 2015

Cost cutting is a sign of irrelevance

When do organizations launch cost cutting programs?

When their bottom line is suffering.

Or more specifically, when revenue falls below expectations.

Or even more specifically, when sales volume drops to unacceptable levels.

What causes sales volume to wane (assuming that prices haven’t been increased)?

Customer demand goes down because people don’t find value in doing business with the organization anymore.

A sure sign that the organization is on its way to irrelevance.

Look around you. There are many examples of companies that are “on the hunt” for significant cost reductions because of a soft revenue line.

The irony is that they don’t have a cost problem; they have a relevance problem.

If you are in this situation and have to cut costs to survive in the short run, take 30% of the cost savings and reinvest them in “relevance enhancement” initiatives.


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  • Posted 11.9.15 at 04:51 am by Roy Osing
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November 2, 2015

To be successful, you have to do more than “apply your knowledge”

So many people when asked what they want to do after they graduate say something like “I would like a job in marketing where I can apply what I learned in school.”

It is natural to want to make use of the knowledge gained in your area of expertise. You spend many years learning many subjects that cover your chosen academic path and want to try them out in the real world.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: what you learn at school is merely the table stakes for a successful career; it guarantees nothing. That said, without some type of formal learning background and you are unlikely to be able to enter the race.

There are many highly educated people out there who can’t get a job in the profession or company they desire (I ran into a woman serving in the Marriott Copenhagen lounge who had both a Law and Masters of International Affairs degree; not uncommon.)

To be successful you have to do MORE than “apply your knowledge”.

You have to LEVERAGE what you know to position yourself for career opportunities.

So If you have an MBA you will want to position yourself NOT as an MBA’er but as someone who is able to help take the organization where it needs to go.
Your academic credentials allow you to have insights on business problems. You are a business problem solver first; MBA second or third or fourth or…

The point is, lead with what unique value you can deliver; not with your pedigree.

Learn what your organization NEEDS to meet its strategic goals; work on objectives and tactics that line up with the desired future and give 110% of yourself to execution every day you show up.

in answer to the question I would like to hear: “After I graduate I intend to be the only marketing manager in the company I choose to work for that is viewed by others as a senior employee within 24 months.”

Declare your end game.

Pledge to be unique.

Trust that WHAT you know will get you there. 


As Featured On EzineArticles
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 11.2.15 at 04:56 am by Roy Osing
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October 26, 2015

2 questions to get the creative juices flowing

There are significant challenges facing innovation in any organization.

People are taught to be cautious and to make “informed” decisions based on thorough and rigorous analysis. As a result the process tends to be long and arduous and faces numerous levels of scrutiny before a decision is finally reached. Paralysis by analysis often sets in and current business momentum is maintained. Nothing changes.

People are taught to avoid making mistakes. They witness how punishment is handed out to their colleagues and decide that risky actions have too much personal downside; they prefer the status quo. Nothing changes.

These powerful forces act against creativity in most organizations; here is my “formula” for letting the innovative juices flow:

1. Creativity = “How do we get there?”

If you know how to get from “A” to “B” the Creative Incentive Quotient – CIQ – is zero. On the other hand, if you have absolutely no idea how to reach your destination the CIQ is high.

Creativity is not spawned by applying analytical tools that draw upon historic performance to predict future results. Trend line thinking stultifies breakthrough action as it merely extends past performance with the expectation that the future will somehow mirror it.

Creativity is driven by declaring a goal without knowing exactly how it will be achieved and doing the hard entrepreneurial work to figure it out. It’s about having the intestinal fortitude to enter uncharted waters, pointing your ship in the general direction you want to go, and navigating – creating – as you go.

Creativity is killed by not wanting to go forward without knowing how the end goal will be achieved. I see people shut down when confronted with the objective of doubling revenue in 24 months because they don’t know how to do it. They stop, say the objective is “unrealistic” and adopt an uninspiring target that they think they can achieve. CIQ = 0. Creative juices don’t flow.

Creative juices flow more when the way to achieve the goal is unclear when you begin.

2. Creativity = “What do we have to do differently?”

Listen to the conversation that pervades most organizations today: “What is best in class doing?” is the driver of most activity. Benchmarking the leader of the pack and copying them absorbs everyone’s time and energy; yet even if you are successful you remain in the pack like everyone else.

Benchmarking is the tool of sameness. It does not get the creative juices flowing, and you won’t separate yourself from the pack. CIQ = low (some juice might flow as improvements are made based on others’ experience). And if you don’t stand-out from the pack, what does your long term future look like?

It goes like this: sameness = mediocrity = invisibility = irrelevance = dying = dead (sooner or later).

To be successful in the long run, CIQ MUST be high; creativity must force you out of the pack and make you relevant and unique.

Creativity is launched by asking these questions: “How can we BE DiFFERENT?”, “How can we BE CoNTRARIAN?”, “How can we go in the OpPOSITE direction to the leader of the pack?”.

The unknown and uniqueness are the drivers of creativity; what’s your CIQ?


As Featured On EzineArticles
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.26.15 at 04:28 am by Roy Osing
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October 19, 2015

Cranky + a sunset doesn’t mix

Serious customer service issues arise when a frontline person’s attitude is out of whack with the ambience of the moment.

A cranky server when a beautiful sunset is being experienced magnifies the customer service problem.

Be cranky in the rain and you just might get away with it.

But do it in a touching emotional moment and you’re out there naked with no where to hide.

So all you customer service people who would rather not deal with humans, don’t piss people off when their moment is memorable.

Do it when they’re not that happy either and your performance may not get noticed.


As Featured On EzineArticles
Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 10.19.15 at 03:45 am by Roy Osing
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