Roy's Blog: May 2015

May 18, 2015

5 things that #leaders of large organizations can learn from #leaders of small ones

In a previous post, I suggested that there was no basic difference between large and small organizations.

Large and small teams face the same challenges: getting and keeping customers, engaging employees, managing costs and so on. Performance of large vs small, however, is determined by how effective the leader is.

I’m a fan of small business. I admire their passion and commitment.

And their leaders, who can teach “the big guys” a thing or two.

Here are 5 priceless gifts from small business leaders;

1. Get hands on. Feel the “hot breath” of the customer everyday.

2. Get dirty. Feel what it’s like to do your business with insufficient tools and order fulfillment processes that don’t work the way they should. Take customer complaints and learn how painful it can be.

3. Get in the trenches with the frontline. Take customer calls. Learn what it’s like representing your company to “the outside”. Make a point of honouring your frontline folks who succeed despite of the support they typically get from your managers.

4. Make delivering value your personal priority. It’s not about the company, it’s about YOU, and your personal contribution to what your organization delivers to your customers. Don’t delegate it.

5. Be human and make a fool of yourself.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other leadership articles you might like
The one task leaders should never delegate
What do you do when your boss has a ‘dumb’ idea?
What are you known for as a leader?

  • Posted 5.18.15 at 04:30 am by Roy Osing
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May 11, 2015

The skinny on career planning

Simplify your career planning efforts to these three actions.

1. Develop your 24-month career game plan: the position(s) you want to have; the organization(s) you would like to target; the influencers in each organization you need to develop a relationship with. “In 24 months I intend to be Director of Sales with ABC Company.” will provide the focus you need to get you going. You will soon know if it the right objective; modify as you learn on the go.

2. Create your personal ONLY statement; your competitive value proposition that sets you apart from others. Stop talking about your credentials; start talking about what you do that no one else does. “I am the only one out there that has the combination of sales and operations experience required to take the sales function to a different level in ANY organization.” will earn you the right to have a conversation about how you stand-out from not fit-in to the herd.

3. Gather mentors who can help you achieve your game plan goals. You can’t do it alone. You need a platform of advice that is relevant to your 24-month plan. Read voraciously to discover friends who can help you with the content they create. If you covet a marketing position, read and engage with Seth Godin and add him to your resume’.

These 3 actions work. I used them.

Give them a try.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other articles you might like
Don’t resolve; build your game plan
How to be an un-perfectionist
How to start a new business that DOESN’T fail

  • Posted 5.11.15 at 04:12 am by Roy Osing
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May 5, 2015

The BE DiFFERENT or be dead Manifesto

BE DiFFERENT or be dead is a window on how to be relevant, compelling and unique in a world of hyper-competition, fickle customers and a roller coaster economy.

As with any wide angle lens, it helps to define the elements that make up the big picture.

The BE DiFFERENT or be dead Manifesto provides the sound bites that describe the journey.

— If you’re not DiFFERENT you’re dead (or soon will be)
— BE DiFFERENT = Provide VALUE (an experience, meaning to life) that is RELEVANT (something people CARE about) and UNIQUE (something that ONLY you provide)
— In school you do well when you follow the rules and fit-in; in business you succeed when you separate yourself from everyone else and stand-out
Benchmarking sucks
— Stand-out from Best in Class; don’t copy it
— Create a “just about right” plan and execute it flawlessly
— You don’t want merely to be the best of the best. You want to be the ONLY ones that do what you do

Execute first; plan second
— BE DIFFERENT, not perfect
— Cut the CRAP
Lose the sale but NEVER the customer
— Roy’s Rule of Three: Find 3 things that will achieve 80% of what you want to do and DO THEM
SERVE people don’t “service” them
— Plan on the Run = Plan - Execute - Learn - Adjust - Execute - Learn - Adjust…
—Be good at anticipating; be GREAT at responding
— Discover Customer secrets; needs are not enough
— Create experiences for people; don’t flog products at them
— Service recovery = Screw someone over + Fix it Fast +++ SURPRISE them with what they DON’T expect
— Kill dumb rules
— Hire for goosebumps
— Leadership = serving around
— Create your Strategic Game Plan in just 2 days; EXECUTE it on the 3rd
— (Success) = (Doing) (lots of) (imperfect) (stuff) (fast)
— Leaders micro-manage customer “moments”
— Spend 80% of your time on #execution; the perfect plan is an illusion
— Brilliant execution requires focus on the critical few not the possible many; stop chasing possibilities

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 5.5.15 at 12:45 am by Roy Osing
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April 27, 2015

#Marketing to keep “the bad guys” out is crazy

Traditional marketing is preoccupied to a large extent by erecting barriers to competitive entry; how to prevent competitors from entering someone’s market and poaching their customer base.

Competitive analysis dominates the agenda; detailed studies that examine as many dimensions to a competitor’s strategy as are possible are conducted; the results are used to plot a counter strategy.

This emphasis on trying to keep “the bad guys” out just doesn’t make sense.

1. The knowledge gained is about THEM, their strengths & weaknesses, the markets they focus on and the value they offer. While resources are consumed by this activity, attention is diverted from learning about existing customers.

If you must worry about anything, worry about your loyal customers leaving as opposed to the competitive hordes breaking down your gates.

2. The insights gained from this analysis force reaction. “Here’s what we need to do to respond to what we believe they intend to do” drives strategy building. Being proactive and creating value for current customers should dominate your marketing agenda rather than spending copious amounts of time developing a defensive strategy to protect yourselves from the competition.
A competitive-prompted move can, as well, cause you to move away from your strategy resulting in lack of progress and reduced performance.

3. At the end of the day, it doesn’t work. A hungry competitor will always find a way of entering your markets to compete with you. You can’t stop them. At the very best you might be able to delay them, but in so doing you waste a significant amount of resource that could otherwise have been used to focus on what you need to do to prevent your customers from leaving.

4. A preoccupation with keeping competitors at bay is counterproductive to creating a customer focused culture. Which do you put first: what your customers’ desire OR what the competition is doing?
The requirement to leverage legal and regulatory tools takes priority over getting people to spend their time learning about what customers want and creating value that will WOW! them and convince them to stay.

The telecom industry is a good example of spending an inordinate amount of time and money trying to restrict competition in former monopoly markets. An enormous amount of time money was invested in a time consuming and expensive regulatory process with a predictable outcome.

Competition was permitted with rules benefitting competitors to ensure customers had an alternative to the local telco. Return on investing in the “keep them out” strategy = 0.

I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t pay attention to the competition, existing and potential. But don’t get obsessed about preventing them from doing what is reasonable given free market conditions.

If they have an opportunity with your customers, expect them to make a play but respond by consistently delivering unmatched value; give them strong reasons to stay.

Make it so difficult for your competitors to steal your customers away from you, they will retreat and go elsewhere where “life is easier”.

Build barriers to customer exit; it’s not about the competition.

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

Other marketing articles you might like
Playing the price cutting game isn’t good marketing, it’s insanity
8 ways to build marketing muscle
5 simple steps to get your marketing message across




















  • Posted 4.27.15 at 04:34 am by Roy Osing
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