Roy's Blog: May 2010

May 24, 2010

How do people programs make service plans successful?

The relationship between HR programs and the ability to deliver a service strategy is critical.

Why are people programs so important? Because programs built for people have an automatic influence on how they behave on a day-to-day basis which, in turn, has a profound impact on delivering dazzling service experiences to customers.

People plan

Here are six critical people programs to effectively implement service strategy.

1. Recruitment - people that “love” other humans are critical to building stand-out service experience. Re-shape the career postings to look for these people; morph the interview guides to explore this attribute in potential candidates.

2. Recognition and reward - imprint these programs on the behaviors and outcomes demanded by your service strategy. Employees need to see when the right stuff is happening; seeing others get the plaudits will drive this home.

3. Leadership development - build servant leaders; establish a strong thrust to get people asking “How can I help?” rather than “Do this!”

4. Mentorship - encourage connectivity with others in the organization that personify the skills and competencies valued to deliver mind-blowing service.

5. Union working agreement - this is HUGE… the terms and conditions of the Agreement must facilitate not impede the execution of your service strategy. Seniority and other parochial expectations have nothing to do with dazzling customers.

6. Internal communications - ensure all employee communications is heavily focused on talking about service - successes, failures, service “heros” and customer feedback. Keep service alive with the people that make it so, 24X7.


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  • Posted 5.24.10 at 12:00 pm by Roy Osing
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May 20, 2010

Why do great leaders “eat their own dog food”?

How often have you heard a leader in your organization preach a set of values and yet don’t consistently demonstrate them? For these people it is easier to give other people advice than to listen to their own words and practice them unconditionally.

They talk about creating a risk-taking culture but punish those that make mistakes.

They talk about being customer focused but they have no calendar time dedicated to meeting with customers.

They talk about people as the most important asset of the organization but they have a closed-door policy and it is impossible for employees to get face time with them.

This type of behavior does not go unnoticed by the tribes in the organization. Employees see the inconsistency between words and action and they are left with the conclusion that it is all a facade and the leader doesn’t really mean what they say. As a result the organization falters. Little progress is made towards a healthier future. Employee satisfaction plummets. Competitors plunder.

The business eventually fails.

Dog food

Amazing leaders “eat their own dog food”.


—passionately communicate the strategic game plan of the organization in minute detail to define the precise behaviors necessary to successfully execute it.

—focus on the few critical things that must be done to make the strategy come alive and they model the appropriate behaviour.

—spend copious amounts of time with employees clarifying the required behaviour.

—don’t ask others to do anything they are not prepared to do themselves.

—treat their personal life as an extension of work, and personally model the strategic behaviors required in the organization.

Aalign every aspect of their position responsibilities to the strategic goal and behave accordingly.

—openly communicate their pain. Employees need to see that leaders suffer disappointment like everyone else.

—make a point of showing employees how they have matched words with action. They make the behavior they want explicit for people.

The “do as I say and not what I do” thing doesn’t work. It’s an insult to people’s intelligence.

Step up. Eat your own dog food.


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  • Posted 5.20.10 at 12:59 pm by Roy Osing
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May 17, 2010

How to be amazing at learning about your customers

Customer Learning is an essential component of “customerization: the practice of creating packages of value for a select targeted group of customers as opposed to the more traditional marketing approach of flogging products to mass markets.

Customer Learning is beyond market research. It is a continuous process of learning about customers and uses employees as the primary instruments to do the learning work.

Customer learning won’t get established in your organization by a wish and a prayer.


It requires a clear strategy supported by continuous investment.

Here are some support activities designed to create the appropriate learning behavior in your organization.

1. constant communication to employees on the strategic importance of continually learning about what customers desire.

2. reinforcement that customer learning is a core competency of the organization that will determine it’s success or failure.

3. incorporating the learning responsibility into the performance management program. Clarify the expectation that learning is an integral part of every employee’s job.

4. recruiting individuals with the intrinsic ability to relate to people and develop credible relationships with them.

5. developing specific learning objectives to be a critical component of the annual performance plan for every employee.

6. constantly recognizing those who perform their learning responsibility in an exemplary manner. Customer learning heroes need to be honored in front of the entire organization.

7. regular employee learning events to share what people have learned about customers with others and to discuss how the learnings have been turned into marketing opportunities for the organization.


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  • Posted 5.17.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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May 10, 2010

This is the difference between strategy and tactics

You don’t have unlimited time or resources to do a hundred things. If your organization is ‘raining down’ with tactics you could be chasing stuff as opposed to being guided by the strategic direction you have set.

Here are characteristics of both types of organizations. If the ‘tactics drive’ scenario sounds familiar, take a step back, get your strategy defined and THEN decide on the critical few projects necessary to achieve it.

Tactics or strategy

Tactics drive:
- numerous projects going on; people complain that there is too much to do.
- aspirations drive the activity, like “we intend to be best in customer service”.
- many project teams throughout the organization. Almost everyone is on one.
- projects are measured individually in terms of deliverables.
- activities lack a strong common thread among them.
- divergent actions persist. Projects are in conflict and are often heading in opposite directions.
- projects are often lead by individual Departments and carry with them intrinsic bias as a result.
- people are frustrated with too much activity and lack of synergy.
- people complain that there is no approves course that all of the activities follow.
- leadership is criticized for not providing the overall direction to justify all of the projects going on.
- consultants are brought in to assist and they are forced to subordinate organizational issues to those of the individual projects.

Strategy drives:
- a handful of projects key to influencing 80% of the results are active.
- a strategic game plan (SGP) drives all the activity. Everyone has direct line of sight to it for guidance.
- a few focused project teams exist.
- projects are measures in terms of SGP expectations.
- the common thread among all activities is contribution to the SGP.
- synergy acts among all activities; they are monitored to ensure they are acting in unison.
- projects are primed at the organization level. Project leaders are appointed corporately based on skills and competencies to deliver expected results.
- people are energized as efforts are focused and are balanced to achieve the most meaningful results.
- people recognize that the SGP is the driving force behind all that goes on.
- leaders are acknowledged as effectively moving the organization forward.
- consultant activity is limited to areas where new expertise is required. They are all managed relative to SGP results.

Avoid the tactics until you are satisfied you have a clear enough SGP to be a beacon of all activity in your organization…


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  • Posted 5.10.10 at 01:00 pm by Roy Osing
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