Roy's Blog: February 2011

February 21, 2011

5 simple ways to craft your unique competitive advantage

If you’re not DiFFERENT, you’re dead. If you’re not ReMARKABLE, you’re invisible. If you’re an indistinguishable member of the competitive herd you go unnoticed.

And the end is near.

The ONLY Statement is your way out. It’s your way of clearly defining how your organization is different from the competition, and is expressed by “We are the only ones they…”.

Only one

Here are the critical five steps to create the ONLY statement.

1. Decide WHO you are going to serve. You can’t be all things to all people. You don’t have unlimited resources. You need to focus your efforts on those customers who love what you do and who have the potential to satisfy your financial growth goals.

2. Determine WHAT you intend to deliver to your chosen customer groups. You must deliver VALUE (it’s about what your customers receive, not what you produce), BE relevant (you had better address the top wants and desires of the customers you are going after). and BE Unique (you must be the ONLY ones who do what you do).

3. Craft your ONLY Statement. “We are the only ones that….”. Deliver relevant unique VALUE to the WHO. Claim the ONLY position.

4. Reach out to your frontline people and the WHO. Check with them to determine if they see your ONLY Statement as relevant (does it address the top wants of your target customers?) AND true (do you really deliver what you say you do?).
Don’t get carried away with your own thinking. Do a reality check before pronouncing your ONLY to the world.

5. Develop an action plan to implement your ONLY. Test it for relevance and believability. Communicate it internally. Translate it into behaviors you expect people to exhibit every day. Include these behaviors into your performance management system to make it matter.
Compensate folks on the ONLY behaviours. Decide on the critical few things you need to do in order to implement your ONLY Statement.

There you have it. The lens through which you can grow your organization and stand-out from all others.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 2.21.11 at 10:59 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

February 17, 2011

3 simple ways to make your plan amazing

Your planning process must fit the realities organizations are confronted with these days. Volatility. Randomness. Chaos. Unpredictability. Relentless change.

Yet in spite of these dynamics, traditional Business Planning 101 is still advocated by educators and is used by most organizations. SWOTS, in-depth issues analysis, predictability modelling and mathematical assessment of alternatives pervade the planning process.

Amazing planning

The objective seems to be to seek the last bit of perfection in the plan and then assume that it will be effectively executed as written.

BIG mistake. Nothing ever turns out the way you planned. NOTHING.

Nothing is EVER perfect and trying to seek the 100% solution is unproductive in any case.

The planning model to fit current times must be flexible. It must accommodate unexpected change. It must achieve results. It must generate enthusiasm . It must scare the pants off the competition.

Here are three things you can do to to make your planning process more relevant:

1. Get your plan just about right. It will never be perfect so why bother?
Get it directionally right. Don’t tie yourself down to an outcome based on “all things remaining equal” because they’re not.

2. Execute flawlessly. Take your imperfect plan and be brilliant at executing it. Spend 80% of your time figuring out how to implement it and 20% determining it’s essence.
It is a failure of leadership that plans fall short on execution.

3. Learn and adjust on the run. Learn what’s working and not working through execution. And adjust your plan based on this learning.
Build in a feedback loop so you get real time information on how well plan expectations are being achieved.

Get comfortable with the fact that your future is uncertain.

Get comfortable with imprecision. With a bit of vagueness. With the fact that you can iterate yourself to success if you pay attention to your results and learn from them.

Execution driven planning is what is needed to distinguish yourself from the competitive herd.

Take the step.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 2.17.11 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink

February 14, 2011

What happens when you depend only on forecasting?

In today’s volatile environment, random external events challenge the traditional techniques used to manage them.

Many businesses, however, still rely almost exclusively on traditional forecasting tools and models to predict where they will be in the future, leaving little room for these unexpected events.

Exclusive use of these tools to predict business outcomes is a recipe for disaster.

You cannot assume that the future will be an extension of the past.

To do so would suggest that past successes will determine future wins.

In an all-things-remaining-equal environment you might be able to get away with this. But the fact is that as a business looks forward in time, all things are not equal.
The only thing we can count on is facing uncertainty at an accelerating pace with significant impact on our organizations.

Forecasting tools

Predictive tools and methodologies do play a valuable role in business. They offer one version of an outcome. But that outcome may likely be wrong. We have all seen how unexpected forces in the market cause a predicted outcome to fall short of expectations.

Think of the trend line version of your future as a baseline view from which you need to be prepared to move when things start to go haywire. In the rarest of circumstances a random event may create a windfall for a company; when it does, rejoice. And then prepare yourself for a shock that will take you in the opposite direction.

Successful organizations understand the need to learn from the past and apply that learning to future scenarios. They also know that we can count on facing predictable uncertainty at an accelerating pace, causing organizational discontinuity.
They must lead into an uncertain future by introducing new ideas, concepts and tools to prevent organizational mortality.

Those that don’t, continue to toil on in the mistaken belief that the actions behind past successes will continue to work in the future; those organizations die.


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 2.14.11 at 11:00 am by Roy Osing
  • Permalink