Roy's Blog: July 2013

July 29, 2013

3 questions for leaders when on the brink of disaster

First what does it mean? It’s not an EBITDA problem. An inventory turn issue. The need to rationalize your product line.

The end is near when you are no longer RELEVANT to your fans.

CEO’s can be good denial artists. They suddenly turn into rationalizing speech makers who explain away the fact that the grim reaper is at their
doorway and that they are becoming irrelevant.

Yellow Pages believed they could compete with Google; Blackberry believes they are NOT in a death spiral yet to date they have produced nothing substantial to offer that will turn the tide for them.

Rhetoric rules the airwaves. Intent abounds. Aspirations are plentiful.

But no tangible counter play is offered.

Defensive retreat. Saving face. Appeasing the investment community.

The truth is, leadership does not want to believe they are on a path to irrelevance. That they no longer deliver the value they once did. They
want to believe that somehow a miracle will happen and new relevance will be pulled from the hat.

Believing in something is a long way from doing it.

Leaders need to recognize when the end is near.

They need to be honest enough to admit that they are going under unless a drastic intervention is done to re-create themselves.

That they need to start a revolution. Cast aside tradition.

It’s not about leveraging current strengths. It’s about building NEW capabilities that will create NEW relevance FOR PEOPLE.

Create a new GAME not a new play.

3 questions that need to be asked:

1. What would your weirdest fan suggest you do to save your business? Why do all CEO’s believe the big consulting companies know what you should do? THEY DON’T HAVE THE ANSWERS!

2. What if you went in the opposite direction to your competitors? What would a 180-degree plan look like?

3. What desperate things can you do NOW? What, you don’t think you are desperate? You’re fooling yourself.
Desperate times (like becoming irrelevant) demand desperate measures. And I don’t mean just cost cutting.

Execute 3 desperate acts over the next 24-hours.

I’m just saying….


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  • Posted 7.29.13 at 05:41 am by Roy Osing
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July 22, 2013

5 effective things to do with your scarce time

Are you effectively using your time?

To meaningfully answer, you need context; a framework for how you SHOULD use your time.

Effective time management should be looked at from the perspective of what your OVERALL GOALS are.

Goals come in two flavors: organizational and personal.

So the question really becomes: “How do I know if I am using my time wisely in the pursuit of both the organization’s objectives and my personal goals?”

Look at your daily calendar. Consider it your time planner not just a record of time spent.

Use it to allocate your time among critical activities. To ensure you have a high % of “productive time”: how many hours this week are planning to be “on the clock”?.

Your weekly time plan should see you active in the following 5 areas:

1. Executing the objectives you have been assigned from your company’s strategic game plan

2. Meeting with customers to learn what their “secrets” are. How your Brand is perceived. What more can be done to earn their trust and loyalty.

3. Relationship-building with the “foxes” in your organization. The people who key to the career development process; who are involved in making decisions on who gets what position.

4. Meeting with the frontline to determine what you can do to make their jobs easier.

5. Helping your colleagues achieve their objectives. Teams get things done. Ask what others need to deliver. Find out how you can help.

Your days should be organized around these 5 key result areas if you are to use your time effectively.


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  • Posted 7.22.13 at 06:02 am by Roy Osing
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July 15, 2013

Dear leader: what do you really think is going on?

Dear leader,

I have been thinking about contacting you for quite some time.

The more I deal with your organization and experience your products, culture and values the more I feel compelled to share my feelings with you as the leader.

I am not sure you are aware of what is actually going on at the “coal face” where your employees meet your customers.

I have read your published business strategy and the “customer focus” you have declared as your #1 priority.

Unfortunately what you THINK is happening ISN’T.

Your people don’t always go out of their way to take care of your customers. In fact sometimes they are down right rude and indifferent.

I actually don’t think some of them like people yet you put them in a customer service role. I wonder about your recruitment process.

Many of your people are not knowledgeable on your products; they can’t answer questions on how they work and the value they create for your customers. Please consider investing more in training.

Your rules and policies make customers feel they are not trusted; that they are out to cheat you. It seems you develop policies to satisfy your own goals (of control) and not to enable your customers to do business with you the way THEY want.

You declare your intent to develop close relationships with your customers, yet your salespeople push products at them thinking only about making a sale. I suspect your sales compensation plan is to generate sales revenue in the short term, otherwise why would they behave this way?

When is the last time you spent time with your frontline employees to get a feel for how your business strategy is being implemented?

When is the last time you have talked to your customers personally about what upsets them about the way they are treated by your company?

When is the last time you have stood in front of your employees face to face to explain exactly how you want customers to be treated? I suspect you don’t fancy the hard work of translating your strategy into what it means on the frontline as one of your key priorities.

What do you think is your highest priority?

I hope you ponder my sentiments and take them in the most positive manner.

I care about your company; please care about me.

Respectfully submitted,

A caring customer


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  • Posted 7.15.13 at 05:12 am by Roy Osing
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July 8, 2013

This is what happens when you have stupid rules

BC Ferries runs the ferry system on the west coast of BC; a recent event rocked the media.

Apparently a young woman, anxious to get home from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island presented her BC ferries experience card to pay for the trip.

She was 10 cents short of the required fare and didn’t have the $60 required to buy another fully loaded card.

Bc ferries


Guess what happened? She was not allowed on the Ferry. The (SUPER DUMB) rule would not allow her to use what was left on her card and top it up with the cash she had.

I suspect she would have given the 25 cents and not asked for change!!!!

And she had to overnight in Nanaimo at her own expense until the banks opened the next morning.


1. Rules like these are invented by employees who don’t consider all the potential situations that could arise.
Seems the rule architects didn’t think a partially loaded card with insufficient funds would ever occur and that a customer might want to top it up with cash.

2. The frontline employee in this case was not allowed to exercise good judgment and waive the rule for 10 cents. Ridiculous!

3. When you do something stupid like this you must recover and atone for your sins.

Talk about an example of an organization lacking compassion and humanity.

Did I mention that they have a monopoly?


Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

  • Posted 7.8.13 at 06:39 am by Roy Osing
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