An Interview with Roy Osing, Part 1

BE DIFFERENT or be dead book coverI had the opportunity to read a great book by Roy Osing called “BE DIFFERENT or be dead.” As I read the book and started posting about it, Roy and I started conversing on Twitter. It has been a fun experience and I must say that Roy is one of the most gracious and committed people I have had the opportunity to get to know in a while.

So I decided to pose a few questions to Roy once I finished up the book. He gladly answered them. But I also want to point this out – he answered them while on a trip to Maui. That’s commitment!

My sincere gratitude goes out to Roy for his help with this interview and for the time he took to answer my questions. Now, let’s take a look at what Roy had to say.

What was your inspiration for writing “BE DIFFERENT or be dead”?

“My book is all about how businesses can navigate the turbulent waters of the contemporary economy.  The material in my book is based on my career as a business executive, entrepreneur and leader in the telecommunications industry, and as a business consultant. My performance enhancement and survival ideas are based on solid business principles that have been successfully implemented in the real world.

In the book I focus on strategies that I have personally developed and executed: things you can do today to immunize your organization against performance decline and business failure tomorrow. Strategies that work.”

Roy Osing
Roy Osing

Who is the prime audience for your book?

“Any organization of any type and any size looking for ways to build their performance, thrive and survive. I have worked extensively with non-profits as well as businesses per se. My material is not specific to any type of business; rather it applies to all.

I have targeted my work in the short terms however to small to medium business who generally don’t have the resources to help themselves. My Seminars have been a raving sucess to this segment. Check out my web site (Seminars and Events page) for feedback I have received from Seminar participants.

My work has a very broad appeal to anyone who is seeking proven ways for organizational success and long term survival. As such it will appeal to executives and managers in any type and size of business who are involved in strategy development, marketing, sales and service roles. Small business owners/operators and entrepreneurs who are intending to launch a new business will also benefit from the ‘must do’ ways to build success fast and ensure that they are around to enjoy the benefits of their work for years to come.

In addition, any not-for-profit organization can benefit from the BE DiFFERENT course to sharpen their strategy (even charitable societies compete with others for the scarce donation dollar), and hone their marketing and sales tactics to enhance the inflow of funds to support their specific cause. Serving their constituents also has special meaning for this sector, and the ideas in the book can be applied here with success as well. I spent several years as a Board member with the BC Cancer Society and BC and Yukon Heart and Stroke Foundation and have been intimately involved in improving the critical functions required to build their donations performance.

Another key audience for my book is the business student population. To supplement the formal business curriculum, BE DiFFERENT offers the real world practical side of what it takes to run a business successfully and build immunization to failure. For the business student, the normal class room experience is augmented by effective approaches that not only work but excite the reader along the way.”

The BE DIFFERENT approach seems to be a top-down method. Did I understand this right? If so, what are the advantages of a top-down model? How would you contrast your approach with that of Tony Hsieh’s and the Zappos team, which seems to be more of a bottom-up approach to cultural change?

“No question, my work is tops-down. My experience is that in order to make real change you require leadership to set the course for the organization and then drive the critical programs to make it happen. There may be exceptions to this approach that also work, but they are few and far between. In fact there is a real problem in business these days with tactics driving the activity rather than a solid Strategic Game Plan.”

What companies do you feel best represent what you advocate for in “BE DIFFERENT”?

“Several examples are in my book as yo have noticed, but a few stand out:

  • Marriott – Dazzling customer service experience. Consistent thru all of their propeerties.
  • Apple – their strategy of “an App for this andan App for that” is an excellent example of what I call “Customerization”, in other words creating experiences (thru each application) for the many diverse types of customer groups they target. Brilliant!”

I will be back tomorrow with some additional Q&A from Roy Osing, author of “BE DIFFERENT or be dead.”


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