The Dead Pixels Society podcast

The Power of Differentiation and Audacious Leadership with Roy Osing

November 30, 2023 Roy Osing Season 4 Episode 142
The Dead Pixels Society podcast
The Power of Differentiation and Audacious Leadership with Roy Osing
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Are you ready to challenge the status quo and dare to be different in business?  Gary Pageau of the Dead Pixels Society sits down with Roy Osing, a seasoned entrepreneur who's trailblazed his way through the Canadian telecom industry, establishing a multi-billion dollar company from scratch over the span of 40 years. Osing's mantra - "be different or be dead" - has been the backbone of his audacious journey, driving him to constantly innovate, creating ripples of value for his customers, and making a name for himself in an aggressively competitive market.

Osing dissects the magic of differentiation through customer experiences. It's not just about selling products, but about offering an experience that customers can't resist while ensuring that you're the only game in town offering it. This discussion is peppered with personal encounters of working with small companies, outlining the significance of differentiation, and the power of prioritizing the customer experience above all else.

Osing also dives into the world of audacious leadership and its role in shaping business strategy. He shares the story of assisting a boat-selling company in crafting a unique statement centered on the desires of its customers. He also touches upon the concept of leadership by serving, and how this seemingly simple idea can pave the way to success in business.

For more information about Osing's work and to join in the conversation, visit https://www.bedifferentorbedead.com/

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Hosted and produced by Gary Pageau
Edited by Olivia Pageau
Announcer: Erin Manning

Erin Manning:

Welcome to the Dead Pixel Society podcast, the photo imaging industry's leading news source. Here's your Ga. ry Pageau gary Dead Pixels Society podcast is brought to you by Mediaclip, Advertek Printing and IP Labs.

Gary Pageau:

Hello again and welcome to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. I'm your host, Gary Pageau, and today we're joined by Roy Osing, who is an entrepreneur with 40 years of experience, and Roy is coming to us from Vancouver today. Hi Roy, how are you today?

Ray Osing:

I'm fine, Gary. Thanks so much for having me on. I appreciate it.

Gary Pageau:

So you have a long history as an entrepreneur who has built up to a major multi-billion-dollar company, right? So tell us a little bit about that journey before we get into our topic of the basic business principles you need to do to stand out from the crowd.

Ray Osing:

Yeah, so I guess my story goes back a long way, when I joined the telecom industry early on and observed that, as we were going through pretty substantial changes, that we had some major challenges about how to win in a competitive environment and be relevant to customers, and so this whole notion of be different or be dead, which is kind of like my mantra started then, and I started a journey to figure out how to be different in literally everything I could do, and so I would kind of did strategic meandering around and up the organization until I finally, I guess, got tired of me doing that and asked me to take over the president's role of this data and internet company when the internet was just getting going. And so I took that challenge and, yeah, we just had it. It was a ride man. It was a fast growing market. We did some simple, fundamental things that resonated in lit fires.

Gary Pageau:

What was the time frame there? Was that dial up era or post dial up? Yeah?

Ray Osing:

I mean, one and a half megabits was super fast. I mean, you know I still got a hearing problem from that feedback right that you get with dial up. But we knew that the potential was huge and so we set upon this journey that in retrospect was quite amazing to me and the people that I worked with and I get goosebumps when I think we got a billion in annual sales, that today that business is 18 billion a year.

Gary Pageau:

OK.

Ray Osing:

And I like to think that my team had a little bit to do with it.

Gary Pageau:

So were you with that company your entire career, or what was the?

Ray Osing:

Yeah, yeah, I was actually. And you know my kids would say, dad, what on earth are you continuing to work for that communications company for so long? And I said, well, easy, it may be one employer, but it's a big company with with super opportunities all over the place. So it wasn't a single kind of like a silo employer and I had opportunities to do everything in operations and marketing and sales. And I mean about the only thing I didn't do because I didn't want to, was was finance, although I practiced, obviously, finance in the leadership roles I had.

Gary Pageau:

Because I think that's one of the things entrepreneurs struggle with is can you be an entrepreneur in a big company? Right, yeah, and I tell people yes, you can do that all the time if the company lets you, right.

Ray Osing:

Well, I would go a step further. You can do it, irrespective of what the company wants you to do or not. There's always ways. Look, it's easy to say I couldn't succeed because they wouldn't let me. Ok, it's easy to say that, Gary, and it's nothing but a freaking cop out. My view, I mean, if you you realize the pushback. I got trying to be different in a telecom world that was highly unionized, very set in his ways, and yet here we have this internet opportunity that required us to do things differently, sitting in a traditional culture, ok, so that was hard. That required us to be innovative and creative and entrepreneurial in spite of everybody else. And we did it. Ok, but you have to like pain. I learned to. Pain, indeed, is a strategic concept, and unless you understand that and have it, you can't be an entrepreneur. So I resent the implication when people tell me well, I can't do it because they won't let me, and I just keep. I just say, well, clearly you're not wanting it enough and you're not looking hard enough and you're not trying enough. So get over yourself and get out there and do something.

Gary Pageau:

And when reading through your material, the word audacious keeps coming up. How do you define that in terms of, you know, kind of differentiating a mainstream everyday business and an audacious business?

Ray Osing:

Well, audacious, of course, you know, is connotes and is defined with such words as courageous ness as boldness right as astonishing. The whole notion of the word for me is getting out of the box and creating a new box. And you can't do that. Ok, you cannot be innovative and creative if you're playing inside the same box you've got, because then you end up horribly difficult competition and you end up basically copying what everybody else does. So audaciousness, ok, running through your veins, in my view, drives you to be standing out, drives you to be different, drives you to innovate and create, without which, in my experience, you just can't do that. Now, if you don't want to do that, if you don't want to be an entrepreneur, that that's busting the edge and creating new stuff and new value for people. That's OK. You don't have to be audacious, but for me it was a prerequisite. It energize me, it's running through my veins, it forces me all the time to look for opportunities to step out, be different from the herd and get on with it.

Gary Pageau:

So can you give us an example of something audacious or out of the box you did at this, at the company that you saw was needed to lift their business? Like you said, it's a very mainstream sort of, I would say, routine business, but it kind of is it builds infrastructure and it sells access to that infrastructure. I mean, that's kind of what a telecom company does. So what would be an example of where you had to look at something and say we're going to shake this up and we're going to get better results because of it.

Ray Osing:

Well, that's part of the problem. I mean, engineering dominated businesses are really hard to move off that, and yet that's what we had to do. So we had to figure out how to make this a customer driven company, and so, literally, I mean it's not one thing. Here is a point I want to make If you want to be successful, you have to do a lot of little things Right, and you've got to persevere at that. And so the kinds of things that we did were things that appeal to really the execution side of the house. Okay, so performance doesn't come from the plan, it comes from executing the plan. So my whole world is around. How can I get people bought in and passionate about execution? Well, one of the things that I did silly little things. Okay, we could talk, we could have 16 hours of this, but a silly little thing was what I call cleanse the inside. I mean, it sounds mundane and it is accepted. It's exceedingly powerful in terms of driving performance. Cleansing the inside of the organization was meant to get rid of the friction. If I could get rid of the friction inside the organization, performance school would go up and we'd get closer to the billion. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, okay, friction points, dumb rules that customers hate Okay, there's not an organization out there that doesn't have a rule that pisses their customers off and yet we say no all the time to them. We push the policy, we push the procedure, etc. It occurred to me that we needed to kill those things and get, you know, increase the viscosity inside the organization and get things running smoothly. So I introduced this whole notion of killing dumb rules. I had dumb rules committees all over the organization and realized this organization was 9 or 10,000 people it's not a small organization and the purpose of the dumb rules committee was to identify things didn't make any sense to customers and help us get rid of them. If we couldn't get rid of them, we change them to at least make them customer friendly, because you know there's probably some around that satisfy legal requirements that you can't eliminate, but you sure as heck can morph them into something. And so we had the, we had competitions, we had, we had, we celebrated dumb rules champions a simple little thing like that. And that's what we eliminated the friction going on between us and the customer. That led us to what I call a say yes culture. Okay, because that was a drive, say yes. Okay, remember, this was an engineering dominated, you know internal audit related company, right? So when Roy starts talking about getting rid of friction and saying yes and looking for opportunities to say yes and not know I mean what the hell that was, that was an incredible change. We had a lot of thinking and, of course, pushback ensued, etc. So the dumb rules piece was huge, but it was just one of many. And you know what happened? People loved it. People absolutely loved it. We made it easier for them to do their jobs. Now, this is not rocket science, because they have been telling us for years that we had rules that didn't make any sense to customers. Please change them. Well, guess what? Nobody listened except Roy. When we started listening, things started happening and performance went through the roof.

Gary Pageau:

Is that because the engineering mindset is you know we're going to build something, we're going to put it in place, and if it's broke, don't fix it.

Ray Osing:

Yeah well, engineering is kind of a supply oriented function, it's not a demand oriented function. Okay, so we're going into a world where demand and all the intricacies and dimensions of demand we're going to, we're going to really dictate our future. So, we had to figure that out. So the engineering guys were a little put off because that industry had always been engineering dominated and, look at, that was important, incredibly important, and it's still incredibly important. Okay, it's just that the roles, okay, are changing. Okay, and it's a function of the environment, and so when you go from a monopoly into a competitive world, you had better take care of the demand side of the equation, and that's based. My conclusion was, in order to do that, I've got to have the operations part of this company humming. It's got to be absolutely humming. If it's not humming, we'll never drive performance and we won't drive revenues towards a billion.

Gary Pageau:

So how are you measuring the success of getting rid of these dumb rules? Signups? Was it sales? Was it customer feedback? What was the metric you were using? Or, if there were more than one, what were the top two or three?

Ray Osing:

No, no. It's a great question and the first thing I will say is I have no idea whether that specific program okay worked in and of itself, because I did not do correlation analysis on each and everything. Everybody does that. It's a waste of time. What I did is I looked at my top line revenue and said, okay, am I meeting my targets? Am I getting the growth? Good, that means, in total, things are working. Now does it mean that 10% of that was due to dumb rules? I have no idea and I would never try and figure that out, but what I do know is every employee survey that we did showed engagement was going through the roof. Every customer service survey we did show I was dazzling people. People were surprised and amazed with the fact that we were trying to say yes, gary. Now we didn't say yes to everything, right, you can't do that we said yes three times more today than we did yesterday, and people could see that. They could feel that, because people buy on the basis of passion and feelings, they don't buy on the basis of intellect whatsoever at least in my experience and so we tried not to complicate this right. The top line was going my conclusion was we're doing the right thing, so let's keep pouring it, pouring it, pouring it. If a pinch point showed itself, then we'd look at the pinch point and make some things. But no, I didn't get all tied up in detailed causation analysis, even though I would like to, because my degree is in mathematics. I would have thought that was cool. Well, I didn't do it.

Gary Pageau:

So did this process lead you also into like new product development where, pete you know getting some again, you're reducing friction? Maybe they weren't engineering products per se, but maybe there was a package or a bundle or something like that that it led to that also spur growth?

Ray Osing:

Yeah, I think the first objective that we had was to be able to create what I call gas-worthy experiences for people, because my logic was, if they were feeling good about us, they're going to keep doing business with us somehow. Okay, and they were going to keep doing business with us, then said all right, what are the unsatisfied parts of the business? Like products and services, in my view, are dissatisfiers. In other words, people expect you to have a robust portfolio of products. That's why you're in business. They expect those products to work. If you sell them a six megabit or gigabit internet service, they expect that puppy to be up 24, 7, 365. And when it is, they don't actually give you a call and say, roy, that was the most amazing internet stream I've ever had in my life. Right, they don't do that because they just expect it. But what they will do is, if they've enjoyed doing business with you, if they've loved dealing with your people, okay, that's what they remember. Okay, that's what creates loyalty. So my priority was get the products working, okay, there's absolutely no rocket science, okay, and the kinds of technical capabilities we have coming up in the internet make sure we're in front, okay, or at least with the crowd up on top and then we're going to go out to service experience and that's going to be our differentiation strategy and it worked Okay. We had all the services, but we didn't compete on those services. We competed on the other things that wrapped around the services right, like the experience. You mentioned packages. That's a great lead in. That's one thing that we did do Okay. And because you know we hated bundles. Bundles are just a, you know, a dishonest person's way of passing on lower prices. That's all that is.

Erin Manning:

It's a drawer full of crap.

Ray Osing:

It's absolute crap. But value based bundles, okay, cause I'm a premium price guy, I want to look for ways to get the price up, not the price down, exactly, and adding value to that. We got some great ideas from dealing with customers in those moments, okay, where they were doing business with us and we fed them into marketing and we did a lot of trials and we recognized the customer's contribution and specific names. Et cetera was a ball. We had a good time.

Gary Pageau:

Did this lead you into new and different markets, like retail stores or anything like that, or is that just to improve that? I'm just saying, I'm trying to get a grasp on where this process can lead you, because what happens, I think, with a lot of companies that are especially come with an engineering base, they tend to want to refine, refine, refine and perhaps not grow, grow, grow.

Ray Osing:

Well, I guess what I'm saying is the strategy we've been talking about led to grow, grow, grow. It was because the retention piece was so strong and the referral piece was so strong. It really didn't matter what the hell we were offering in terms of an engineering defined product. They trusted us. I mean, we created this campaign called the Future is Friendly. My company, by the way, was Telus, a national telecom company in Canada. The Future is Friendly. That campaign I introduced in 2002 and it's still here 21 years later. And all it is is a campaign based on saying to you customer, I know technology is changing on you fast and it may be disconcerting, but don't worry, we're going to take the angst of that away and we're going to help you through it. We're going to give you the absolute premium kinds of services. We'll help you understand them, we'll help you get the benefits from them. We're here for you. Boom, that's all it took. Look it. People think growing a business is complicated. It's complicated because there are narratives out there promulgating tactical stuff that, quite frankly, needs to be looked at in that perspective. If you're in the business of creating magical experiences, then you're on the right track. Then the objective is to feed everything underneath that. Within that context, if you choose to be a product flogger, you're in trouble because everybody else is doing the same thing. You're going to be competing on price, your margins are going to go down the tubes and your customers will not be loyal to you because everybody's in the product flogging business. So reframe the business guys. Look for ways to be different. Look at the experience, look at being the only one that does what you do Right. That was another innovation that I came up with. That not just then, but right now, when I work with clients is absolutely amazing. It says don't try and be better, don't try and be the best, don't try and be number one, don't try and be market leader, because, basically, when you declare that it's all BS, it's all BS. It doesn't mean anything. So I came up with this notion, called the only statement. It says what you really want to be is you want to be the only one that does what you do. Only it's binary, it can be observed, it can be measured. You want to be the only one that does what you do. One of the biggest problems with small business and entrepreneurs is they don't think that through they enter the marketplace flogging products which are basically not any different, and they don't think through this notion of differentiation and how to be the only ones that do what they do. I do a lot of work with small companies on that and it's just amazing when they catch you onto that Just frickin' delightful.

Gary Pageau:

What is the biggest surprise? When you said you work with a company, consult with a company, and you said it was a big surprise when they got it, what was the thing that happened there?

Ray Osing:

Well, let me give you an example. This is just a. I just think it's an amazing story because I was part of it. I did some work for this company out in Eastern Canada that were in the boat selling business. Their business was selling boats to dealers. They gave me a call and said can you come in and help us create a strategy? The reason they did that is I had to develop my own strategic game planning process, which is literally in 48 hours you have a strategy which is completely unlike what anybody else does. It goes six or seven months and costs billions, anyways. So I go back there and put this together. We reach the part of the process where we have to create an only statement, because that's part of the process. Forget about what you've done. You've got to be unique in something that your customers care about. That's the whole purpose behind. Only, we worked through it, worked through it and they finally said to me look it, we sell boats. There's a lot of people that sell boats. Roy, we're not particularly special in that. I said okay, you're looking at it wrong. Tell me what the boat dealers really desire. What do they really want? What keeps them up at night? Don't tell me it's boats that float. Okay, because everybody expects a boat to float. We talked through this and discovered that what the boat dealers craved what kept them awake at night was being able to grow their business. Nothing to do with boats. I said, okay, why don't we play with the idea of trying to create a unique capability around helping your target customer the dealers grow their business? They went huh yeah, we could do that. Here's the only statement we came up with. This company quote is the only complete service partner, not seller, committed to delivering solutions to grow a boat dealers business. What we did is we created an only statement around what they had to be in order to grow, as opposed to what they were.

Erin Manning:

What they were were flogging boats.

Ray Osing:

What they had to be was an instrument of growth for their customers. When we landed on that, Gary the surprise in a hawk, they went through the roof. It is so cool because they're the only one in the market doing that, and the boat dealers around them, or the boat sellers are going. What are they doing? That's an example of how powerful this can be. It's like an experience I get from working with most small businesses that ask me to give them a hand.

Gary Pageau:

Yeah, because I can see that, because I mean I mean we're not living in the 1970s or 60s anymore, where there was a great differential in product quality, right I remember. I mean I think we're probably close to the same age in terms of experience and decades and things. So we won't go there, but we'll just assume you're around in the 60s and 70s and if things were bought from a certain country, you knew they weren't going to be as good a quality. You know, these days everything's good, no matter the country of origin, right? You buy it from China, taiwan, vietnam or whatever, the quality is going to be excellent in most cases. If you want to buy a hat, you go on Amazon. You don't even care where it comes from, you just want it delivered. So if you're a hat retailer, you got to find a way to differentiate yourself. Other than that and literally in photography it's the same thing. You know, a camera is a camera, a camera. How are you going to build that business around understanding your customer and finding and growing their business?

Ray Osing:

Well, look at. There's a couple of points in this. First thing is I find that most businesses don't spend enough time defining who they want to serve. Look at my strategy building process is how big do you want to be? Which is a statement of saying, in 24 months, what do you want your top line to be? My process is different. It starts out with numbers. Numbers drives the strategy, which kind of makes sense to me. Second question is where are you going to get the money? That's who you're going to serve. Okay, so that's a really important piece trying to get clarity around the target customers you've got and what they crave. So it's not just a matter of picking the segments, it's doing a deep dive and say what do they crave? Why is that important? Well, it's important because when we start to develop the only statement which is your competitive advantage claim, we play to those cravings, not what they need. The cravings market is not price sensitive. The cravings market doesn't have any competition. Duh, what's the conclusion? Gee, I think we should be in the cravings business. That's what I'm saying. It's nothing to do with products, nothing to do with products and product quality. The assumption is everything works. Now what are you going to compete on. Don't talk to me about product quality. I don't care, because it doesn't matter. What I care about is what are you going to wrap that around with? What kind of passionate envelope are you going to present to people when they show up at your door, either online or offline? Don't give them an FAQ that never relates to what they're really interested in, and yet it's all over the place. You know what it upsets me.

Gary Pageau:

Well, you're a passionate guy, I can see that.

Ray Osing:

No, it's just unfortunate that people are being led astray. I call it textbook thinking Okay, right, okay, like you were talking about total quality management a few minutes ago, do it right the first time. Get the product quality right, meeting specifications. I got news for you. Nobody cares about that in a competitive world anymore unless it doesn't work. If it doesn't work that way, they're gone. But if it does, you get a C on your report card. You don't get an A. They're not loyal to you because the internet stream works. They're loyal to you because of the other things that you do for them. It appeals to the right side of the brain, not the left.

Gary Pageau:

Getting back to that audacious word, you have a concept you use called audacious leadership. Can you talk about the four main pieces of that after you define it?

Ray Osing:

Yeah Well, first of all, audacious leadership is all about creating new boxes. It starts out with the notion that says I got to find a way to create a new box, not just think outside the box, it's actually execute in new boxes. So part of it starts out there with that sort of mindset. Secondly, you have to really accept that pain is going to be your body, your entire life as a leader. If you choose to go down that route, you're going to have pain. The third thing I would say is you need to keep it simple. Audaciousness is interesting. It's kind of like a double-edged sword. It's not complicated. Audaciousness is actually stepping out of complexity and entering the world of simplicity in a way that lights, fires in people, and you as a leader have to discover that. And the only way you can do that is you have to embed yourself in the front line. I mean, I spent probably 40% of my week embedded in the front line in my organization. I call it leadership by serving around, not managing around, and the whole idea was how can I help Gary? What's going on? How can I help Now? It wasn't just the cool thing to do, the whole thing was based on if I can help you, you will perform better and my billion is coming closer. So the whole thing was related to execution, right? So simplicity, think of new boxes. Look at, get an advocacy army. You need an army of advocates for what you're doing here, because you're going to be on your own and people will hope you fail because you're trying to do something really really wrong.

Gary Pageau:

Yeah, some people don't like change right, so they are going to throw up some roadblocks here and there.

Ray Osing:

Well, it's a fear thing, you know. And so what I discovered was the more success we had and the more we communicated that, the less fear people had around us over what we were doing. So that's really, really important. But look at, if you're trying new things just to do new things, if you're trying to be different just to be different, look at people, see through that and they will correctly tag you as being intellectually dishonest. You're right, anaphony, and that's not what this is. I mean, I remember when we were going through this. I mean there would be nights that I'd be up at two o'clock in the morning with this stuff just running through my veins. I can't sleep, I can't sleep. I've got some stuff that I got to get out because I know the next day we've got a results meeting and we're going to have a tough time because they were dipping a bit and I got a bunch of it's just like this thing. It's not. It's. This isn't about work balance. For those out there that believe work balance is the way to succeed never worked for me. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I'm saying, hey, this is a guy that got a billion in it in annual sales. Never worked for me. I didn't balance my life to get a billion.

Gary Pageau:

So again, what are some of the things? When somebody when you say outside the box, I mean you still got to be sort of in the playground, right, because I mean you always have things like the classic examples of Adidas tried to get into Cologne because they thought their brand would extend to personal care products, right, so I mean there's clearly a limit to some of this stuff, right?

Ray Osing:

Well, first of all, I want to go back. Okay, so I'm not fuss with this. At a tactical level, my first question to you is okay, who are you trying to serve, right, and what do they crave Right? I'm not willing to have a conversation unless I clearly understand that, and the reason for that is I'm just going to give you a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, textbook stuff at a tactical level. Okay, I'm not going to do it. It's like people keep saying, roy, what do you think of my social media strategy? And I keep saying I have no idea. No, no, no. What are you trying to achieve, right? I'm going to do that and then I'll give you an opinion. So it all depends. I would say categorically that if your stupid idea quote unquote resonates with the cravings of your target market, then it's a great idea. Do it Right. If it doesn't, don't be a fool. This isn't a matter of innovating for innovation's sake. Gary, that's not what I'm talking about. Right, who do you want to serve? What do they crave? Octomy, yeah, I understand that. And then you show me how your silly idea relates to that, then we can have a conversation. Okay, and, by the way, my friend, that piece is missing in conversations these days it is totally missing. But there are some examples, and I don't know whether they went through this. There are some examples that come to my mind of what I would call contrarian entrepreneurs. Okay, one is the Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas. Yep, heart Attack Grill is not only audacious, they're a very unhealthy place to go to and it's strategic. I mean, they sell triple bypass burgers and their restaurants, okay. Their servers are dressed as doctors and nurses and orderlies and if you're over 350 pounds, you can eat for free. And look at it. They have just checked it out. They're off the chart. Audacious, right, right, and they're going to be in a particular strategy. All right, that resonates with a certain segment of the population. Right, and they're going at it. Uber is another one. They reinvented the taxi industry. Okay, airbnb is another one. They totally distorted, right, and disrupted, right, the vacation club property business. I'm assuming that they had a target market and cravings in mind. They may not have in my language, but pretty close, because it resonated. It really resonated with people. So that's the challenge. So, if you're a small business just getting into business, do the due diligence on your target market. I mean, that's hard work. Okay, because you'd rather flog your product, right, you'd rather take your product and go sell it. Well, this is not a selling business. This is a convincing business because it's the demand side of the equation, right, and I find it. It's just hard work and people don't seem to want to do it, and yet they're willing to throw a lot of money at this, gary, and they wonder why they're part of the casualties of a new business because they're dead in 36 months. I can tell you why they haven't done the hard work up front. You need to do the hard work up front.

Gary Pageau:

Well, that's sort of the idea that the mass market is gone. Right, the mass market is not even in play anymore, and if it is, it's consumed by players you can't you know, like Amazon and what. Let them deal with the mass market.

Ray Osing:

Well, look at, if you've got scale economies, economies of scale and scope, then you can talk volume a certain way, because it plays into your strength. Most of us mortals don't have that ability, right. So I say to you mortals, get real clear on who you want to serve. I know I'm being repetitive, but I know, no, no, no, no.

Gary Pageau:

But it's important to kind of hammer it home, because I see this all the time in my industry, right, where they're trying to, you know they want to compete against the 8 cent prince, against that person, and so I let that people those aren't your people Let them go.

Ray Osing:

Well, exactly, and one of the reasons that that, that my process starts out with how big do you want to be is Because the who-to-serve piece, which is the target markets, is actually created by answering the question which target customer groups have the latent potential to deliver my how big right? So it's all linked and so, if you've missed that and it's possible- I mean if you missed it, then you know you have to kind of like Revise it on on the run and so forth, but that's okay. The strategic game plan in my world is a draft, gary. It's never right, it's never perfect, all right. It's an organic Entity that needs to be, you know, revised on the run. But if you're not clear on that one question you're in trouble.

Gary Pageau:

Well, in the reality is is, you know, because I've run into this with people who want to address a certain niche market, you know, for example, and then that market is just not big enough to sustain a business, right, you need to be able to adapt from that. You can't just commit that I'm gonna only serve left-handed photographers, right and only because I'm gonna make products. That you know, instead of Shooting a shutter with the right hand, it's gonna shoot with their left hand.

Ray Osing:

Right, it's just you know part of the problem is is the process that they're using Right? Okay, what they're doing is figuring out a strategy, executing it and then looking at the financials. That's the wrong way to go about it. Right, you start out with the numbers right the market right. The decisions you make are all based on how big do you want to be in 24 months? By the way, because I don't. Five-year plans are a waste of time because they never. The fourth and every year never shows up. It just doesn't. And it gives you permission to put everything off until the fourth and fifth year. But if you're sitting at a million bucks and you just you say okay, I want to be five, right. So your how big question is I'm gonna grow my business from one to five. The next question who are you gonna serve to get there? Basically says alright. The challenge now is to identify the customer groups that have the latent potential to give me the extra money. No, and those are the people you serve. So your comment about mass markets is absolutely right. This whole process to growth has got dick all To do with mass markets for most of us, unless you're into scale and scope economies. Once you get that through your head, magic happens because you get really a succinct, you get granular, you get focused and that enables execution and you start to grow beyond your wildest dreams guaranteed. How do I know that? Because I did it.

Gary Pageau:

So where can people go to get more information about your process and what you do?

Ray Osing:

Yeah, sure, I have a website be different or be dead, calm, so please come and visit me there. I blog every week and I've been blogging on be different or be dead and the whole stuff that you and I have just talked about, gary, since 2009, so there's a ton of content out there. You can look up my strategic game plan. You can look up killing down rules. You can look up cutting the crap, you can look up hiring for goose bumps, you can look up line of site management and all like those sorts of things that that I had the opportunity to do. You can also Find out my books. I've written seven books. The latest one is audacious, unheard of ways. I took a startup to a billion. So that's available. And I have an email. It's Roy dot osing at gmailcom and and please email me. I love to have a conversation with anybody on this sort of stuff and you know it's really kind of cool because I get people sending me an email saying Roy, I just drafted my only statement. What do you think?

Gary Pageau:

Do they?

Ray Osing:

share them with you Absolutely, and we go back and forth and I give them a perspective and etc. So I mean, I guess the only way I can handle this to make a difference is kind of like an age one at a time, or I love these conversations, by the way. It's just so much of an opportunity to hopefully make a difference and get people to shift Off the inertia that that is in the momentum that's so strong out there in terms of doing things, the old ways.

Gary Pageau:

Yeah, there's a lot of barnacles out there that need to be shaken off To going. Going back to your boat analogy See, I was going back to that.

Ray Osing:

I love it. Thank you for that.

Gary Pageau:

All right, this is great to meet you. Looking forward to emailing you in the future and checking out your books, and thank you so much.

Ray Osing:

You're very welcome. Thanks for having me.

Erin Manning:

Thank you for listening to the Dead Pixels Society podcast. Read more great stories and sign up for the newsletter at www. t he dead pixels society. com.

Standing Out in Business
Creating Differentiation Through Customer Experience
Creating Unique Strategies and Audacious Leadership
Serve, Lead, Find Target Markets
Shifting Inertia and Making a Difference

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