Tough love for tough economic times 

Business consultant and author of Be Different or Be Dead to speak at chamber meeting


By his own admission Roy Osing can be a difficult customer.

When something goes wrong - and nobody is perfect - his inner teacher comes out. Rather than look the other way or register a complaint and move on, he feels compelled to explain exactly what went wrong, how the incident should have been dealt with, and how he would do things differently in the future. Getting people to think differently is what he does.

On Thursday, May 14, Osing is the featured speaker at a special breakfast event held by the Whistler Chamber of Commerce and Telus. A much sought after speaker and business consultant, Osing recently published his first book, called Be Different of Be Dead: Your Business Survival Guide , to share his observations on what makes businesses successful, while giving practical, "proven" advice on how to turn small, medium and large companies around. The book is dense with test cases and business examples, decades of collected research and market data, and Osing's always to-the-point narrative.

His timing couldn't be better. When he started the book the world's economy was booming and businesses were looking at ways to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. As he was putting the finishing touches on the book the global economy took a nosedive, something he says has made his book even more relevant for businesses that suddenly need to differentiate themselves to survive.

"It was written pre-crisis for the most part, and in that sense I guess you could say I'm a fortunate victim of the recession," he said, shaking his head while sipping his Esquires coffee. "The companies that survive this recession are the ones that can think a little differently, and really set themselves apart. This is exactly the kind of life and death situation this book was written for."

Osing was the former vice president of marketing for B.C. Telecom, and after the merger with Telus he was kept on as chief marketing officer. He moved into the position of president of Telus Advanced Communications until 2000, when he left to establish his consulting business, Brilliance for Business.

His plainspoken and practical advice, combined with his enthusiasm for his subject, attracted a lot of attention, and he soon found himself speaking before larger and larger audiences. He wasn't planning on writing a book until he became inundated with requests to start providing handouts at his speaking engagements, and when he started to go through his research and his presentations to oblige those requests he realized there was enough material for a book - two books actually, as Osing decided that a few chapters of Be Different required a lot more depth.

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