The Secret Sauce of Execution Excellence

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Original Date: November 7, 2019
Did you know that 67% of well-formulated strategies fail due to poor execution and 61% of executives say they were not prepared for the strategic challenges they faced?

Execution excellence begins with creating a compelling shared purpose. In fact, purpose comes before decisions or actions. It’s about what emotionally connects people to the meaning of their work.

Author and executive coach, Brendon Burchard says:

“It’s about how you think about tomorrow and what you do to stay connected with what matters, today”

In this live webinar, Albert Durig, Partner at Axialent, will share lessons and insights from his 30+ years working with organizations, teams and individuals who discovered the power of purpose to drive their engagement, productivity and ability to execute with others. He will share best practices, common pitfalls and some concrete steps people can take to define a compelling and meaningful purpose that empowers their action.

During the webinar, Albert will go through three levels of purpose and explain the role of purpose in driving execution and productivity.

You will learn:

  • What purpose is and isn’t
  • How purpose enhances execution
  • Specific steps for defining a compelling purpose for execution



7 November 2019

11am ET / 5pm CET


Barbie: Hello everyone and welcome to the webinar. Today’s webinar Lead To Transform, The Secret Sauce Of Execution Excellence. This is one in a series of webinars where we connect for 30 to 45 minutes to bring to life the challenges we see in the market, and what to do about them.

Barbie: During this session, Albert During, partner at Axialent and Head of Execution Excellence Offering, will be sharing best practices, common pitfalls and some concrete steps you can take to define a compelling and meaningful purpose that will empower your action. Albert will go through three levels of purpose and explain the role of purpose in driving execution and productivity.

Barbie: There will be an opportunity for Q&A, and if you have any questions at the end of this webinar, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and send us an email with your questions, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. And with that, I hand it off to you, Albert.

Albert: Thank you very much, Barbie, for that introduction. And welcome everyone to today’s webinar on the role of purpose in execution. This is a topic that I feel very passionate about, and the reason I’m passionate about it is because I’ve experienced and lived the results with clients. The difference that it makes when people have a strong sense of individual purpose connected with their work when it comes to execution.

Albert: We’re going to talk a lot about what that means today, types of ways to define and derive purpose. I’ll even end with an exercise that you can run with teams in order to get people prepared for execution and to find that purpose that can make such a large difference.

Albert: Today, though, the purpose of this webinar really is to intellectually understand the role of purpose in execution, and how to define it for teams that are engaging in collaboration. And I say, “Intellectually understand.” That’s important because one thing is to understand it, another thing is to be consciously competent in one’s ability to do the work, to derive and help others to find their purpose when it comes to execution. We can’t make that promise from a webinar, but I sure hope that you’re able to leave this with a better understanding of purpose, how it’s derived, and its role when it comes to execution.

Albert: Now the topic is the role of purpose in execution, but we could also call this, or give it the title, “Driving Engagement.” Because that’s also what it’s about, The role of purpose in execution is that it drives deeper engagement. It allows people to participate more fully than they would if they weren’t driven by a sense of purpose; so driving engagement is another way that we can call this.

Albert: And yet another way to look at it is it’s letting your core truth drive your actions. And what we mean by letting your core truth drive your actions is that there’s something within all of us, there’s a core truth that all of us have that changes moment to moment, and context to context in life. But there’s something that, at a deeper level within all of us, is true for us. And if we’re able to connect with that truth for us, and let that drive our actions, we become much more empowered, and much more able to lend ourselves, and bring the best of ourselves to working with others.

Albert: Now I don’t want this to be religious, or sound religious, or anything like that, but I’m going to share something that came from a religious philosopher from over 1,000 years ago, and has also been used by poets. And it’s the notion of surrendering to the hounds from heaven.

Albert: And the reason I use this is because the hounds from heaven is kind of like the better angels of our nature that Lincoln spoke about, and appealing to those better angels of our nature. And here, the hounds from heaven are those deeper core truths, those deeper purposes that, if we could only connect to them in a more conscious and aware way, we can bring them to bear, and their value proposition to bear on our work.

Albert: So you can kind of look at these hounds from heaven as those better angels of our nature, that deeper truth that we have that we don’t always connect to because we’re so caught up in the busyness of our daily lives, and we stay at a very kind of superficial state of action and consciousness. And sometimes, connecting with purpose to drive a deeper sense of meaning requires going beneath that surface. So what can we do to surrender ourselves to those hounds from heaven?

Albert: So we ask ourselves, “What do you want in this moment? And what matters to you right now?” And they’re two different questions, they’re not the same thing although they sound the same. But the first question, “What do you want in this moment?” Is one of these things that I found in my career that practically no one ever, ever says what they want when you ask them what they want; at least not the first time.

Albert: And let me give you an example. I’m going to give you a silly example, but it clearly makes the point. Imagine that one of their answer was, “I want a Ferrari.” “Well, good, you want a Ferrari, do you really want a Ferrari?” “Yes, I want a Ferrari.”

Albert: “So why do you want a Ferrari. What matters to you about a Ferrari?” Then their answer may be something like, “Well, it allows me to drive fast.” “Ah, so what you really want is to drive fast?” “Yes, I want to drive fast.”

Albert: “And why does that matter to you?” And if you go beneath driving fast, you may get to an answer of, “Well it has me feel invigorated by living on the edge.” “Ah, so what you really want is to feel invigorated by living on the edge?”

Albert: So you can see that what started with an answer like the Ferrari, if you ask, “Why?” A few times, the answer gets deeper, and the answer gets more true, and the answer gets more revealing of that core truth within all of us, and that purpose that can drive you in that moment.

Albert: Now and that can shift and change from context to context, situation to situation, but this gives you an example of where purpose and how we go at purpose in the beginning. It’s looking to peel back the layers of what we want, and why those things matter to us.

Albert: Now we did a poll earlier and in the poll, we were able to show that when people are asked, “What’s the role of purpose in execution?” And the possibilities were to motivate, to inspire, to comply, to build skills, or to create meaning, most people were clearly able to see that the answer was either to motivate, to inspire, or create meaning; that’s where the real proposition of purpose comes in. It’s not about helping you comply, it’s not about building skills; it comes before that.

Albert: Let’s take a look now at the way the practice that I run it at Axialent looks at effective execution. And what you’re able to see here on the right hand side is effective execution implemented in terms of these cycles. And on the left hand side is the infrastructure that we do before we even get to those cycles; so let me start there with that infrastructure.

Albert: The first thing that we do to build an infrastructure before we get to execution implementation is to work on purpose. So developing a clear purpose, not only for the execution of the project, but for the individual and their ability to connect to their individual sense of purpose to that project.

Albert: After we have purpose, that’s the first thing, only after that we have purpose do we begin to work on what we call, “Putting down the sword and picking up the mirror.” And what we mean by that is not getting defensive, and taking a look in the mirror, and seeing what is it about ourselves that we need to work on in order to be more successful in our ability to execute.

Albert: And sometimes that requires a shift in mindsets, the way we consider things like our role, our responsibility, what accountability is, curiosity, and learning, our attitudes about learning, and so forth. Those are all mindsets that we either bring in a healthy way, or an ineffective way to execution.

Albert: But this section also refers to the skills that may need to be built. And those skills may be interpersonal communication skills, they may be commitment skills, they may be technical skills; whatever the types of skills that people need to interact with one another more effectively as they move into execution implementation.

Albert: So after we have a purpose, and after we’ve worked on mindsets and behaviors with people, then it’s about streamlining processes. And we can look at processes that already exist in an organization and, over time, when people don’t pay attention to processes, what happens is fluff builds up, duplication builds up, ineffective pieces are added to it over time; so it kind of becomes fat with with fluff and duplication. So we can take those processes, look at them, streamline them back to their original purpose, as well as create new ones if they’re needed.

Albert: And then it’s about governance, having a very clear governance model for the execution which is, in turn, going to drive decision making. So if we have people with a clear purpose, with the right mindsets and skills, and the right processes to drive their interaction, and the right governance for decision making, now we can go into implementation and go through this process that we see in part number five of having meetings, collaborating with one another, evaluating and updating our skills and mindsets as necessary to do the cycle again, and again, and again as we execute.

Albert: So I share this with you because I want you to see that today we’re just talking about the first step of developing a clear purpose and the world that it has, and if you were to look at execution kind of mapped out, at least the way we do, at Axialent when working with our clients.

Albert: We tend to work on very large execution projects of global scale, and cross border engagement. So it may be a new business structure, a new operating model that needs to be rolled out to thousands of people across multiple countries, etc., etc.; so this is a bit of the diagram, if you will, of our approach to those kinds of situations.

Albert: We also talked about something called the three Ps of effective execution: purpose, people, and processes. And it’s important to note here that people and process are very important, but so is the role of purpose, because it plays a unique role that process can’t play. And that is it drives the emotional aspect of execution and people, processes drive the rational requirements and needs of the people.

Albert: So oftentimes we find our clients very focused on the process side and the people side when it comes to rational, but they don’t engage the emotional side. And in doing so, they’re going to get people that understand the their work, understand what they have to do, and they will comply with what they need to do, and they will show up and do the work; there’s nothing wrong with that.

Albert: However, you aren’t really maximizing the effectiveness of execution until you also engage the other side of the human, the person, which is the emotional side; which is equally important. The emotional drives a much deeper sense of connection and commitment to the project, so now they’re not complying with the project in their role, they’re committed to the project, and they bring much more of themselves to the project than just comply.

Albert: So they’re not just showing up and doing what they have to do, they are invigorated, inspired, always looking for what more can be done and how things can be done better, and how they can improve themselves and their contribution to execution. So it’s about developing the emotional and rational aspects of the individual when it comes to execution, and purpose takes care of that emotional role.

Albert: And purpose creates the commitment; that’s what we’ve been talking about, that people really perform at their best when they feel a meaningful connection with their work. They’re not just doing the work because they get a paycheck, which is important, certainly important and may be one of the meaningful connections.

Albert: But what else is there? And it takes us far beyond compliance and gives us something that we can give our all to. And by developing and sharing a clear and common purpose, it becomes an important first step towards effective execution.

Albert: Now what purpose is not, but often confused as, and that is the purpose for execution is not your company’s vision, or mission, or values. Now those are important things, I don’t want to belittle the importance of a company’s vision, mission, or values, I just want to make the distinction that purpose, when it comes to execution, is not or those things. So your company’s vision, its mission, and its values do not replace the individual purpose you connect to for execution if you could connect to it and find it; and that’s what we’re talking about here.

Albert: Working with purpose is about creating that emotional connection that has meaning to the individual. It’s not intellectual; it’s emotive, it’s emotional. And if it’s emotive and emotional in order to drive a stronger sense of commitment in our work and execution, we also have to understand that execution, itself, is about productivity.

Albert: So the reason we execute in what matters and how we measure execution, is by how productive it makes us or allows us to be. So if you have an execution project, and one company takes 100 days to do it, and another company takes 20 days to do it, and all other factors are equal, then the one that did it in 20 days was able to be more productive, and would be the ‘winning’ team when it comes to looking at how well it executed compared to others.

Albert: And productivity is something that is kind of the holy grail of business. It is the ultimate reason or thing, I should say, that business seeks in order to drive its mission to deliver a margin or a bottom line. Margin and a bottom line come from productivity, they are measures directly correlated to how productive a company is or is not.

Albert: So let’s take a look at some milestones in the evolution of productivity. And we can go back to the Industrial Revolution when people first started to use mechanics and machines, often steam driven, to raise the amount of productivity beyond what an individual could do with their hands.

Albert: And then we add to that the assembly line when people first started to see that by putting things in a sequence order over a given the space with mechanics, and machines, and tools, we can advance our productivity even further.

Albert: And if we add to that electricity, as it came around, now we can increase it further still. If we add to that communications, now we’re talking about being able to do more, in less time, across more borders, faster, with more information; again, productivity continues to go up.

Albert: And then the advent of computers and their ability to be faster through the microchip. And then software, you can really look at the 70s, and 80s, and 90s as the three decades where software, and enterprise software, became the way in which people used technology to drive productivity.

Albert: So they were moving beyond machines and beyond electricity to now using software. And Microsoft is a great example of this on an individual, but certainly, an enterprise level. Programs like Word, and Excel, and PowerPoint that are now ubiquitous in the world, and every company from from Google to Apple has similar applications, were able to use those tools in the hands of everyday individuals to be able to produce even more in less time. And we saw an enormous rise in productivity over those three decades compared to the 50s and 60s, for example.

Albert: And then process re-engineering, enterprise software, now we’re in the age of apps and big data, data and analytics, and artificial intelligence. These are the next external technologies being developed that will drive productivity in business and the workplace.

Albert: But none of these focus on the inside, and that’s really an interesting question to ask ourselves, “Well what is next? What’s after AI? What’s after data and analytics?” Well I don’t know if it’s after, but I consider it as important and, based on what I see with my clients over my 33 plus year career, and that is that one thing to consider that’s next as a frontier of driving productivity is really leveling up collaboration and how we collaborate.

Albert: Collaborate means much more than just working together. And it requires looking in the mirror, and addressing things about ourselves that may need to be changed and improved on a personal level in order to change the way we think about things, the way we interact with other people so that we can be more effective and more efficient in our interactions with people.

Albert: And it kind of makes sense that we spent … If you go back to the Industrial Revolution until now, that 200 year period working on things external to ourselves that, in fact, may have been easier to work on than the work it takes to look in the mirror and face your flaws, or face the areas that you need to change and grow; because that’s what’s going to drive stronger collaboration. But we find ourselves today at a place where people are much more willing to do this than they were, say, 30 or 50 years ago.

Albert: And execution requires collaboration. In fact, execution is all about collaboration, it’s how things get done by people working together. Few people, or few companies, do anything by themselves anymore. Individuals aren’t doing the entire project all by themselves, everything has become much more integrated in today’s world due to technology. And so execution requires collaboration, that collaboration can be fueled by engagement.

Albert: It’ll work without that engagement, but will it be as effective? Will it be as productive? Our argument is that it’s much more productive, and much more effective if collaboration is fueled by engagement; and therein lies the role of purpose.

Albert: What engages you? What matters to you? And what do you value? These are questions that become important areas to explore when we’re trying to have people connect a personal sense of purpose with a execution sense of purpose at work.

Albert: Let me describe a little bit more about what I mean. So execution is complex, it’s hard, it’s big, it takes time and energy. But so is being productive, it’s also complex, it’s hard, it’s big, and takes time and energy.

Albert: And I’d like you to take a moment and maybe just think of some examples of execution that you can think of today that, either a project you’re involved in executing, or a large project that your company is executing that’s happening in the world today. And think of that example of execution and kind of hold that example in your head as we go through some of these next slides, and an exercise in a moment, as something that you can anchor some of these questions to.

Albert: Now when we’re talking about purpose in execution, to get our hands around it, we talked about what matters to you, and why that matters, and the difference between what matters to you in this moment versus why that matters. But let’s take it a little bit further.

Albert: We can look at purpose in terms of three dimensions, those dimensions are: in the moment, in our values, and in peak experiences; and let me give you a little bit more understanding of each of these.

Albert: In the moment, when you’re present to be useful to others who might need your help, you find purpose. Now the classic example of this is the Boy Scout or the Girl Scout on the corner, that sees the elderly person on the corner that needs help to cross the street. And so they become aware that there is somebody that could use help and, “I have what it takes to be able to help that person.” They’re aware of that, they make a choice to help that person, they help the elderly person across the street; they feel a sense of value and purpose from that.

Albert: So it’s in the moment, and in any moment, when you can become aware of someone else having a need and your ability to be there to help them with that need. And what we find is that it doesn’t matter how big the need is. Helping the elderly person across the street is just as fulfilling as changing the world, so to speak.

Albert: And that may sound strange it’s like, “Well that can’t be. If I could I could solve world hunger, that’s got to feel better than helping the elderly person across the street.” But not necessarily. And the reason is that the same receptors in the brain are engaged, the same chemicals are engaged in the brain and released in the brain. And it’s not that more is released because the level of help that you gave is greater; it doesn’t work that way. It’s any amount of seeing a need and being able to help it, should you choose to do so, can in the moment and deliver a sense of purpose.

Albert: Now in our values, by paying attention to when we’re moved or experience a depth of emotion, we can find purpose in our values. So this is like when have you been moved deeply emotionally? Maybe it’s when you cried at a movie. What was going on in that scene that made you cry, what were you feeling?

Albert: Or a time when you felt a lot of of righteous indignation or anger. What was it that provoked that? What was it that you cared about that was stepped on that drove you to feel that anger? Or perhaps it’s a sad event that really drove home a sense of emotion.

Albert: I remember when my father passed away, I was … He was 89 years old, so I couldn’t complain that he hadn’t lived a long life; I hope we all live to be 89 and longer. And, of course, I miss my father and I love my father dearly, but what I found in that moment was it wasn’t sadness about about he’s gone and he went too soon or something like that. What I found, in that moment, was an experience of enormous gratitude. Had it not been for him, I wouldn’t have all the things in my life that made my life wonderful, or great, or cherished.

Albert: So there was this deep sense of gratitude that I found by paying attention to when I was moved. And that was a time, obviously, when anybody would be moved at the loss of a loved one, but it was interesting how that loss manifested itself. It wasn’t just a sadness, it was a gratitude feeling of profound gratitude.

Albert: And in our peak experiences is another place that we can find purpose. I had a client who recently discovered that a particular work project really energized her, because she was able to see that that same project could also serve a much broader community.

Albert: So the moment she saw that the project was not only doing what it was supposed to do, but had the added benefit of reaching a much broader community, that really felt great to her, that really delivered a sense of purpose to her in that peak experience.

Albert: I had another client find out that she was fueled by interactions with people when they were brainstorming ideas. So the act of being in a meeting where she was contributing ideas, other people were contributing ideas, and this great creative build up in tension, and being a part of that; that really turned her on, that really gave her an emotional connection that she could relate to.

Albert: Now that might do that for everybody, it might be … Some people might not feel that way in brainstorming; that doesn’t matter. What matters is that she did, and so she was able to notice that in that peak experience, she found something of purpose.

Albert: And yet I had another client that found his purpose when he was mentoring other people. And it was through mentoring, in that peak experience, that he found something that really drove him at a deep and emotional level; so we can find purpose in our peak experiences. And these three dimensions of finding purpose, we’re going to leverage a little bit later in an exercise that we do.

Albert: So a few lessons so far, purpose is not static, it’s not about being done, it’s not about something that you’re going to write down on a piece of paper. If you want, you can write something down on a piece of paper but, more important than that, you’re never done finding your purpose at work for your engagement in execution.

Albert: It’s about knowing how to be aware, conscious, and explore purpose and its connection to what matters. Because it’s not about having it one time, it’s about knowing how to connect to it whenever you need to. And so we provide a process for exploring purposes that results in, yes, a defined purpose but, more importantly, it’s going to make the process conscious. And, in turn, that creates impact and execution, something that you can leverage time and time again.

Albert: So now I want to give you an exercise that you can use at your own work, with your own team, should you choose to do so. But I’m not going to show you all the steps and slides. You can take notes on the steps, I’ll be speaking about them here. And I’m just going to share with you the main questions that come out, but I’ll explain the process.

Albert: It’s divided into two parts, and the first part we’re going to call part one; it’s exploring the project purpose. And so here you have your individual team members, imagine that you’re seated with with six people of your team around you, and you ask them to individually answer the following question on a piece of paper, “Why does this project matter?”

Albert: And they may answer … I’m just going to make something up. But they may come up with an answer, “Oh this project that we’re about to work on matters because it’s going to double our manufacturing capacity in our plant in Virginia.”

Albert: Okay, good, that’s valid. “Well, why does that matter?” Is the next question, and you ask them to answer that also individually, “We’re going to double the manufacturing output of our plant in Virginia. Why does that matter?”

Albert: “Okay, well I think about that and that matters because we’ll be able to get more products into the hands of more people that get value and enjoy the value we bring to the marketplace. So even more people will be touched by what we do. That’s why it matters.” So now you’ve asked that question why and you’ve gone down a level.

Albert: Now that people have answered those two questions individually, the next step is to put them into small groups. So if we have six people here, let’s create two groups; three people each, and have them share their answers to these questions.

Albert: And each group, after they share their answers to these two questions, each little group has to come up with their own new answer to why does this project matter … Excuse me, why does this … Yeah, why does this project matter and why does that matter? Whatever that answer is, and come up with just one group answer. And maybe they like the answer that one individual had, and they use that, or they come up with a new collective answer. But the point is, each little group comes up now with one answer.

Albert: And then you have those small groups report out, so now we have two groups of three, each one tells us what their answers to why this project matters, and what one level down of asking yourself, “Why does that answer matter?” And we record that on a flip chart. And then we just leave that flip chart parked over to the side.

Albert: And now we’re going to enter into part two of exploring what I call the individual connection. So now ask your individuals in your group of six, with a piece of paper and a pen, to list their top three to five values. Now some people can do this easily and can struggle, and there are exercises you can use. One that I like lot is called admirable characters you can look it up online. For the sake of time, I won’t explain how admirable characters is done, but there are exercises out there that help elicit core values for people.

Albert: And so as you list your top three to five values, you may hear things like love, honesty respect, effective, sincerity; a whole gambit of possibilities can come up. And it doesn’t matter, there’s no right or wrong answer. What matters is that each individual lists at least three of what they believe their top values are that matter most of them. And it’s interesting because most people aren’t used to thinking about that. So some people can answer it quickly but other people; not so much.

Albert: Next to the same people, on a piece of paper maybe lower down on the same piece of paper, list your top three skills, “What are you really good at that you bring to work every day?” And it doesn’t matter the level of complexity of the skill, the skill may be anything from from typing and organizing, to strategic thinking, to complicated math, to whatever. It doesn’t matter as much as the individual is able to write down what are the top three skills they bring to the table. That’s usually a little easier for people to answer even than the values question.

Albert: Once they’ve done that, still working at an individual level on a piece of paper, you ask them, “Now list your top three interests.” And this is usually quite easy for people to do, “I like cooking, I like reading, I like music.” Whatever the case may be. This is usually quite accessible to people and they can write this down rather quickly.

Albert: So now they’ve taken an inventory of their values, an inventory of their top skills, and their top interests; they have those three lists. And we ask them, “Consider what’s related amongst those lists.” And every individual has a unique constellation of the items in those three lists.

Albert: It’s rare that you’re going to find those three lists the exact same way in other people. We all have our own imprint differently of what those three lists are. However, there is something, some thread, something in common between those lists. What is it? What’s related amongst those lists? What’s related about the values that I have that makes sense when I look at the interest that I have and the skill sets I’ve developed? So if you look for it, you can find it.

Albert: The next question is, and the last and most important question to ask them is, “What do you have that you can give others?” And this question is a big deal after you’ve done the work we just mentioned. If you ask this question right away before the other lists that we mentioned, you would get a very different answer. And you’d get a much less profound significant, less meaningful answer.

Albert: “So what do you have that you can give others?” If you just ask that out of the gate, people will say one thing. If you have them contemplate their values, their skill sets, and their interests, and what’s common about those, and then you ask them to answer this question, you’re going to have a much more connected, deeper answer that’s meaningful to them. And that’s all that matters, that it’s meaningful to them.

Albert: After you do this, you have the people in our group … There’re six of them in our imaginary group that we talk about. Have each one of them report out and tell us, “So what are your answers? What matters most to you about participate participating in this project? Did you consider moments, values, and peak experiences? And what do you have that you can give to others?” And you have a discussion about that and let those people answer. And then bring that flip chart back from part one, which is the kind of project related business purpose.

Albert: And what’s interesting now is, “Now take what you just talked about and look at this project purpose. How does it feel? What do you see?” And have a discussion about that. Now if it results in something super concrete, yes you can write it down.

Albert: But more important than having a statement of purpose is having gone through the exercise you just went through. And it doesn’t take very long, and when people go through it, they can recall it and ask themselves similar questions very quickly, in their mind, on the fly over and over again over long periods of time. They can always access a deeper level of connection having gone through [inaudible 00:35:38]. So what matters to me about this project? Consider a moment, value, peak experience ask yourself, “Why?” A few times. Great discussion to have with your team.

Albert: I’d like to share a couple of client examples. One is a very large global consulting firm, and the situation they were in was that their audit department, and methodology, and software were no longer in compliance with the United States and international regulatory bodies. And that was leading to them receiving a failing grade for audit quality from the regulators in the United States and internationally.

Albert: And, in turn, that could lead to clients leaving, and the business shrinking and, eventually, falling apart. Of course that’s the situation they were in, they don’t want that to happen. And what they did, we did the project execution work with them over a long period of time, because this was a huge global project to develop this methodology ,and audit methodology, and software took a few years to do it, working across many, many different countries.

Albert: And the result was that they were able to see, at a purpose level, that they could, through doing this, create a new industry state of the art methodology and software that would comply with the standards required by U.S. regulators and international regulators.

Albert: But as important as that because, of course, you want to do that, they would leapfrog the competition and deliver a new level of quality and consistency around the globe that would set the new standard in the world of auditing.

Albert: Now, that’s really powerful, particularly when you consider the type of people that were involved in this. These are people involved in audit methodology are coming from an accounting, and audit, and mathematical background. Similar to what engineering is for engineers, these people are in auditing. So the ability to contribute to taking the practice to a whole new level of auditing was pretty compelling to them.

Albert: They came to find that it’s about creating that state of the art methodology, and software, complying with standard, leapfrogging the competition. But what most resonated, for most, was raising the level of quality and consistency, and that they were able to see that I, individually, through my knowledge, my experience, and my participation will change quality around the world as this industry defines it.

Albert: That became hugely compelling for people involved, and that allowed them to overcome all kinds of barriers when the going got tough. And the going does get tough on any large project you can imagine, and bet your bottom dollar that there’s going to be difficult moments. But in those difficult moments, being able to draw on the inspiration of the role they were able to play, gets them through it.

Albert: Another example I’d like to share is from a large software company. And in this software company, it’s about the the real estate and facilities management department of this software company, it’s not about the actual products that they deliver. And this company has the largest real estate footprint of any company in the world, and they have numerous real estate management partner firms involved.

Albert: So they, themselves, cannot have a large enough workforce just in managing facilities, they use professional facility management firms around the world to help them. And they need to manage facilities for 21st century users, but also do so by lowering costs. Because they’re not selling products, so they’re not producing income, what they do affects the bottom line in terms of controlling costs.

Albert: So in the purpose work that was done for them, as well as the execution work that we did through this multi-year project as well, was they created a new cost effective model for facilities management that would add dollars to the bottom line.

Albert: And, for them, it became about industry leadership, cost effective management, increasing the bottom line, integrated partner firms into facilities management; all of that mattered to them. But what they really started to connect with was the difference that their work would make in individual people’s lives that lived and worked in these buildings; the physical difference it would make.

Albert: Now it would make a mental and psychological difference, but even in a physical way if they did this well, they could produce a [inaudible 00:40:37] difference of well being in the people that worked and lived in these buildings.

Albert: And that required that they didn’t just imagine that that was happening out there, but that they traveled to markets far away to actually see the impact of their work. And that drove an enormous sense of purpose and meaning to the individuals that were tasked with creating this new facilities management model; and not just creating it but implementing it around the world.

Albert: So in summary, executions maximize when people are stimulated emotionally and rationally. If it’s just rational, people will comply. It’s the emotional aspect that gets them all in, that gets them committed, that gets them to bring their full potential to the work.

Albert: Purpose creates an emotional connection that deepens the meaning of execution. And in execution it’s about engagement, collaboration, and productivity; we can’t forget that business value that’s delivered through productivity. And purpose can be found in moments, in our values, and in peak experiences.

Albert: And it’s not static, it’s not something that you find, write down, and all you have to do is read it when you need it. No, it’s not about something that’s ever done, it’s more about a process of how to explore purpose and stimulate your own emotional awareness and connection to what matters than it is to having a single statement.

Albert: I love this quote by Brendon Burchard, who’s an author and executive coach, he talks about purpose in execution as, “It’s about how we think about tomorrow and what you do to stay connected with what matters today.” So the execution is about something that will realize its potential in the future; so that’s about tomorrow. But purpose is about what you do to stay connected with what matters today. So I love this quote by Brendon Burchard, and I hope that you are able to see the different connection to the levels that he’s talking about here between today and tomorrow.

Albert: Ultimately, purpose is about driving commitment versus compliance. Compliance is good, but it’s not anywhere close to commitment. You can pay people to go along and follow the rules, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to bring their best self to everything, that they’re going to go up and beyond, that they’re going to see this as a way to realize their potential. Commitment, if you can drive commitment, yes you will get a much more powerful ability to execute and you will raise productivity.

Albert: And now we’re open to questions, so feel free to send me your questions, ask me any questions that you have, I’ll be happy to answer them and get back to you. And with that, a very big thank you to all of you that that received this recording.

Albert: I know that we had a hiccup on the first day of delivering it, but we’ve provided it back to you again, and I hope you’re able to get some value from it today. That’s part of the purpose that I find in doing today’s webinar is being able to share something with you that, hopefully, you will find of value that I was able to be a part of. And in doing so, make a connection with you even though we haven’t met. So with that, thank you very much and I wish you all the best.

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