WGT: Creating purposeful organisations with Ali Moledina [transcript]
Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Ali Moledina, Business & Leadership Coach at Kaizen Consulting Group.
Organisational purpose is a big topic, some think it's wishy-washy and give it much attention. What happens when you do? Ali Moledina helps me explore this topic by looking at what organisational purpose even means and discussing what steps leader can take (and which to avoid) to begin turning their organisations to ones driven by purpose.
Transcript of this episode was produced using transcription software with an approximate 95% accuracy so there might be some typos.
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Well, here we are. Again, I'm super grateful for you tuning into another episode. And this one is a bit special for me because I'm talking to Ali Moledina from Kaizen Consulting group. Ali and I go back. A fair bit, because we used to work together in our previous lives. He was a chartered accountant and I was a project manager and we worked for the same company.
Ali has been a big influence on me because when he was an accountant, he was already doing a lot of coaching, a lot of workshops for us and we shared a lot of the same views and attitudes and beliefs. On the topic of coaching and leadership and company culture.
We often clashed quite a bit because although we had the same aim, we often had different ways of getting to it and we have. So with different personality types, Ali, the calm composed. Me. A bit of a hothead every now and again. But the work that we managed to do together, Was fantastic. And I've always really enjoyed it.
I invited Ali to come onto the podcast to talk about what he's doing now with the Kaizen consulting group, because now he's a business and leadership coach. And we talked about his journey from being a chartered accountant to becoming that coach. A lot of what Ali does is to do with purpose. So we did spend a fair bit of time talking about that. Actually, most of the episode, is about how to get people on board with your purpose, both personally and professionally.
And he talks about the four questions of introspection, which every organization that wants to develop its purpose or work on purpose should start with. As well as some of the questions and places they often get stuck on. I only think you will find this episode. Very, very useful, both on a professional. As well as a personal level. Here's my interview with Ali Moledina. Enjoy.
Lech: [00:02:22] Ali, I'm super excited to have you on the podcast. And before we get into our chat, I wanted to ask you a question that I definitely never asked you before. But one that I love asking all my guests and that is. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Ali Moledina: [00:02:40] first and foremost, thank you very much for having me here. I'm being on this, great to reconnect with you after, after awhile. Well, in terms of what I wanted to be when I was younger, I don't remember having a really strong desire to be anything, to be honest.
But what I do remember is we, so w we were in the UK at the time and we moved from London to Birmingham. And when I went to school there, we applied, I applied for school and for whatever reason, I didn't get a place. So we appealed. And I had to go and have this interview. I was wa I can't remember, six, seven years old at the time.
And the person asked me the question, what do you want to be? I remember saying to the saying to the head teacher or whoever it was at the time saying I really want to be an author. And what was interesting is I almost got laughed out of the park for, and but it was like, I remember that really vivid.
And during my English days, I remember just writing stuff on school, like some kinda like poetry type stuff, but I dunno, I just never really kind of followed through and lost interest in that. But I do remember wanting to be a pilot actually as well. That really fascinated me when we went on our family holidays.
But again, never really took it seriously. It was just one of those things that I was that I was thinking about.
Lech: [00:03:50] It's never too late. Especially when it comes to being an author. The pilot thing might be a little bit out that, but you never say never,
Ali Moledina: [00:03:57] especially in these times.
Lech: [00:03:59] Definitely, definitely. Especially with the topic that you're in that you're working on. That's something that you can definitely put stuff together.
Cause you've got a bunch of knowledge on, on like coaching and all the work that you've, you've done with organizations and within your communities The I'm sure a lot of people would benefit, maybe not necessarily an autobiography, some sorts of guide and resource of what people can do and how how, how to best do certain things.
Speaking of which, what have you been doing? Because obviously you've transitioned. You, you were an accountant before that's, when we've met. I was back then the project manager. So in a way, Very different to what we used to do, but where are you now? How kind of, what, what's the bulk of your work at the moment?
Where's the focus.
Ali Moledina: [00:04:41] Yeah, so I left the accountancy world and I'm doing I'm doing essentially what we call business coaching now. So I work with entrepreneurs on three things, really. So I work with entrepreneurs to work, to build and create collaborative. Profitable and purpose-driven organizations. That's where a large part of my work is now.
It still involves the finances. You know, as we kind of dive into a business, we look in, look into numbers and all of these types of things, but it's part of what I do as opposed to just focusing on, on the numbers and the finances.
Lech: [00:05:15] Okay. And how's that been going for you so far in terms of specially kinda the purpose element is that something that you think people in businesses are really receptive to and that's what their focus is? Or is it something that it's still many businesses that is more an exception rather than a norm?
Ali Moledina: [00:05:34] you know, I think it depends on where the business is in its journey. Right. And just, I guess what would help her is if I gave some context as opposed to like how I got here. So you know, when I qualified as a chartered accountant, working for a. Big four accountancy practice and advising owner managed businesses.
And then as I moved on from there, I took on a number of commercial finance roles either with fortune 500 companies or own a managed businesses. And what was. Interesting by being the finance guy as well. So I was never super excited about crunching numbers and being in front of spreadsheets while they, what was great about being the finance guy is that you get to see every part of the business cause any major decision is, you know, has to run the numbers fast.
And it really gives you a passport because when the numbers guy comes asking questions, you know, it's almost like open door. So it gives you a passport into every side of the business. And here's what I noticed very quickly and very early on in my career was that regardless of what project was being carried out.
So whether you're acquiring a business, whether you're launching a new product, whether you're implementing new it systems, it was not the numbers that made or broke that project. It was around. How was this project led? How, what processes were in place, how were people managed to, or on the ground who were actually impacted by them?
So I very quickly became interested in these areas. And as I researched, studied and implemented these in my own areas, I became very quickly known as the finance guy who also has an interest in these areas and brings this to the table. What was fortunate for me was that I always had. Senior leadership on bosses who are actually interested in talking about that side of things.
And that's what really led me to sort of the area that I am now and transitioned that into coaching. And then in terms of, when we talk about how receptive our company is to this, it really depends. You know, if I may, if I'm in a position in my company where, you know, we're fighting to survive and we need to sort of make this and then sometimes that's can be put to the back burner.
But actually once a business evolves and it becomes a little bit more sophisticated that can become increasingly more important, you know?
Lech: [00:07:48] And actually I remember till, till this day, the workshops that you did for us and ironically the way as you said that, as soon as you were looking at the numbers, you were seeing the, the, the things behind the numbers, the people behind them, and that's where what's this so important these days to kind of look beyond, beyond that.
It's actually very, in a way in a S in a similar way it's very similar to what the journey I've been on the way I was doing project management. And when I saw projects not being delivered on time, on, on or above, above budgets or constantly slipping or falling over. You used to never be there. Wasn't just something to do at a time.
There's deadlines, everything else. There was something beyond that as well. And it was something to do with how the people work together. And when you start unpicking that you arrive at all sorts of different different interactions. And actually one of the, the workshops I remember that you did for us was to do it.
So that's nice. That was a really cool one.
Okay. So you've been, you've been doing that work. That's kind of how you, how you got here, how you enjoying that. Cause that's what I've always saw from you is that that element of enjoyment that you really like what you do, and that shows in the work that you deliver. And we were to, as you said, you were talking about purpose and you would, that you were lucky with the leaders that you were working with, that they were always receptive to this.
How important is. For the leader of an organization to be in that martyr to have that mindset.
Ali Moledina: [00:09:11] I think it's extremely important. I think the number one conversation that I have with leaders ultimately ends up in one place is around how can I motivate the team to. Be on my side to actually, you know, they talk about often the conversations that are about, you know, the team's really good. I just wish they took a little bit more initiative or, you know, the team's really good, but they're just not seeing things from my perspective.
And I've got one individual who's just a bit of a block to all of this happening. You know, and that's not uncommon particularly sort of in owner managed family owned businesses. And I think what's, what's often challenging though, is that whilst the owner of the business leaders have this mighty vision in their head.
Sometimes it's not communicated or sometimes the people within the organization don't realize what it is, what I've heard at once. But they haven't internalized that. Right. And the more we can internalize that the more we can get our organizations to internalize this and the people within them. The more joy and the more action it brings to our workforce.
So famous example, a story that's quoted many times is when NASA was trying to put a man on the moon and, you know, president Kennedy is having a tour of the site and he sees a guy with a broom and it's the janitor. So president Kennedy goes up to him and says, Hey, what's you, you know, what's your name?
And what's your role in NASA? And, you know, so he gives his name. I don't remember what his name is. And he says yeah, I'm actually helping put a man on the moon. Right. So as the janitor is the cleaner, you could have just said, yeah, I'm the cleaner. I clean the toilets, you know, sweep the whole res. No, actually from that level, whether you're the astronauts or whether you're the person who's sweeping the floors, he saw his kind of greater purpose and what was unfolding around him and actually, you know, was part of that story.
And that's what. Real purpose and what I refer to and not my own words. But from reading that I've done a massive transformational purpose can bring about, you can bring about people being aligned in this real call to action, to do the best for the purpose of the organization.
Lech: [00:11:23] Is a great story. One that I've heard before, but I forgotten. But if it visualizes, what purpose means and looking, as you say, beyond your little garden that you need to tend to, and yes, that's fine. If that's all you want to do, but if there's so much more in terms of looking at how, what you do fits into the wider picture.
That is so, so valuable within organizations from any type of a role, no matter how big the, the organization might be. How can we do that? Because that's very, very difficult for a lot of organizations, for a lot of people to kind of, first of all, for individuals to overcome that mindset. But then from, from an organizational point of view, to actually instill that type of belief, let's break it down into two.
What would you say? How can individuals overcome that and kind of look beyond the, just their own little bit and see the greater, greater, wider purpose.
Ali Moledina: [00:12:18] So I think the people within yoga and that's a really great question it's because it's really part of my journey, right? So like, as I qualified as an accountant and I had all of these roles that I had you know, I never really enjoyed being an accountant.
I was looking for a greater purpose to my work. And also I'm really thankful for the experiences that I had. I just didn't enjoy sort of the finance world. It just wasn't lighting my passion. But what I did try to do was in every time is have a look about what is this organization doing? You know, and I was fortunate enough and it was a.
It was a conscious decision on my part though, was to work for organizations who I believe were doing some sort of good. So the company that we were in, you know, it was a medical device company and we can see actually, you know, patients come to have our product and actually then they're diagnosed with Java issues they have, and therefore that can have an impact on the quality of their life.
And the earlier that they're diagnosed. And therefore what it's about doing is saying, well, what is this organization doing? And how do I feed into that? So as a numbers guy who, you know, is creating the profit and loss accounts or doing whatever you're doing, the forecasting and budgeting that can sometimes seem quite mundane, you know, but actually when I think about it is by me doing this means that I'm managing the profitability of the business so we can actually You know, deliver products to our customers.
Then that brings a new meaning to my role, right? Whether I'm the customer service person who picks up the phone and, you know, unfortunately nine times out of 10, I'm speaking to an IRA customer rather than a happy one that can care quite demoralizing. But knowing that if I saw this issue for this customer means that they're going to be Happier and being able to serve their patients actually then gives me some sort of role.
And if I'm the person who processes, the invoices sticks a minimum envelope and post them out well, I know by actually getting that invoice paid and chasing that up means that I have the cash. That means this organization has the cash flow to deliver the products that we're doing, you know, and I think that's really important seeing how you a little bit fits into the wider picture and fits into the wider story.
I was fortunate enough to work in companies and industries that I believe were doing a greater good, but let me give you an another example that may feel a little bit more mundane. So you listeners may be familiar with Zappos, the company's apples, essentially they sell shoes or they started selling shoes online.
Right? They didn't even make shoes. They just sell shoes online, but their thing was about delivering happiness. Knowing that actually every order that we fulfill and we owed full fully in such a way that the customer is happy to get our order. Right. So it doesn't have to be that you're part of an organization is that, you know, helping save lives or whatever it is, even things like this we're selling shoes can be seen as, you know, just the retail outlet as I am sort of inverted commerce.
But actually there was a greater purpose in terms of delivering happiness to its customer. So I think absolutely. If you dig deep enough, when you ask the right questions, you can find purpose in whatever role that you, that you are playing
Lech: [00:15:29] Zappos is the, the, the classic example of this and such a great one as well in terms of how we can implement things like that and go beyond. And what that actually means in terms of. Customer satisfaction and that coming back into the business as a result it's something that often organizations misinterpret that they are afraid that, you know, if they invest that money, you know, it does require a lot of resource and time and effort and so on that might not come back to the business.
But the thing is, if you do it. Honestly, and truly with the good intentions and driven by that purpose, it will come back more than you expect, like twofold to threefold at the very least. And I'm really glad that you mentioned that story about how your role was fitting into kind of when you were, when we were at the medical device company, because I remember you gave that sort of a speech on your leaving Duke and although severely.
Jet lagged because it just came back from Australia the day before. And it was literally, it was struggling to keep my eyes open. That's one of the things that really stuck with me, not just from that night, from in general, from my interactions. And I remember there was, I think it was another. 10 to 15 people in the room and everybody was silent and literally like a penny dropped for everyone.
Just looking at that same situation, how everybody fits into the, the greater purpose, the mission of the organization. And it's so, so important that we, and we offered so often forget that and we can overcome, and we can do these things. And. I think, as I said at the start, I've really liked for these things to, to become the norm rather than the exception.
And I think that's where we are at this moment in time. What would, what do you, would you say that in terms of an organization, because if an organization has got clear and defined purpose is then easier to get people on board with that purpose, or even hire people who believe and have the same types of agree with that same purpose, how can organizations who might be struggling with defining their purpose or their mission things, or they're a bit fuzzy or they want to kind of reinvent themselves?
What would you, what would you say to them? How will they, how can they do it?
Ali Moledina: [00:17:38] Yeah. So I think I think the key thing here is it requires a lot of introspection. And essentially there's four questions. I think any organizational leader can ask themselves. The first question is what is this organization really good at doing? Okay.
So what are we really good at doing? Second question is what are we really passionate about? Third question is what is there a need for in the world right now? Okay. And your world can be defined as you know, your. Community that you operate in the city that you're in the country or actually the world. And then the fourth thing, which is important if I put my finance hat on is what can we get paid for?
Because the reality is is that whatever it is, it needs to be sustainable. You need to be able to pay your staff. You need to be able to pay your wage to yourself. So what can we get paid for? And I think the answer to those four questions, you know, if you were to put them in, in circles, there can often be sort of the intersection in the middle, but not always, but if you can draw from all four of them, then that's, who can be the starting point for you to get that purpose.
And then when you see the commonality in them is write down a statement, one statement, which sums up all of these areas. And I want you to got up that statement, kind of come back to it a few hours later. Read it out loud. And how does that make you feel? Right. Does that excite you? Does that, you know, do you genuinely believe in it?
And if that excites you in that, and you genuinely believe in that, start sharing that with others people and see how it makes them feel. Because you know, when you've nailed it is if it's a real call to action and that's what it needs to be, right. If there's a real call to action and it inspires your people, then you're on to having a really good purpose.
Lech: [00:19:26] Wow. That's actually very nice and succinct way of, of, of looking at it. Very good starting point for, for those who might be struggling with that a little bit. What would you say after those four questions? What have you seen that people, organizations, leaders get stuck on the most or focus on. Too much and spend too much time on trying to kind of answer that one particular question, not giving enough attention to the other three questions.
Is there one like that?
Ali Moledina: [00:19:51] So I think in terms of the questions themselves, I think what, what organizations often get stuck on is being able to expand their horizons and not getting past. What we have always done. Right? So let me, maybe this may be an example, will help sort of clarify what I'm trying to say here. So, you know, coming from my background, my medical services and medical device industry that I come from, I tend to do a lot of work with opticians dentists, sort of those types of practices.
So let's take the opticians, for example, right now I will work generally with. Own a managed opticians. So regardless of whether they're based here in the U S or in the UK, you know, they're generally smaller family owned opticians, they have a few sites and you know, they're playing up against some of these larger multiples.
And if you go on to, you know, I've spoken to hundreds of opticians over the years trout, hundreds of websites. And if you go onto any opticians, generally the line will be is, you know, We aim to provide the best eyecare in this area, whatever it is. Right. We have, we have invested in the highest devices and equipment and technology and all of these things.
And therefore the purpose is always sort of around sort of this narrow area of their industry. As I started working with opticians. Let me give you an example of one who kinda like went beyond their own industry. So what they were seeing was that a lot of the students, younger patients that were coming in were coming in as a result of getting in trouble at school. Why are kids who are getting in trouble at school, coming into their opticians? Well, what happened was, was that because this, because their vision wasn't as sharp as they should have been, they're not able to see the board. So they're not able to see the board. So they're getting things wrong, for example, where they don't want to put their hand up and say, can I move to the front of the class?
Cause that's just not cool. Is that so they're kind of falling behind a little bit, their attention span. Isn't as great. Maybe now they're talking more on their phone a little bit more because they're not paying attention. And then as the parent, as the teacher raises this to the parent and there's a performance issues and stuff, and then it comes out in a conversation after, you know, a few of these conversations.
Well, actually I can't see the board properly. So then they go get their eyes tested, they get glasses, contact lenses, whatever it is. And now all of a sudden You know, things are improving because now I can't pay attention because I can't see what's going on and I can keep up. Right. So these opticians, what they decided to do when they noticed this parallel and every opticians have a similar story is they made their purpose.
Something that transcended the industry. Now it's we remove barriers to education. How amazing we remove barriers to education. If you just read that you wouldn't even know that they are an opticians, right. But all of a sudden things start changing now because now my marketing is a certain way. My branding is a certain way.
Now I can collaborate with educational institutions. Now teachers are interested in actually my practice. Right. And it sets them apart from. Any other practice that you know about now when they do, when they do charity work, when they give back to the community it's around education, not necessarily just around classes and that's what w what we call a massive transformational purpose.
Does it transcends the industry that I'm in, right? It gives a much more global view to what I'm doing back to the Zappos example, delivering happiness. We just happen to sell shoes in the process.
Lech: [00:23:19] Wow. That is again, looking at looking beyond the symptom in this situation that you've described with the kids who are struggling and kind of acting out it's rather than looking just that they're behaving things like that. It's just looking beyond that. What is hiding? That and arriving at the conclusion that it is something that they they're not aware of.
They don't know how to speak. Yes. You can say it's because the teenagers and they haven't developed the skills, but that's, that's the, that's the situation we often face in organizations further down the line. We have people who face problems within our teams and they don't know how to speak up and who to turn to.
And we often kind of look just. At the superficial level of what's going on, we actually don't get in into the nitty-gritty of what might be the case. Not of course not necessarily be linked to the purpose of, of an organization. But the example that you've given here is fantastic. As you, as you said, it has to be something with purpose that transcends it's not just words on the wall, on the poster.
something like the values that a new starter gets introduced to on the first day by the HR person. And it's never meant, kind of asked about them in any way, shape or form later, later, later down the line. And that's what I've experienced. I've seen firsthand than I've seen see with a lot of people. And I guess this is something where organizations do struggle is they might have these great purposes, missions and values. But then they are not enforced. Then they are not lived by and maybe forced is the wrong word. Lived by is probably better. But it's not something that is being. Used to drive the decisions and the way that, that we do things in our organizations. And I guess this is why I think organizations struggle.
What's what's your take on that? How can organizations overcome that rather than just having let's assume that they've got this great purpose and great mission, great values. This is still something not working and they're not, they don't know how. To get people to live, live that, to believe in that purpose, let's even use the example of the opticians that you've you've you've you've mentioned, what can they do that?
Ali Moledina: [00:25:26] Yeah, absolutely. So I guess, let me just caveat here to any parents and teachers who are listening better. Just if you've got kids paying up, providing them the glasses, it's not going to be a solution to all your problems
Lech: [00:25:38] This show does not provide any medical advice whatsoever. I probably should have mentioned that at the very beginning. Thank you for the disclaimer here.
Ali Moledina: [00:25:45] But, but, but the, but the whole point of that is to show that actually, you know, if you can, if you can go down to a, so if you can see a problem. Because any opticians you speak to will have a similar story around, you know kids coming in to kind of get the rice testing because something's going wrong at school, or something's not working at school, but it's about going beyond just, Oh, we're providing glasses, but actually solving a wider problem.
Right. And it's also the elderly as well. The more. The better, the vision is the more mentally active. They also as an education from that perspective. So I just wanted to throw that in there. But in terms of, yeah, how does this then translate down to behaviors and that's, that's the million dollar question, right?
That is like, how does this now feel to down the organization? And I think the key thing here is the one really useful thing for organizations to think about is. When I've got a job, when I'm thinking about how, what my purpose is and what my values are, the key thing is then to understand this, how does that translate to behaviors?
Number two? So as a result of this, what does this mean? That the behaviors of my team are at whatever level, at a leadership level, at a customer service facing level at an administrator level. And then third of all, Is once I've identified those behaviors, how do I measure performance based on those behaviors?
Right. So let me give you an example of a client that I worked with for a while, where culture was a really big thing for them, right? So they had a multi-site operation. One of the values that they had was that we are expertise in, we are the expertise in our industry. And it was like, okay. And he, you know, and the, and the owner showed me, there was these three values, this was one of them.
And it was like, okay, great. And it says, I was really disappointed actually, because I went into all of my sites and asked them, can you say these two, you know, Gina, what these three values are and they were unable to. Goes. So then what, and this was before we started working together, it was, I printed them off.
I put 'em on the reception desk. Everybody had their own card. And now when I go in and I asked them they're able to tell me, and this felt like really good progress. And it's like, okay, great. That, that, that's brilliant that they're able to tell you that. So now as we dug a little bit deeper, we're saying, well, actually, all right, so this area of expertise, we want them to be the expertise in the area who asked the very simple question.
When you rate the performance of your employees, what is the, what are the basis that you're rating them on? And it was around sales values and around customer satisfaction surveys and all of these things. And I said, okay, great. But one of the core values or the top one value was that we want to be expertise on this area.
How many training courses has your employees been on from the start of the year to the end of the year? Hmm. Don't know. Okay. So what if we were measuring not how many sales they made, but how the expertise had developed over there or as well as ourselves they've made how the expertise has grown over the, what courses have they been in?
How has that helped them perform their, their job better? And, you know, and you get where I'm going with this. So then we looked ahead of office perspective. So we said, okay, so what's your salary budget for next year? You know, X thousand dollars. What is your marketing budget budget for next year? X thousand dollars.
Okay. What is your training and development budget for next year? We don't have a budget for training and development, but. One of your values is to be expertise. So actually what are the almost expect the biggest budget to be is training and development. And then it's like, okay, got it right. If these are my values, it's about breaking them down.
I and saying, well, how are these behaviors now demonstrated at head office in sales, in marketing, in the finance, in, you know, whatever HR department, right. And I think that's key. How do we break this time into behaviors? And how is that? Then managed
Lech: [00:29:59] Devil's advocate here now. We need money to run our organizations and money comes from sales. It doesn't come from the training, living the values and things like that. How, what could convince me that it's otherwise, how, how can we convince people that we can do it differently? That, that this is this the real thing that we need to focus on?
Ali Moledina: [00:30:21] So look, I, I'm a finance guy and I get it and I get it. So I guess at the start of this conversation, remember we said, it depends where the organization is.
Look, if, if an organization is in a place where we're barely breaking, even then, absolutely. You don't have the money to be spending a lot on these types of stuff. Right. Number one. However, I think there's a false assumption to be made that having a massive transformational purpose requires huge investments of money.
It requires huge investment of time and energy. I'm not going to deny that right. Number one. And then number two is that it is a two-pronged approach. So, yes, absolutely. Sales is important. Getting the money into the business is the lifeblood of the business. However, it's hand in hand, right? Because if I distinguish my business, because I'm the expertise in the area, if I distinguish my business, because I, in Zappos example into deliver happiness, whatever that is, then I need to make sure I'm doing that in order to drive sales.
Right. It's not, it's, it's a reciprocal relationship. Right. They're not independent of each other. And then not necessarily linear one actor. They work hand in hand. And therefore it's about focusing on both, however, in any business, right? There's three resources, your money resources, your time resources and your people, resources, the amount of resources you devote to each one is going to vary.
Depending on where I am. So at the start of my business, I can't devote a lot of money to training and development, but Hey, I can devote time and energy to it. It's not difficult to get free training these days. Right. And then as my organization grows and I have more money now I can throw more money at it and I can spend less time and energy on it because it just happens.
Lech: [00:32:15] I couldn't agree more with you. I'm trying to agree more with you, but I just can't.
Ali Moledina: [00:32:20] But it's not often that's happened in our working career
Lech: [00:32:22] Oh no, no, but let's, let's, let's, let's let go of that. That's probably a separate episode of a podcast that probably couples therapy more. So boy, I think but you know, I'll, I'll, I'll get onto that because the thing that I always enjoyed the w and I often clashed with the thing with us.
We often had the same aim. Of what we wanted to achieve and we always worked it out. And in terms of working relationships, it was one of the best ones that I've ever had. And I absolutely love that because it was, yeah, it was tough, but it was, it was very eh, transformational in the way that I've learned a hell of a lot from that how to deal with disagreement and still get things done.
But just to say what it was to address what you've just said about. Money and devoting budgets here. And then sales is absolutely. Is that money? Organizations need money to run. No doubt about that. It's how we split the, how we divide that into different pots and depending on where we are in the lifecycle of the organization or in just within the year of how we can manage our time.
And it's at the time of our people, that's how you adjust them. These th these things. And. I've been heartbroken so many times because I've seen and spoken to so many organizations and similar to what you've just described. They tell me about these values. They've got these ideas as who's got mission and things.
Aren't going fantastic. This is, you know, it's finally becoming the norm, not the exception. Great. And then we have the conversation that you had about priorities in terms of what people are kind of judged them on in terms of performance and things like that. And sales and targets and things like that.
Basically numbers come first and I'm just then completely heartbroken. So I thought that was such a good start. It's just, it was so close and you still are, so there's still hope for you there, but then just shifting that away from the numbers. It's not to say that numbers are not important. Absolutely not.
And I think I say this on every bloody episode that it's, it's not that we're vilifying numbers and sales know they are important, but so are your people and focusing on them, giving them the right attention to grow, because if they grow the organization grows as well. And if you're afraid that if you invest in your people and they might leave after you've invested in them, think of what's going to happen.
If you don't invest in them and they stay. What is, what is your organization's going to be like then? But that's just a little bit food for thought.
Ali Moledina: [00:34:48] And if I can just add to that before you ask actually question, if that's okay. So I think the key thing here with numbers is two things. There's number ones. Number one is what we need to remember is numbers are a symptom of what's happening in the organization, right? So So as a, so when I, when I think about a growing organization, it's not that, and I'm just trying to think of my wording here is that whatever's whatever good is happening in the organization.
The cells increasing is a result of that. It's like a lagging factor, right? So therefore, if you get the inputs, right, the output is going to be the numbers. So I think that's the number one is really important. Number two, in most businesses that I work with, the salaries that they pay are the biggest expense that they have.
Right. So if I bought a really expensive piece of equipment, if I bought a really nice car for me to leave that equipment there and not do anything with, it means that actually my equipment is only going to last me say five years. But if I service it regularly, if I look after, if I maintain it, maybe I'll get 10 years out of it.
Maybe we'll just do that much better of a job because everything's collaborated. And that's the approach to people. It's like, okay, you've paying the salaries. But actually just that little bit more effort means that you're going to get a lot more bang for your buck. If you want to talk about it from a pure numbers perspective, you're going to get much more bang for your buck from what is your biggest expense that you have on your books right now,
Lech: [00:36:21] That is such a great way of looking at it. I actually never thought of it as I was looking at the kind of the person as a, as a salary in a way as a number. Yes. But then as a motivator in terms of what you need to look after the most, just from a, again, from a simple numbers perspective you put in so, so much effort and money and resource into the people Might as well, kind of continue doing that and get the rewards from that.
It's not something that's going to happen over weeks or months probably is going to take a little bit longer. But as soon as people feel valued, then the likelihood that they will leave for another organization that pays them more is a lot lower. And as you said, the more you put in and you get right at the, from the outset, the outcome further down the line.
Is going to be so much greater and so much closer to where you were aiming for. I'm talking about purpose leadership and company culture as a, as a whole, or kind of any, anything within that realm of organizations and the work that you do.
What's the one stereotype of how we run our organizations that we should let go of.
Ali Moledina: [00:37:25] I think the stereotype of. When you ask somebody his leadership style and the expectation that the real, that the leadership style is either results driven or I'm either focused on results or I'm focused on my people. And to think that actually I'm one or the other. Right because there's this, there's, there's often a tendency for people to think, Oh yeah, I'm results driven.
And therefore, you know, I, it's almost like, you know, I've got a weapon I'm kind of making people work in order to get the results or on people driven and therefore I can sacrifice results. And actually, no, they're not, they're not on opposite ends of the spectrum. It's possible to look after your people and get good, solid, hard results.
Lech: [00:38:12] I think that's a brilliant way to kind of tie it all together of what we talked about. It's just kind of to sum it up and you've done it really, really well. So thank you for that. I wanted to ask you, what have you got going on the next few months in terms of projects, the work that you're doing, anything that you're really super excited. about?
Ali Moledina: [00:38:31] Yeah, absolutely. So so I guess for me, it's important to, to let you guys know what my. Massive transformational purposes in as I'm it would be not very good for me to be preaching but not practicing. So the whole reason why I went into business coaching was because I found that my purpose is to multiply human energy, one business at a time.
And the reason how I came up with this purpose was that every time that I ran a course anytime that I worked with business leaders, what I found the outcome was that was business leaders would say, Hey, I've been able to achieve so much more than I was previously. I've been able to enter, you know, get the team together in a way that I wasn't able to increase profits X percent.
And I would just see the difference in the energy in terms of what they're achieving. And as a result of that, As I would have these conversations, I would also be much more energized to go away and and do more of this work. And therefore, you know, that's it, it's simple that. A massive transformational purpose for me doing this is to multiply human energy, one business at a time.
So three things that I've got going on right now is first of all we're launching a what we call the Kaizen business fundamentals coaching program here in the U S which is working with a, it's a group coaching program, working with business leaders. It's a six week program where we go through.
Business concepts, there's weekly accountability calls, and it's a great way for those people who have never experienced coaching. And you know, one-on-one feels a little bit intimidating to actually experience coaching and really have some real life examples that they can take away and transform their, their businesses.
The second thing is the one-on-one coaching programs that I, that I'm running with clients both here in the U S I'm in the UK. And the third thing that I've got going on is I have an ambition for 2021 to interview 100. Business leaders about their leadership journey. I have, no, I don't have any ambitions right now to turn that into some sort of publication, but it's more about collating that and understanding people's leadership and business journey and thinking about how I can use that to then do good in terms of supporting other new entrepreneurs coming up.
So, so that's exciting. I'm looking forward to that.
Lech: [00:40:44] Sounds sounds like a busy 20, 21 and beyond if you ask me, but I'm super excited for you because I know that it's something that you wanted to get into for, for a long while it's going to devote your full, full, full attention to it. So I'm really glad and happy that you, you finally managed to, to, to achieve that.
Where can people find out more about you and kind of follow what you, what you do, your website, LinkedIn, anywhere else?
Ali Moledina: [00:41:07] Yeah, absolutely. So the LinkedIn is there. We can put a link to it. Yeah. So we'll do that. We'll put a, so please do connect with me to LinkedIn. I kind of like post various things in order to multiply human energy. So you may get something that's useful there.
The website is Kaizen K I Z E N. Doc consulting which again, we can put down there, but they're the, they're the two main ways to get access to what we're doing and access to some resources as well, which you may find useful in your businesses.
Lech: [00:41:35] Fabulous Ali. I'm truly grateful, not just for the time that you've devoted to, to come and chat to us today, but for all the work that you and I have done together in the past. I don't think I've, I've had a chance to, to say this, but I did learn so much from you as I've mentioned before. Not just from the kind of the clashes that we've had but you, in a way where.
And inspiration behind the work I do now, because I saw you doing that and that's just kind of filled it kind of motivated me to do more in, in the area. I've always been very interested in the mouse in, and, and kind of strongly believed in and having a person like you to kind of as an inspiration was always fantastic.
So I'm really glad. I'm really glad, grateful for that. Again, thank you very much for, for coming on the show.
Ali Moledina: [00:42:19] Brilliant. Thank you. Thank you very much for those kind words. It's a, it's a humbling to hear we had the good kind of few years working together and, and it just shows, right? Like in terms of, you know, we were in the UK at that time, you are now in another part of the world in Poland, I'm in the us.
And how actually this is all kind of like come round. It just shows sort of the, the value of, of the relationships that we build and how they can kind of like connect together in ways that we would never. Every, you know, imagine at that time and, and likewise, it's been great being on having this conversation, but also sort of working together and hopefully it's not the last conversation we have.
Lech: [00:42:56] Absolutely. No, absolutely. Thank you very much. Again,