Podcast

Episode: 563 |
Alex Brueckmann:
Author of The Strategy Legacy:
Episode
563

HOW TO THRIVE AS AN
INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL

Alex Brueckmann

Author of The Strategy Legacy

Show Notes

In this episode of Unleashed, Alex Brueckmann discusses the concept of strategy and its importance in business. Alex states that strategy is defined as a set of integrated choices made to win in a chosen marketplace. It is not just about playing the game, but about creating value that convinces or influences customers to buy from the company. A good strategy should be cohesive and integrated, making sense together, and Alex explains what defines a good strategy. 

 

Defining Key Factors in a  Strategy

When discussing a strategy, it is important to understand what the company does, for whom, what they offer, and who their customer is. This information can help businesses define their niche, mission, and goals. The next piece of information should be a clear description of what the business will look like in the next few years. The end state of the business and the strategy cycle should be defined, with what will be achieved by implementing the strategy and what actions will be taken. By knowing what you do, for whom, what you work toward, and the few choices that make 80% of the impact, businesses can focus their resources on the most important aspects of their strategy.

 

Helping Companies Develop a Strategy

Alex talks about the process of helping companies develop their strategy. He begins by helping clients understand their playing field, recent past changes and challenges, and aligning them with what the reality looks like. He discusses future changes and challenges, dissecting them into opportunities and defining target markets and clients. Alex helps clients understand what they need to do to make clients choose them over competitors in various industries. He also introduces the framework of the nine elements of organizational identity, which is an integrated approach to understanding every aspect of an entity. This includes customer experience, who the company is as a company, and the impact they want to have by providing a service to the world.

 

The Inner Circle Business Strategy

Alex talks about the frameworks he uses to help clients develop a strategy, including the nine elements of organizational identity and how he has defined key factors into the inner circle, the middle circle, and the outer circle. He talks about the inner circle of a business and what it  involves, including impact, mission, and principles. Impact is the change you want to create, based on your purpose and reason to exist as an organization. Mission is what an organization aims to do, and principles are the underlying values and behavioral guidelines.He explains how each element works and what the difference between impact and mission is. Iimpact is the change you want to create, while mission is what an organization aims to do. For example, a vehicle company’s mission is to produce vehicles and sell them to a specific target group. However, the impact they create is deeper than their business definition. For example, producing affordable vehicles can be a game changer for families in third world countries, and having your own vehicle can also be a game changer depending on the security situation.

 

The Middle Circle Business Strategy

The middle circle is your business strategy, which includes a vision, choices made, and measurable goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, and timed, but they lack specificity and, instead, hope that passion will carry them forward. To create a cohesive business strategy, it is essential to have a clear vision, intermediate goals, and visual representations, such as a strategy map. This helps ensure that the story you are telling with your strategy is cohesive and effective.

 

The Outer Circle Business Strategy

Alex discusses the outer circle, which includes management system capabilities and targets. This outer circle is likened to a scaffolding that prevents a business from breaking down again. However, without enabling everyone in the business to lead effectively and help individual contributors understand that their job matters, and help them achieve their individual targets. It also helps ensure alignment with company values.He mentions that targets should be both cultural and strategic. The third element in the outer circle is management systems, which help adjust organizational structure and processes to support change. These systems are designed to help the company stay stable and develop, but they are not designed for change. Therefore, building new systems and then removing the old ones is crucial to create strategies that support strategy, implementation, and culture.

 

Preparing the Foundation of Strategy Development

Alex emphasizes the importance of understanding the playing field and reality, as well as the diamond values that define who a business is. Diamond values are hard to alter, even under pressure, and are hard to lose clients if they don’t align with the company’s values. He mentions that the distinction between irrational and emotional culture is important, as it helps companies understand the difference between doing the right thing and talking about business and the words used to describe your playing field, and the emotional culture of the people within the business, and creating an environment that fosters a human-centric performance culture, where people show up at their best every day. This goes beyond just revenue generation and problem-solving, but also encourages employees to be the best version of themselves, knowing that working in a business that prioritizes them as human beings is a privilege.

 

The Role of a Strategy Facilitator

Alex discusses the role of a strategy facilitator in executive coaching and how to help customers create business strategies. He shares eight steps that can be used as starting points for executive teams, including executive interviews, foundation sessions, and strategy workshops. The foundation session helps answer foundational questions and aligns everyone’s readiness to start a strategy process. He talks about the importance of transitioning from understanding reality and understanding oneself and values to moving towards the future. Facilitators must create an environment where honest and vulnerable conversations about strategy are allowed, allowing people to bring their ideas forward. Alex emphasizes the importance of helping people become stewards of the entire business, not just the marketing lead or sales lead. They should step away from their day-to-day jobs and become stewards of the entire business. Alex mentions a certification program for facilitation he is developing that targets both external resources like executive coaches and workshop facilitators, as well as internal resources like strategy managers and PMO managers who often find themselves in situations with executives where they facilitate and push forward the process. Alex’s book, “The Strategy Facilitator,” was inspired by a conversation with Marshall Goldsmith, who had previously worked with Alex’s marketing agency. Goldsmith offered to endorse his book, which Brueckmann describes as a kind gesture.

 

Timestamps:

01:02 Business strategy and its components

05:30 Strategy development and identity for businesses

10:46 Organizational identity and strategy

17:58 Implementing a comprehensive strategy for a business

22:38 Strategy facilitation and emotional culture in business

26:32 Strategy facilitation and certification program

 

Links:

Website: https://brueckmann.ca/

Book: The Strategy Legacy

Book: Secrets of Next-Level Entrepreneurs: 11 Powerful Lessons to Thrive in Business and Lead a Balanced Life

 

One weekly email with bonus materials and summaries of each new episode:

 

  1. Alex Brueckmann

SPEAKERS

Alex Brueckmann, Will Bachman

 

Will Bachman  00:02

Hello, and welcome to Unleashed. I’m your host will Bachman. And I’m really excited to be here today with Alex Brockman, who is the author of the strategy legacy, how to future proof of business and leave your mark. And he has a another book creating the strategy legacy as well. Alex, welcome to the show.

 

Alex Brueckmann  00:23

Thank you very much for having me. Well, thanks for the kind introduction. So

 

Will Bachman  00:27

first, let’s define terms. What is strategy?

 

Alex Brueckmann  00:35

Great question. I am a if you want a pupil of Roger Mertens, when it comes to that definition, in simple terms, strategy is the handful of integrated choices that you make to win in your chosen marketplace. So the theory about how you win, not just play the game to play, you know?

 

Will Bachman  00:57

Okay, so let’s expand that a little bit more I, you might be, I think I read the same book there about playing to win, right by Roger Martin and Lafley. And they talk about several questions. One is, I think, defining what is winning, saying, Where do we play? How do we win? And what’s the plan to get there? But I’m going from memory, tell me a little bit more just expand a little bit more, if we have a strategy? What questions Is it answering? What does that look like? What you know, we had a strategy on paper, what does it include?

 

Alex Brueckmann  01:35

Yeah. Let me start by saying most companies that I’ve that I’ve worked with, or that I’ve seen from the inside, they actually do not have a strategy, they have a certain amount of documents that they would refer to as a strategy. But when you take a look at those, they often consist, a long list of ideas, lofty goals, sometimes very specific projects. But when you take a look at them, the defining criteria of strategy for me is that what you do needs to be cohesive and integrated, which simply is another way of saying, if you do all these things, they need to make sense together. So you can’t just say, I want to do a project in marketing I want to do I want to build a new plant, I’m going to focus on our operations, and et cetera, et cetera. So it’s not just a laundry list of projects, these things need to come together into a cohesive story. So in a very simple way, what your strategy needs to answer is, what will you do? And what do you think you will achieve by doing that? strategy as such is a theory of how you win. It’s not, we do X, Y, Zed, and then the result is ABC, it is more like, let’s understand how we can create value in a in a way that convinces or influences our customers, or potential customers to buy from us, not from others. So I think the defining criteria of a good strategy is that it is about the customer, and not about who does what, by when, and budget allocation and things like that, because that’s internal, a good strategy is focused on the customer who is external, who you cannot control.

 

Will Bachman  03:37

So if we have a company that let’s say they have a strategy that you would sign off on and say this is an A plus strategy, right, this is a well done strategy. Give us an example of what that might look like, just what’s on that piece of paper.

 

Alex Brueckmann  03:53

So if we talk about a strategy on a page, which I which I often hear from from clients, what we try to help them achieve is, is not the details on that page. It’s it’s about the story that you tell. So if you meet one of your employees, for example, or your next leadership level, or whomever that is, your board of directors, what is the strategy? What is the story that you tell them? So it is about understanding what you do, and for whom? So what is your offering? And who is your customer? And those questions seem so simple, yet, they are so explosive. For most businesses, these questions end up in our loan, where else or discussions if you want. So that’s the first thing that needs to be on that page to understand what you’re doing for him. Call it your niche, call it however, whatever you want to do, I call it mission. So what is it you do and for whom? I think Patrick Lencioni wants to find As a business definition, so if you understand it from that perspective, that’s the first thing that you need to understand. So if you have that clear, the next, the next piece on that one page needs to be, how does your business look like in a few years from now. And that’s not like a lofty vision statement that you put on a marketing flyer or god knows what that needs to be just a few sentences that clearly describe how you feel your business needs to look like in let’s say, two or three years. And that’s then what you can work toward. So you basically define the end state of your business and state of your strategy cycle, what is it that you will have achieved by implementing that strategy, and then, then you define what it is that you will actually do. And that is your strategy. Those are your integrated set of choices that I mentioned in the beginning. So knowing what you do, and for whom, knowing what you work toward, and knowing what the few choices are that you need to make, let’s say that 20% of the things that make 80% of the impact that you will then over index on and focus all your resources on.

 

Will Bachman  06:15

You work with companies to help them develop their strategy, walk me through the process that you lead your clients through.

 

Alex Brueckmann  06:25

Well, the starting point is very, very different, depending on the client, right, so some companies that approach us, our Inc, 5000 businesses, fast growing startups, very often they don’t have a strategy in place at all they have they are either like extremely opportunity driven, or extremely tech driven, or whatever it is. So you can actually start from scratch with them. And define all elements of their identity, including the business strategy. Other businesses, like the automotive OEMs were working with, or pharma companies, they do have something in place, they they don’t start from scratch. So you focus maybe more on on a particular aspect of strategy or on a particular aspect of read of their identity. What the process in big terms, if I try to describe the process as such, what I typically do with my clients first is help them understand the playing field they’re on. And that that means understanding the recent past changes and challenges that they went through. So that you can align them around what the reality actually looks like. And that is surprisingly difficult for many executive teams to align on what the reality looks like. Everyone has a different perspective on things. So doing that is extremely helpful. As a first step. Once you’ve achieved that, you can actually talk about the future, you can talk about those changes and challenges that come your way over the coming years. And what you then do is dissect those changes and challenges into into opportunities for you. And you realize at some point that what might look like a challenge or a threat is in is eventually not not that threatening at all. So you define in that process in discussing those changes and challenges, you start to define your target market, you start to define your target clients. And by doing that you have you have a clear understanding of of your market. And then the next step is understanding if that is my market, what do I have to do so that clients choose us over our competitor? And in many industries? That is a very interesting question, because they have never approached it from that perspective. They have approached it from the perspective of let’s take credit unions, for example, one of one of the claims I’m currently working with is the credit union. And that is an industry that is, let’s say, one of the most complacent I’ve ever seen in my life. These businesses, these credit unions, they sometimes don’t even understand themselves as businesses, they don’t understand themselves as a player in a market where they should aim to win. They have been around for a very, very long time. And it’s not about playing to win. It’s about playing to play. It’s about a very romantic approach to doing business. And these questions help them to kind of wake up to get out of their complacency and and think about the market and their product and their industry and their customers in very different ways. And at that point, in the process of working with them. Like every project is entirely different because you never know where you get to at that at that point in the process. And it’s really about helping the customer understand that they cannot do it. Everything that they want to do, every every company has finite resources, and the conversations about what is a must have move, and what is a nice to have move, and helping them bring those moves into a logic sequence and into a cohesive construct. That is then the art and science of strategy if you want.

 

Will Bachman  10:25

You have a framework in your book, The nine elements of organizational identity, walk me through that framework.

 

Alex Brueckmann  10:35

Well, the nine elements of organization of the entity is I think every every aspect in that is known to humankind. The question is, do you understand it in an integrated way? I am a very visual person. So what I did is all the all the aspects that I typically work with my clients on, I brought them into three concentric circles. And the reason I did that is because very often when you start to talk about strategy, for example, you realize that the strategy process touches on so many different aspects, that it would be a shame, if you wouldn’t use that one process to refresh those elements of your identity. For example, if you start talking about customers, if you start talking about customer experience, you start talking about how do we want to be with our customers? What is the experience like? And that touches on? Who are we as a company? Who are we as human beings, what is the the impact that we want to have by providing a certain service to the world? So at the core of those three concentric circles, at the center of circle, there’s this impact that I mentioned, which is literally the question, it answers the question of, if we put our purpose into practice into action, what is the tangible impact that we create? And it also answers questions that are deeper than that, like questions around which values guide our actions? So values and behaviors are in that first concentric circle? And the third one I already mentioned? Is that piece around mission, like what do we actually do and whom do we serve? The reason I call it organizational identity is and not business identity is that those nine elements, they are irrelevant, whether you are a government agency, whether you are a not for profit, environmental protection company, or whether you are a for profit entity. So once you’ve answered those three questions, you move into that center circle, where the next three elements of identity would sit, which are you a strategy, the choices that you make, which you point out, before

 

Will Bachman  12:45

you get into that, let me just recap what I heard. And I’m referring to the book as well. So that inner circle, again, we got impact, mission, and principles, correct. And from your book, I’m reading just the definitions just to help recap. So impact is the change you want to create, based on your purpose, your reason to exist as an organization. And mission is what an organization aims to do. And for whom, and principles are the underlying values and behavioral guidelines. Just could you help me just clarify the difference between impact and mission? Impact is the change you want to create. And mission is what an organization aims to do. How do you differentiate those two? Good,

 

Alex Brueckmann  13:30

good question. They are very, very different things. So for example, the mission of a vehicle company is to produce vehicles, right? That’s what they do. They produce vehicles they sell produce market vehicles to certain target group. It’s as simple as that. If you take a look at what environmental protection agencies do, they protect habitat and wildlife. That’s as simple as that. But the impact that they create through that is way, way deeper than that, going back to the automotive company, the impact that they have on the lives of their customers, depending on the market, where they’re at, can be tremendous, like producing affordable vehicles. In a third world country can be an absolute game changer for a family who doesn’t have to rely on let’s say, public transport. So much that might be inefficient, unreliable, etcetera. And depending on the security situation in your country, having your own vehicle can also be a game changer. So the impact that you have on the lives of people, by providing them a certain service or product is different than your definition of your business. And when it comes to to the Environmental Protection Agency that I mentioned, of course, their mission is to protect habitat and wildlife, but the impact that that has is way, way deeper, and it goes way beyond that it’s about securing biodiversity is about protecting life on Earth and helping our ecosystem stay intact, which has a very direct impact on all of us. Alright, so

 

Will Bachman  14:58

you’re you’re definitely notion of mission is, like the product or service you’re providing, and, and what customers you’re providing it to. That’s kind of, it’s the right, you know, what, what you’re actually losing? Where’s the impact? It sounds a little bit like the concept of jobs to be done. It’s what is that product or service than? Like, what’s the? Like, what is the job that those a product or service is providing? Like? What’s the change on that person’s life or that organizations life from being able to get that product or service?

 

Alex Brueckmann  15:33

Exactly what would disappear from this planet? If your company closed shop, that’s the impact. So if if there is nothing that happens, if your company closed the shop, you actually do not have an impact. So there is no real value in the product or service that you provide.

 

Will Bachman  15:51

Okay, great. Okay, so that was the inner circle. Okay, so now now lead us on to the out this middle circle.

 

Alex Brueckmann  15:58

So that middle circle is literally your, your business strategy. It’s how you how you create it. And those three elements that I associate with strategy, one of them I already mentioned, it’s that vision piece, how does your business look like and a few years down the road that you can work towards. So it’s, it’s not a marketing claim, a lofty statement that you put on your website, it is a very specific description of how the business will look like once you have implemented your strategy. That is the first element. The second element is then your strategy as such, the choices that you make and how you visually depict them, for example, using a strategy map, or any other tool that you choose to use. And the third element is your measurable goals. So it hurts me. Sometimes I walk into the door of a company and they show me what their strategy current strategy looks like. And then you see basically a list of, of great sounding goals, very aspirational goals. But there is little smartness about it in the sense of SMART goals. They’re not specific, they don’t measurable, they don’t tell they don’t, they don’t tell you what it is that you need to action in order to get there. They’re not timed. And they try to make up for that lack of specificity. With passion, like, you know, it’s all about passion. It’s all about Chaka, we can do this. But but that’s unfortunately, not how strategy works. You need that passion. Of course, that’s the fire in your belly that makes you get up in the morning. But then what. So having that vision clear, having the intermediate goals clear that you want to achieve and depicting that, in some sort of visual, like a strategy map, can really help you understand whether the story that you’re telling with your strategy is actually cohesive.

 

Will Bachman  17:55

All right, great. Now let’s go to the outer circle.

 

Alex Brueckmann  18:01

The outer circle of fidelity is comprised of management system capabilities and targets. And if you think about what that outer circle is, think about a scaffolding that you build around a tower to avoid that it that it breaks down again, or any other kind of structure that you can that you build, you can have the greatest strategy in place in theory. But if you do not enable anyone, everyone in the business to either lead in a way that it helps to implement strategy, if you don’t help your individual contributors understand how they job matters, and how what they do helps build that vision and achieve your strategy, then nothing will happen like businesses, I always say businesses don’t implement strategy. People do. And if people understand how they do that, it unleashes incredible motivation. And that sense of contribution is what people often lack in businesses, they just don’t see how their job matters. So having those capabilities in place is super important to help people achieve the second element in that outer circle their individual targets. And these are more than just you know, business numbers. Of course, depending on where you work, These might include sales numbers, these might include other metrics. But this is way more than just about the numbers. This is about understanding how you show up every day, for example, is in line with the values and the behavioral guidelines that you defined as part of your identity. So these targets need to be both cultural and strategic. And then the third element in that outer circle, that’s what I call management systems. That’s, that’s literally how do I now that I have clarity about where we want to go and how we get there. How do you adjust your structure and your processes of an organization so that it supports that change? The problem is, every company has processes every company has systems and structure is a meeting cadence isn’t God knows what these are all part of your management systems. And the reason you created them is to help the company stay stable and run stable and develop. But they are not designed for change. So it’s kind of like building new bridges that you can, that you can use in the future, and then tearing down the old ones, so that the management structures or management systems that you build are the ones that actually create the strategies that support the strategy, implementation and that support the culture you want to see in your business. So when you talk about values, when you talk about behavioral guidelines, and all your leadership is incentivized in different ways that are not aligned with that, chances are that they will not focus too much on those values and behavioral guidelines, but more on what maximizes their year end bonus, if you know what I mean.

 

Will Bachman  20:56

I’d like to revisit the part about so you, it was helpful to walk us through all those nine elements of the identity for someone who is listening and says, Okay, great. How do I actually put this in practice? And, you know, get from here to there? Could you walk through this a little bit more detail? How do you actually implement this? So before he walked us through several steps, the first was, you know, understanding the playing field the recent past? And what does reality look like? So what specific activities or analyses or questions would someone do? And just that first phase that to help them prepare the foundation to create their strategy? Yeah.

 

Alex Brueckmann  21:39

So when we talk about, for example, values and behavioral guidelines, we are really, we try to avoid these conversations around you know, those values that you print on posters and hang up in the corridors or plaster your PowerPoint deck with and we’re trying to look deeper, we’re trying to look into what we call emotional culture, and rational culture. So what are the what are the, the, the, the few, maybe it’s only one, maybe it’s only two, what are the few, we call them diamond values that define who you are as a business. And we call them diamond value for a reason, they are hard to alter, even under pressure. So that’s just who you are. That’s what you you’re willing to lose clients, for example, if you realize that the way they treat you is not in line with your own diamond values. And we help companies understand what that actually means. And the distinction between irrational and emotional culture goes goes back to what cyclebar state of Wharton produced in her in her lifetime, to help people understand that there is a difference between, for example, doing the right thing and talking about business and the words that you use to describe, for example, your your playing field, your strategy, etc. And that there is a an emotional culture around the types of conversations that you want people to have in an organization. And that includes things like for example, how do you help people grow? How do you help people see the impact of their behaviors of how they show up in meetings of how they show up in interactions with external stakeholders, for example. And that is really about understanding, helping people understand of who they are. So it becomes this, this conversation that goes way beyond strategy way beyond bottom line and numbers. And you know, it’s more about understanding how do I create an environment in my business that can become over time, what I call a human centric performance culture. How do you help people show up every day, at their best, whatever their best is your best is different every day, but to have these conversations that are more than just helping people create revenue, helping people solve problems, but a space where people want to be the best version of themselves, because they know that it’s that it’s a privilege to work in a business that is focused on them as human beings as well, not just on the bottom line.

 

Will Bachman  24:37

I want to highlight in chapter five of your book, rolling up the sleeves, you really get down to business of walking through these 12345678 different aspects or different kind of approaches, right, or sources of insight for the strategy process. Yep, as our executive interviews, the foundation sessions, Strategy Workshop, research phase refinement workshops, workstream, deep dives, organizational intent creation and strategy reviews, give us kind of just the quick overview of those different aspects.

 

Alex Brueckmann  25:20

If you ever thought about becoming a strategy facilitator, let’s assume you’re an executive coach, let’s assume you have conversations about all kinds of topics with your customers. And from time to time, most likely, the topic of strategy comes up. And if you’ve ever been in that situation where you thought, I wonder how I could facilitate a process like this? Well, those are the those are the steps don’ts that you just mentioned, if you want to help a customer, create a business strategy, if you just take those eight steps and understand them, you can be a tremendous resource, as a facilitator for for executive teams, for example, executive interviews, foundation, session and Strategy Workshop, those those are the starting points of every great conversation around strategy. And we start with executive interviews, because we want to understand the level of strategic acumen within a group of people, be it an executive team, or whoever the strategy core team mate may entail and accompany. We want to understand what happened the past, what they tried, what worked, how they, how urgent and important they perceive, for example, a new strategy process to start, it might just be the idea of the CEO. And we realize in these interviews that actually no one thinks that this is needed. So then we have a different conversation, we just, we, our foundation session then looks different. And as if we feel like everyone’s fired up, they’re already aligned, they know exactly what they want. And they only need us to facilitate the process so that they don’t lose themselves in details. So the foundation session in the end, helps us answer some of those foundational questions that we talked about in the beginning of our conversation. And they also help us play back to the people that we interviewed, what we actually see as a fly on the wall, they talk to us, we play back, where we feel they’re at in terms of readiness to start a strategy process. And once we’ve done we’ve we’ve cleared the air, once we’ve have created that understanding of what we do and for whom we can actually start to work on strategy. And that is what that strategy session that third step in those building blocks entails. This is when you start to transition from understanding the reality understanding who you are, you might have done some work around values and behavioral guidelines in that foundation session, that is when you then transition into the future. And this is where, where it becomes difficult for many people, because the questions that we ask, are not easy to answer. And we need to create an environment a space where we can have honest and vulnerable conversations around strategy, where it’s not the ones with the loudest voice or those who process their thought their thinking by talking them out loud. To suck up the air in the room, it’s our job as facilitators than to make sure that not the loudest ideas win, but that the best ideas are being discussed. And these are, these are intense sessions. But the way we facilitate them, helps people become vulnerable, bring their ideas forward. And this is where the magic happens when you start to talk about things in the future that are outside of your comfort zone. So one absolute essential element of any successful strategy process for me as a facilitator is that I help people get rid of their roles get rid of their day to day job, they must become stewards of the entire business. They don’t show up as the marketing lead, they don’t show up as the sales lead. They don’t show up as the finance guy. They show up as a steward for the entire business. And if you manage to let your day job behind and to imagine what the business can become, that’s when you step into a really magical space.

 

Will Bachman  29:20

Now, I believe that you are about to offer a certification program for facilitation. That

 

Alex Brueckmann  29:28

is actually true. It’s in the near future. It’s not it’s not there yet. But yeah, by the time this podcast airs, it is most likely a bit further down the road. So we’ve we’ve realized over the past 1015 years that it’s extremely difficult to find people that can facilitate strategy processes in the way we do it, so we’re not consultants, we have consultant backgrounds. Yes, we did strategy consulting in the past, but we realized that That is not what companies need. Companies need people who can help them create a safe space so that they can do their magic. And it’s not us coming in telling us what to do, how to run their business, what we think they should do, it’s not about us. And yeah, that that certification program that we’re offering is targeted toward executive coaches facilitators, workshop facilitators, who are external resources who help their clients through certain services like workshop facilitation, like executive coaching, and are interested in having those eye to eye conversations on strategy as well. And there also, the certification program is also targeted toward internal resources, like strategy managers, like PMO managers, who often find themselves in situations in rooms with executives, where they are in a role of facilitating, of pushing forward of moving the group out of the rabbit holes back into the process. So yeah, that’s what’s coming. So

 

Will Bachman  31:06

all right. Where can listeners go to find out more about that, once it launches? That

 

Alex Brueckmann  31:14

heavily depends on whether people are brave enough to write my surname, then then they can go to recommend.ca b RUECKM, a double n.ca. Or a way easier way is to go to Alex the strategist.com. All

 

Will Bachman  31:30

right, Alex’s strategy. Just one final question about the book. How did you get Marshall Goldsmith to blog, your book to blurb your book? That’s very impressive. You have a blurb from Marshall Goldsmith. Yeah,

 

Alex Brueckmann  31:41

that’s a funny story. Marshall and I ran into each other at Seattle airport, while we both were on the lair. He just landed from a gig in the Middle East. I was about to fly to New York to a client and I ran into him sort of like that is Marshall and he was standing next to trashcan, having a phone call. So I kept my distance and waited until he had finished his call introduce myself. And at that point, Marshall and I both employed the same marketing agency for some of our work. So and we’ve we’ve were loosely in contact, but we’ve never met before. So we had lunch together. And then one thing led to another and he offered to to endorse my book, which was very kind the kind of man that he is.

 

Will Bachman  32:32

That’s pretty sweet. And for listeners who aren’t aware, Marshall Goldsmith is probably the most famous executive coach in the world. And he also runs this group like 100 coaches are coaching 100 coaches, who are top notch. So that’s pretty cool to have Marshall Goldsmith. Give a nice comment on your book says it’s full of practical advice. This book takes the guesswork out of developing a winning strategy, according to Marshall Goldsmith. Alex, you mentioned already the links to your firm. I think it’s Alex, the strategist at.com and brookman.ca will include those links in the show notes. Thank you so much for joining today.

 

Alex Brueckmann  33:12

I appreciate the conversation will really great questions going deep into the content. I bet that it was valuable for a lot of your listeners. Thank you very much for having me.

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