David Fiorucci is the founder of LP3 Ltd, with his vision for a sustainable economy. In this episode, David shares with me the essence of the integrative LP3 model (Leadership, Potential, Power, Performance) that he developed over 20+ years. His model enables organisations to have a common guiding language across all levels for creating efficient and consistent leadership. David also gives some advice on what companies should focus on moving forward, to successfully manage through the changes imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
At the end of the show, I ask all my guests the same set of questions to get a sneak preview into their favourite music or books. Here are the links to David's answers. The song he often listens to is ‘Children’ by Robert Miles. The songs that particularly resonated with him at a specific time in his life are ‘Shape of my heart’ by Sting, ‘Shake the disease’ by Depeche Mode, and ‘Fan’ by Pascal Obispo. His all-time favourite albums that he absolutely recommends are Ten Summoner’s Tales by Sting, Schindler’s List by John Williams, and the track ‘Time’ by Hans Zimmer from the motion picture Inception.
In case you wish to have more information on a few points mentioned in our conversation, here are some useful links. The LP3 Ltd. (LP3 Leadership) website provides an overview of the LP3 model. Leader for a sustainable economy is the book authored by David Fiorucci & Thomas Nast, also available in French and German. Adam Grant, an organisational psychologist and bestselling author, was quoted by David when he said "a good leader is a humble narcissist".
Hi everyone, and welcome to Narratives of Purpose Podcast, a place where we discuss how ordinary people are making extraordinary social impact. My name is Claire Murigande, and I am your host on this show. My guest on this episode is David Fiorucci. David is the founder of LP3 Ltd. He is also the co-author of the book Leader For A Sustainable Economy. Today we speak about his vision, and the essence of leadership, with the approach he developed over the course of 20 years to support and enhance individual performance, team performance, as well as performance of whole organisations. I am really glad to share this conversation with you. So let's get started.
So hi, David, welcome to the podcast. Thanks a lot for accepting my invitation.
It's a pleasure to do this interview with you.
How are you feeling today?
Yeah, I feel good. Even if the weather is not splendid, I am on vacation with my family.
Great. Nice to hear. So let me start with a few words of introduction on your background. You founded LP3 Ltd five years ago. But before that, you were already working at different companies, including some big corporations, as the head of training and learning and development. And recently, a year ago, you joined the ASBA, which is the University of Applied Sciences and Business Administration here in Zurich. You joined them for their executive MBA programme, as the Head of the Leadership Module. And actually that is how we got to know each other. Because I am part of the first cohorts of this programme. I just want to point out that when you gave your lectures with us this past few months, I was really struck by the way that you ran your training and your workshop. Because it's quite, I would say unconventional, but really, really effective. And for me, it really resonated because I have been for a very long time. A strong advocate of less is more. And I've always encouraged the people I worked with and the team that I had to tell a story whenever you're presenting something, or you're talking about something and forget about the slides. And I think this is also a big part of your leadership. But before we dive into that, my very, very first question is what has actually led you to create LP3 Leadership?
More than 20 years ago, at the beginning of my career, I was already an executive in the industry and the teams that I managed. At that time, I took leadership training, where I got to know trainers and leadership models. When I tried to apply what I had learned the next day, my colleagues often told me, "Oh, you went to a course yesterday? Or it's all very well, what you say, but it's only theory, it has nothing to do with our practice." Or even worse, "we've always done it this way, why do we have to change?'' That's when I realised that there must be a way to get everybody to buy into the process and to make a real impact. So I understood three things. First of all, that everyone must understand, it's a common language common understanding, so that they can adhere. Secondly, that it is necessary to be consistent or current and congruent. Consistent means that to all levels, the message is understood and is the same. For example, everyone should be able to formulate their personnel contribution to the company's vision. Congruent means ensuring not only that communication is consistent, but also that staff development and tools and processes are aligned and consistent with each other. And finally, the third point is that it's necessary to be as simple as possible, as that awakens positive emotions. The three points are kind of a checklist to take into account in what you do. So that's why I started to ask employees the question, what makes a good boss and that's also why I drew. you have seen my flip charts, I have, for example, given my course four days in the EMBA digital leadership without using a beamer.
Exactly, that's my point, you did the whole programme, without using a beamer. And only by drawing, and what I also found effective and also appealing is that you engage with us. And it gave a new aspect, we were not just sitting there listening to a lecture, but we were actively participating and the way you do it and bring back the three points that you just mentioned, that everybody must have the same understanding that there is a necessity to be coherent and congruent, and to be as simple as possible. So, as soon as everybody has the same understanding, it's like, we're all moving in the same direction. And for me, it was really positively striking to have this impression.
And the flip chart beside me is as a person, and it also gives the possibility to engage people more than screen at the back of the room.
Absolutely, absolutely. I agree with that. So I didn't mention in the beginning that you were already working in different companies, and then you founded LP3 leadership. So you basically moved from the corporate world to the entrepreneurial world. Now, I'm curious to know, how was that transition?
you will find it hard to believe me, but it hasn't been a big change. Indeed, I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit. And above all, I have guided my teams and departments like a small business, whether at Swiss Post way, I managed training new managers at group level, or a Swiss Life, where I was in charge of the learning and development department, we were a company within the company. On the other hand, I knew that I was going to go into business on my own. That I was going to set up LP3 Ltd. This was in my plans from the beginning. And the companies I worked for knew it. I wanted to make sure that everything I had created and developed would work. So that's why I applied to all the companies I worked for those 25 years before becoming self-employed. Only after proving that everything works, did I start my own business. So I had concrete business cases. This made it much easier to succeed in the future.
Wow, that's very interesting. So if I understood correctly, you kind of used the companies you were working at before as a sort of incubator, or I would say, like in a lab, you know, because I worked in them for a while, like you're doing your experimentation to see if it works. And once you knew it was working, you could say okay, now I'm doing it on my own. A very interesting approach here. So now let's talk about LP3 leadership itself. So what is the purpose exactly? And what makes your approach unique if I compared it to other companies working in the same environment?
I wish to contribute to a better world and a sustainable economy. To achieve this, the level of leadership is essential. If you read what is written in the back of our book, Leader For A Sustainable Economy, you will see that I asked the question, can one individual alone make the world a better place? Can any single individual contribute to making the world a better place? Personally, it has been on my mind for years. If I consider my children, our world and our economy, one conclusion is obvious. I cannot only contribute to it, but I have a duty to do so. This is why I created LP3 Ltd. So I deploy and share my knowledge with clients, partners, licensed trainers who in turn will deploy it and so on. And to find out what this approach what's different about LP3, just read ones testimonials. It is a simple, concrete, practical approach and above all, it's a common language, a common understanding and not just any understanding. It's that of the collaborators base. Moreover, if I may say so strongly, it is a translation tool that makes all the elements, tools and principles that companies and organisations already have current and understandable. So it's not a new model. I insist on this point. It is an integrating tool.
So, on one hand, the purpose of LP3 is basically the purpose of your life in one sense, right? Because you're asking the question, how can one individual alone make the world a better place? And this is what you have given yourself as a purpose in your life, right?
That's right. I am 100% committed to it. It's my vision, and it makes my job easier.
And the other thing I also get here, why you say your approach is unique is that you insist that it's not a new model, you didn't invent or define something new. But you're actually bringing it in a different way, which is integrated.
It is the language of the people of today. I have in fact asked more than 70,000 people what they expect from a good leader. These people came from different companies in size, field, region, and were of different ages, gender and profession. What is tricking is that they all expect the same thing. These are the nine dimensions of LP3. In fact, the essence of leadership.
Really fascinating. Yeah. What I'd like to know is that you work with different companies. Do you have some highlights you want to share or a specific testimonial on how your programme has impacted the people you work with?
As mentioned before, this brings a common language, common understanding, consistency and congruence. But to be even more concrete, I propose to read what the CEOs of Swiss Life and Vaudoise has written why these two examples? To illustrate what I said before, I applied LP3 at Swiss Life as an employee, and I applied LP3 at Vaudoise as an independent contractor. Since 2016, I have been training all Vaudoise insurance executives, here's a brief summary of what Eva Fuhrer and Philippa Bison wrote, I'm only reading an extract, Eva Fuher from Swiss life "Thanks to this model, we at Swiss Life have all become closer together, and mutual trust has grown. And this is reflected in concrete terms. Swiss Life, Switzerland have never had a better and more successful year than 2014. Philippa Bison Vaudoise. "LP3 is a method that provides concrete and relevant tools for mastering everyday life, but also makes it possible to be ready to face future challenges with confidence. This approach is simple. It gives pleasure and releases energy, it contributes to satisfaction of the employee, and corresponds fully to our way of working"
They're really nice testimonials. So what I hear and what stands out to me in these examples, is that the tool that you're working with focuses on the people at every level, right? And this seems to be like the driving force of the success of these companies. Is that correct?
Yeah. The people are in the centre of this approach. And so if we are speaking about transformation, change, and so on, digital transformation, people are the most important element.
Yeah. So this actually goes to show again, that the number one asset of any organisation is the people is just another proof of it, right? As long as you focus on them, and you work with them towards transformation, you're being simple, they understand what you're talking about. So you have the same level of understanding. You repeated that several times. And that you have coherence. And congruence, people are in the same boat, and they know where they are going. I have just this question. Have you had any requests to work in other countries perhaps? Or are you only focusing right now with companies in Switzerland?
We are in a lot of different countries. I have an LP3 hub in Germany with five trainers there. I have partners in Belgium, France, America, South Africa, and I don't go there myself. I want to have trainers there and we have customers in Germany, France, Switzerland, of course, but also in Belgium and Poland.
Yeah, I was asking because the more I was listening, and it was just obvious for me that basically this is like a method or tool that can be applied to virtually any organisation, any industry right?
In every type of company, and every size. That's why I said it's a common language. It's not my language. It's the language of the people.
So my next question is kind of an obvious question, I would say, because we have all been confronted with the pandemic this year. And I wanted to know how that has impacted your work so far?
this year adversely has impacted a LP3's activities. Indeed, in the first containment 90% of clients postponed their mandates. For me, this was a stroke of luck. It may seem a paradox, but it's a fact. In fact, since LP3 works very well. I was full with mandates, so I didn't have enough time to develop new things. Thanks to the mandate, postponements. I had time for myself, my family and to develop new products and partnerships. For example, the tool LP3 momentum to calculate the transformation index of a company or a partnership with Zurich startup to strengthen the transfer of trainings, their impact and the follow up after trainings, there is one thing I need to clarify that is important to me, I was able to do this and above all, not going to crisis mode, because I had reserves. This is a message I want to give to new entrepreneurs have reserves. Since the beginning, I put 50% of the profits in the reserve and the remaining 50% was divided in two parts of 25% 25% have been reinvested in the company, and 25% can be distributed as a bonus or premium to the employees. A healthy company should, in my opinion, have six to 12 months of reserves to ensure its sustainability in case of crisis.
So really advocating for anticipating a potential crisis and making sure in whatever you earn, you put some of it on the side. This leads me to another question through this change with COVID. A lot of businesses have had quite a challenging time. And what would be your advice? What do you think companies need to focus on in the way they work moving forward, you know, what needs to be their focus so they can be successful in managing change.
Indeed, the situation has been difficult for many companies, especially for some in certain fields. Confinements, home office as a prolonged use of video conference has had an effect on people's physical and psychological health. For example, working at home is less economical than at work, working conditions are often worse, not only because children play next door, or the dog barks behind you. So my first piece of advice would be to take into account a probate works place, and to make sure as an employer that it is also at the employees home. The second observation I made which worries me even more, is that employees who work from home often felt that their boss was even less interested in them than before. My second piece of advice for superiors is that teleworking implies even more involvement on that part. There needs to be better communication, better coordination and more mental presence. Finally, the last point I want to mention is that people need contact. Many people have told me that they are happy to see their colleagues again, to be able to return to work. We are social beings. We need contact and interaction to develop. That's why my last piece of advice is to have a mixed approach whether face to face interaction also has its place. For example, two days at home and three days at the office. So same goes for transversal projects, arrange for people to meet and get to know each other at the beginning of the projects.
Yeah, I agree with you. Personal contact has had a really big effect because you start working with people and you have never met them before. It is a bit difficult through the screen, because there's just so much more you can read by being in front of a person than just being in front of the screen. Now, if I look back at your whole journey and your whole career, you've obviously had a lot of impact now with your company and you know you're growing and you're working with people from different countries. What has been for you the major learning that transformed you personally throughout your career?
There have been many situations in my life, both privately and professionally, that have had an impact on me to name a few without going into details. Suicide of a team member, brain tumour of one of my children, crisis a couple or has problems. I think that everyone, whether you are the CEO of a large company, or cleaning offices has to face difficult times. For me, the most important things are personal values, strong personal vision. So meaning of one's life, one's work, and the ability to question oneself. As Adam Grant says, A good leader is a humble narcissist. You have to know your strengths and be proud of them while remaining humble.
Oh, I didn't know that quote, a good leader is a humble narcissist. Very interesting. I'll be sure to keep that in mind. So are you a humble narcissist, if I may ask?
Yes, I have both sides in me, I think, indeed I know my strengths, and they use them consciously. On the other hand, I also know my weaknesses, and I can take a step back from others. It's great to have people who are better than you. So you can delegate and focus on your strengths.
So I would like to ask some more personal questions right now, towards the end of each episode. What I do is I like to kind of get a sneak peek into the playlist of my guests, because those who know me know that the new music is kind of my sweet spot. I've always loved to learn new music or new artists and bands by knowing what other people were listening to. So now I have three short questions for you. Are you ready? Okay, so the first one is, what are you listening to non stop these days? Is there a song or an artist that you're listening to constantly?
There is not a song that I listened to over and over again. It's more depending on the moment. My taste, it's quite eclectic. I like classical music as much as techno, jazz, or pop and rock. A song that I listen to a little more often would be Children by Robert Miles.
Question two, do you have a particular song or artist that has resonated with you at a specific time in your life?
Yes, several. Between the ages of 25 and 30. I often went out at weekends with friends and we often listened to Robert Miles Children to get us into the swing of things. Sting accompanied me throughout my years. I also saw him in concert in Zurich. Shape of my heart is one of the most beautiful songs and it is the final song of the film Lion by Luc Besson with Natalie Portman as a lead performer. Depeche Mode also accompanied me in my adolescence. One of my favourite songs is Shake the Disease. And finally, Pascal Obispo, his French songwriter, was with me as soon as we came to live in German Switzerland. My children often heard his songs when they were with me, especially the song Fan, which I listened to very often.
Question three and last question, what is your all time favourite album that you would absolutely recommend? If there is one?
There are several here as well. First of all, I will mention Sting with this album, Ten Summoner's Tales. Sting is a committed positive person and he is singing lyrics of great beauty and strength. Then I would like to mention two films. On the one hand, Schindler's List, the soundtrack was composed by John Williams, it is one of the themes and one of the music that touched me the most. Moved me. It's impressive to see what a person can do in a positive way. The second theme is Inception, with the title Time by Hans Zimmer. I have a very special connection to this film. Indeed, the spinning tops that Leonardo DiCaprio uses in the film has become one of the key symbols of my company at LP3, to be in balance, you have to keep moving.
Wonderful, quite an eclectic choice there, I have to say. I'll be sure that all this great music you just shared is listed in the show notes. And that links are available for listeners who are curious to discover, so David thank you so much. It's really been nice talking to you today. I'll give you the final world
We have to be confident. We need each other. And we need contact with other people also in this COVID or corona crisis. I'm confident because I think people are great. And with great people, we can go a long way together.
Wow, beautiful. Thank you so much for this great note. I will wish you a great rest of your day, and safe travels
Thank you very much.
And I hope to talk to you again soon.
That was episode four, a conversation with David Fiorucci. David is an amazing person with a strong mission and purpose in life. Can one individual alone contribute to making the world a better place? David shows us his example and how he works everyday towards this goal. In case you wish to learn more about the LP3 model I recommend the book Leader For A Sustainable economy. This book is about empowering individuals to build a foundation of trust and safety where employees are engaged and perform well. Thank you for tuning in today and listening to the episode. I really appreciate you taking the time. You will find all the links and relevant information to this episode on the podcast page. Here is the reference narratives-of-purpose.podcast page.io.
Until the next episode, take care of yourselves stay well and stay inspired