Creating Freedom: Do what you love, with people you love working with, with Maurice Dubey - Ep 9
3 Top Tips from Maurice Dubey 1. Understand your personal needs - Use the 'My Work Needs Analysis' Tool
Understand your personal needs, because everybody has different needs. And it's not something you go and share with other people. It's just something you use for yourself.
If you want to understand if you are letting your people down, then read this great article -0 https://q4associates.biz/the-hunt-for-purpose-are-you-letting-your-people-down/
2. Talk to other people - Might spark an idea of something completely different!
I really just believe in people talking to other people about things. Sometimes, it just takes a bit of dialogue and just bouncing ideas around. And don't lock yourself into sort of, it's got to be in this domain, you know, the amount of people I've dealt with over the years who have totally broken out of their current domain that they work in and actually just say, wow, I love doing this other stuff.
3. Take a Step Back - Look at what you truly love
Don't think of a generic sort of thing that you'd like to be doing, like, a salesperson or whatever. Really think what are the pieces that really trigger that that bit of spark in your life?
Read full transcript here:
people, organizations, customers, life, bit, business, suppose, fantastic, day, understanding, job, shareholders, love, stage, years, work, associates, conversations, Q4, talking
Maurice Dubey, Debra Chantry-Taylor
Debra Chantry-Taylor 08:59
So, welcome to another episode of better business, better life. today. I am joined by Maurice Dubey From Q4 Associates, thank you for coming on board today. Maurice.
Maurice Dubey 09:06
lovely to be here.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 09:06
How are you? You well?
Maurice Dubey 09:07
Yeah, very good, Thanks.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 09:07
Friday afternoon, for us here. So, we're just winding down after quite a busy week for both of us. So, Maurice, would you like to explain to us a little bit about what Q4 Associates does?
Maurice Dubey 09:16
Yep. Okay. So Q4 associates are a digital workforce provider. So, we help organizations transform their organization by putting in place a digital workforce. So, a digital workforce is basically a software solution, such as AI or robotic process automation, to mimic or take away the jobs that people have to do with inside organizations. So, a lot of repetitive processing big organizations have to do for instance, that the solutions basically really replace that. But, what's critical is that that works in harmony with your people workforce as well, obviously.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 09:57
and it's kind of where we got our title from today. Isn't it? Sort of doing what you love, with people you love. And I think we've talked a little bit about the fact that people often do these things that are boring and repetitive, and they really don't enjoy. So, you ultimately take that away, and to allow them to get on with what they truly enjoy.
Maurice Dubey 10:12
Yeah, and that's actually one of the reasons that we're sort of in it. It's not just about helping organizations, you know, sort of make money and save costs. But it allows organizations to be far more agile going forwards, but also, that a customer benefits but better employment benefits as well, or employee benefits, as far as, you know, not having to have big teams of people that are just coming to work to do the same monotonous job, hour after hour, after hour. You know, like humans aren't designed to be robots doing the same sort of thing. So why are we making them do it? So, you know, it's a sort of personal goal of ours, I suppose, is to, to help overcome this current, current way in which businesses operate today.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 10:57
Okay. And so how long has it been going for? When did you start the business?
Maurice Dubey 11:00
Yeah so, we've been going for three years, we were involved in the sector for a few years prior to that as well. So, a couple of us sort of got together and said, Well, wait a minute, we love this industry, and we love what it can do. So, we decided to join forces and get stuck in and do it.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 11:18
Okay. So, three years, I mean, you know, a lot of businesses fail in the first couple of years of being there. How did your first couple of years go?
Maurice Dubey 11:25
Yeah, very good. Actually. It was really strange, because obviously, coming from a previous company, we had restraints to trade for a few customers, etc. But we, in our first couple of weeks, we got phoned up by the, the global company that we deal with, who basically said, Hey, we know you guys know what you can do. And they're really good at it. And we've got this, we've got this problem. Can you help come and solve this problem for one of our major customers, so all of a sudden, you know, day one, we almost had like six months' worth of work for three of our guys, you know, myself and my other two business, but yes, so what a great start for our business. It was really lucky.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:01
That’s fantastic. Yeah. And has it always been smooth sailing?
Maurice Dubey 12:04
Oh, it's been. It's been an interesting ride. Like it's been busy. But I suppose that the challenges, it's been busy for us, but also, from a customer perspective, they’ve had to learn a lot as well about what works for them and what doesn't. So, you know, it's been very busy, but very sort of undulated, if that sort of makes sense.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:29
Yeah. Okay. So how many are there in your team now?
Maurice Dubey 12:31
So we're up to 25, which is quite a milestone actually.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:35
Especially after three years, that's good. That's significant growth?
Maurice Dubey 12:37
Yes, is pretty frightening growth actually, yeah.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 12:41
Why do you say that?
Maurice Dubey 12:42
Just because you sort of wake up in the morning and think, Wow, you know, what a responsibility you have, you know, whereas I suppose, we went into it, trying to do what we love doing. And then all of a sudden, you realize, well, wait a minute, we're doing what we love doing. But we've also got this huge responsibility for other people's lives, etc. So that's quite daunting as well. So yeah.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 13:07
That happens a lot. Yeah, it happens a lot in business, because you know, you go into something you absolutely love. And then before you know it, you've actually got this great big team that you are yet is responsible for. So what are some of the challenges that you've had along the way in terms of that growth?
Maurice Dubey 13:20
Obviously, securing new customers is a key one, I suppose every company does that. But probably taking that a step further, it's about securing new customers that we want to be working with. And I know that sounds quite arrogant, but one of my sort of key beliefs is, you know, you want to work with people you love working with. But that doesn't just include the people in your business. So, you know what, we were also very fussy about whichever organizations we sort of partner with. But also, hopefully, it doesn't come across as arrogant but being careful about which customers you pick as well. Because, you know, you can pick a difficult customer and it can just drain the energy out of you right? Then isn't good for your other customers. So we are actually a little bit fussy about our customer base as well.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 14:07
Fair enough. And so how do you pick the customer? Like, because I hear you, I think everybody should do what they love with people they love, but how do you sort of know?
Maurice Dubey 14:15
You sort of weeded out in the whole sort of upfront assessment of the customer or, you know, in the, in the pitching, if you're pitching for work, and they're just difficult to deal with, even at the pitching stage, then it's easier to walk away at that stage. You know, yes, you can come across customers or spiders, like from previous industries that you pitch or you get some work and then you get some difficult people in those organizations. But I suppose you've just got to deal with that as it goes. But yeah, if my sort of advice if you're getting hints where they're not gonna be easy to deal with don’t go there.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 14:52
Yeah, let them down gently. Yeah, absolutely. Okay, great. So, in terms of you know, when you grow a business, You're going from what originally the three of you up to sort of 25 staff on it should imagine there must be some times when it gets little bit stressful. How do you personally help overcome that?
Maurice Dubey 15:10
Yes, I suppose the key thing actually is, is we have some really nice frank and honest conversations within our team, like at the ownership level. And we've sort of got past the stage that we don't take things too personally. And, we know when the other guys are giving us feedback that they're doing it with the right intentions. And I know it sounds very cliche, and yes, that's what leadership books so you should be doing, etc. But I suppose there's a very big difference between sort of saying, Hey, we do this, and actually doing it. It's quite funny because one of the shareholders and I were having a conversation the other day, and one of the first engagements we did was like, we were traveling to Sydney, every week for six months. So, we decided we'd rent an apartment together. So, it was funny, because we were talking and sort of said, Yeah, but we've been flatmates for six months, right? So, you sort of think, Well, wait a minute, if you, you know, can survive as flatmates for six months, you can survive as co shareholders or co directors, you know. So, we do we have some really nice conversations. And we all know it comes from caring rather than sort of, like an ego driven sort of basis. And I think that's really vital.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 16:29
Yeah. Patrick Lencioni is one my favorite authors. And he talks a lot about the dynamics of a team and making sure you do have those open and honest conversations. And I come across it in my work as well. And it's, you know, it's really important, because if you're harboring something and not letting it out, it creates a whole lot more issues. And yeah.
Maurice Dubey 16:47
Absolutely! The other key thing though too is, and back to what I was going about earlier as to the focusing on what you actually love doing. Yeah, you know, so as owners of the business, we went into the business, because we wanted to be doing what we wanted to be doing on day-by-day basis. So, we want to get up every morning, and know that we're gonna be doing this stuff we love. So, it was quite interesting, because we're sort of as the original three sort of owners of Q4 Associates. We're doing the stuff we love, but then sort of realizing, well, actually, we don't have you know, the company's grown. But we don't have somebody who's driving the overall business, right and sort of thing. Yeah, but we're not doing that. Because that's not something we love doing. So, we've just bought in a new CEO, who's sort of now a shareholder and has a wealth of knowledge in this sector as well. That’s Sam, and it's fantastic, because she's now slotted into, I suppose, like a jigsaw puzzle. She's slotted into the piece that she loves doing. Which is doing a lot of coordination. And as a CEO. And now in the business, we're doing the jobs that we love doing. So, you know, and we have really good conversations about who should be doing what and validating well, actually, is that what you want to be doing is, because it's not just doing it, because the business needs it. It's you've got to want to be doing those roles. So yeah.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 18:13
So, do you have any tools that you actually use to help people uncover what they love doing? Because often it's hard to know, isn't it?
Maurice Dubey 18:20
Yeah, no. Good question. And it's something I've sort of been quite passionate about for years. And in a financial in a previous job, I sort of came up with a bit of a model, which was you want to be doing the, the day-to-day activities you like? So, it's not about a role. It's not about I want to be a project manager or developer. But it's lower level than that is actually what about the actual things you want to be doing? Yeah, so understanding that, and I don't think a lot of people get to that stage, they sort of think, Oh, I'd like to be a project manager because I can organize stuff. But what is it underneath that? Is it solving problems? Is it tracking stuff closely? Is it being an innovator, you know, so one of the low-level things that you love doing? So that's one aspect I sort of came up with is you got to define what you love doing at a detailed level? The second one is what is your surroundings? Like, you know, is it autonomy? Is it that you need to be given direction? You know, what sort of people do you want to work with really knowledgeable people or people who are frankly, like, understanding your environment on a campus? And then the third one was sort of around the reward structure. So, this isn't the dollars. This is, what else is there? Is it appreciation? Is it satisfaction? Is it flexibility? So, sort of understanding those things and I came up with a model around actually just bullet pointing your answers to those things to help sort of flesh out, you know, what sort of job or employment you really want. And then I heard another lecture and the guy said he had a situation where he went to an organization doing some change management. And they said, go and talk to Mary on the production line. So, you know, we want her in the management team. So, he went and spoke to Mary and Mary said, Oh, but if I do that, I can't help the local sports club. So, I can't fulfill my other personal needs in life. So therefore, my model turned into a four-piece model. So, the last one is making sure that what you're doing is congruent with your other values and things that you want to achieve in life. So actually, it's quite funny because I sort of came up with this model. And I gave it to, hopefully not talking out of turn here. But I gave it to my team in a previous organization to sort of say, hey, look, a lot of you are saying, you don't really know what you want to be doing going forward. And to help me lead you, I need you to understand what you want to be doing. So, here's a tool. It's not to be shared. It's just to use yourself, so you understand what you want to be doing. And about a week later, one of the ladies in the team came and said, Maurice, I need to catch up. And I thought, oh dear, and she said, I'm leaving, I have decided go somewhere else, and it's your fault. And I’m thinking oh, what have I done?! And she said, you gave me that piece of paper to fill in. And she said, I've realized that, you know, this is a great organization but it's not going to fill a couple of my needs. And so, it helped her, you know, highlight what was really important to her. She had she had been there for 13 years or something, right? And it just sort of highlighted no actually, she's got some needs that won't get filled in that organization. So, which is you think was really bad for the business? But it's not. It's great, because it's better to have somebody you know, even though she was very good leave? Then be there and not knowing really what she wanted to do right?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 21:53
And not being happy and doing that. Yeah, that's right. That's interesting. I think the same applies to business owners, too, right, though? I mean, we've got to really seriously think about where, where do we excel? Where do we put the best effort and get the best results from it? And how do we make sure we love what we're doing every day?
Maurice Dubey 22:07
Yeah, that's exactly right. And I, also think it's getting past that ego, as well. Like, it's really, you know, a lot of, I’ve spoken to a lot of startup people in my life and a lot seem to be, you know, I'm
managing director of one of Maurice Dubey Associate.
Maurice Dubey 22:26
And you think come on. You know? And so, it's around that sort of stuff. And yes, that's great. But I think people have to understand, really, what do they want to be getting out of bed in the morning for you know?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:36
Yeah, absolutely. Agree. It's fantastic. So, your model is available somewhere like yeah?
Maurice Dubey 22:40
Yeah, we put it on our websites. So, if people go to Q4 associates, they can look it up.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:46
So that’s Q4associates.biz, right?
Maurice Dubey 22:48
Yes, or Q4.co.nz
Debra Chantry-Taylor 22:51
Okay, fantastic. Yeah. Okay. So, they can actually find that on the website. That's fantastic. I saw also, we were just talking before, you've got the, your blue prism certified partner, and you are New Zealand's first and only double silver said if I believe was in partner. So, what does that really mean?
Maurice Dubey 23:06
Yeah, so blue prism is one of the tool sets that we use. So, this is a configurable tool that you use to mimic what a human does. So instead of a human doing the same job, get logging into system A and updating some information and copying it to system B, for example. You use an underlying toolset and one of them is called Blue Prism, which is used that you configure to actually mimic what the human would do. And it's got the right security around it, the right logging, etc. So, it's, it's sort of real enterprise grade solution. So anyway, so that's bBue Prism, and answering your question, what does it mean? So obviously, to be able to sell and install the software, you've got to be a certified organization. And with different skill sets, so we are both certified as a capability partner and a delivery partner. So, we're double certified as a silver partner in those spaces.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 24:04
That's awesome. So, I usually ask my guests when they first come along, I forgot with you for a professional and a personal best. So, I'm going to go back a little bit now and just say, can you tell me a little about we know what you from your professional career, what's been your best thing? And what from a personal perspective as well?
Maurice Dubey 24:18
Yeah. And it was interesting, we were talking about this sort of thinking about what what is the professional best? And I suppose it comes to when, when we found it, Q4, it was a sort of a moment in my life that I sort of thought, you know, where am I heading forwards, you know, and so easy to sort of evolve in your careers. And, every now and again, you're in the luxury space of thinking, yeah, well, actually, where, you know, where do I want to go? So, part of that was really reflecting on what do I want to do with my life and, and it really came to sort of actually achieving something that matters, like, out of out of all the things that people are scared of mine is probably on my death bed and thinking, well, that was a waste, right? I don't want to; I don't want to get there and think I've wasted this opportunity. So, when I reflected at Where did I really feel like I've made a difference, that the sad thing was, it was over 20 years ago in the health sector, and, and it was sort of, you know, major changes in the health sector in the sort of mid to late 90s. And many New Zealanders remember when they had Regional Health authorities, etc. And, way back then, you know, there was major technology advances, etc. So, we worked on some amazing things back then, as far as changing the health sectors in in the way it collected data. So, at that stage, it used to just pump money out to healthcare providers, obviously, you know, looking after people, etc. But we changed it that not only were we pumping money out, but had better visibility of where that money was going. But also got much better data back so people could start, or analysts could start really understanding what was happening in health sector, you know, like, how much money was being spent on different genders, ethnicities, or whatever? What were the most successful sort of treatments for particular sort of illnesses, etc. So is it was fantastic. A fantastic achievement in quite a short period of time.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 26:23
That's awesome. And did that lead you into sort of what you're doing now a little bit in terms of looking at how you can make things better?
Maurice Dubey 26:30
Yes, definitely. The whole, I mean, back to Q4, and while I'm sort of in it is, it is about that it's about something, to me, something has to happen in the whole workforce domain, like the whole concept of work to me is, is sounds really bizarre and people think I'm a nutter, but it's wrong. You know, how many like, I read something the other day that 80% of people are either not engaged or actively disengaged. So what 80% of people don't enjoy getting up every morning and going to work. You sort of think, Well, wait a minute, is that really right?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 27:10
Or is it worth it? Life is too short? Right?
Maurice Dubey 27:13
And that is exactly it. So, to me, something has to happen, you know, there's a revolutionary revolution, about four day working week, etc. But still, if people don't know what they love doing, even four days is wrong. So surely, we should get to a stage of people out there actually A - understanding what they really want to be doing and doing exactly that. And I know it sounds a lot nicer than it is or easier than it is, you know, people are stuck with mortgages, etc. But people still should really understand what they like doing. Because then it has, imagine if you get to a stage that people are doing what they love doing. It's a flowing effect into their family life. It's a flowing effect into society. So, it has a much, much wider influence in life. So, you know, hey, we can make a difference. We can change the way organizations operate just by being smarter with technology.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 28:08
But people are a bit scared, aren't they about things like AI? And you know, the robots taking over. But the sort of stuff that you're talking about is things that really are just sort of mind numbingly time consuming and dull. Is that right, yeah?
Maurice Dubey 28:22
that's exactly yeah. And it's interesting, actually, because you talk to a lot of organizations are putting this in, and where they're focusing is the pain points. It's where they can't keep people doing that job, you know, so, rather than, you know keep training new people to do this mind-numbing work. You know, let's focus technology and doing that. Right. And, it means that the organization can pivot and change much, much easier. But yeah, then it means these people go off and do something that's a little bit more exciting than just, you know, typing and getting RSI and all that sort of stuff.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 28:57
Okay, interesting. What about personally, what's your personal best?
Maurice Dubey 29:02
Personal best, obviously, besides that, you know, that family and that sort of stuff, is, I pick really radical things to do in life. So, as well as being in IT for years. Many years ago, I set up a forestry company and just spoke to a guy that I studied with and he said, he was a forestry management guy, and he said, a great form of superannuation as forestry. So, 25 years ago, we went off and created a forestry company, just out of the blue. And then, about 10 years ago, my wife and I decided, Let's plant a trufflery. So, we knew nothing about truffles, owning a truffle, but knew we sort of lived in an okay area for it. So off we went in and did that. So yeah, I like doing the slightly bizarre stuff as well as the technology stuff.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 29:53
So, the trufflery so as you were saying before, it actually takes quite a while to get the ground right and everything else but you can start actually producing truffles. So where are you at now in that process?
Maurice Dubey 30:02
Yes, So yeah, it was about two years of ground preparation. So, let's get the pH Right. And all the other chemical balances. Yeah, and lots of lots of work. So, a lot of neighbors looking at us very funny. Like, why have you got this blank paddock that's white with lime. And...
Debra Chantry-Taylor 30:20
How many tons of lime wasn't again? 66 tons?
Maurice Dubey 30:20
66 tons of limes
Debra Chantry-Taylor 30:21
66 tons of limes in one paddock
Maurice Dubey 30:25
Yeah. Yeah, we got some very strange comments and looks from the neighbors. And then yeah, we plant a truckload of these tiny trees that are only about 20 centimeters tall and just wait for years and years and years. So now we're at the stage that Yeah, the dogs can go sniffing around and yeah, hopefully finding truffles.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 30:43
And that's awesome. That's fantastic. Hey, look, I want you to share a few things with our listeners around what they can do to sort of gain or get back to doing what they love with people they love. We actually have a thing in EOS, we call it the EOS life. And we say do what you love with people you love making a significant difference, being compensated appropriately with time to pursue other passions. So yeah, that's my little EOS life mantra that I like to live by what sort of tools can people use to make sure that they actually are doing what they love with people they love? We've got the tool that we talked about before. So, has it got a name?
Maurice Dubey 31:17
I've called it... What did I call it at the time, it was couple years ago? I think it is My Work Needs Analysis. Just understanding your personal needs, because everybody has different needs, right? And it's not something you go and share with other people. It's just something you use for yourself. So yeah, My Work Needs Analysis. Other tools, I really just believe in people talking to other people about things, right? Like keeping it to yourself and sitting there even, you know, sitting on my hammock for half a day trying to work it out. But sometimes, it just takes a bit of dialogue and just bouncing ideas around. And the and don't lock yourself into sort of, it's got to be in this domain, you know, the amount of people I've dealt with over the years who have totally broken out of their current domain that they work in and actually just say, wow, I love doing this other stuff. Yeah, I was I was in one team. And we there was quite a bit of restructuring going on and one of the team members came, you know, left the organization and came in about two months later and said, I'm training dogs and it's been my passion for years. And I don't know why I didn't go there earlier. Yeah. And you just think, well, that's fantastic. That just gone off and, and decided to do what they love doing.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 32:40
Yeah. So, it is possible. It's definitely possible. And a third, and last thing, what would you say more advice would you give to somebody who's not doing what they love right now?
Maurice Dubey 32:50
Yeah, I'd say, Yeah, really take a step back. And back to don't think of a generic sort of thing that you'd like to be doing, like, a salesperson or whatever. Really think what are the pieces that really trigger that that bit of spark in your life?
Debra Chantry-Taylor 33:08
I think you can look to your interest and things as well to sort of think about that, can't you? So, my husband's a musician. And he, you know, he just loves music. And he's an Actuary and his daytime job. So, but I think you can look at what you're doing your outside life and go oh, yeah, those are the things that I really enjoy. Well, that's fantastic. Well, thank you so much for coming on board. I really appreciate it. Lovely to hear your story. And if anybody wants to get in contact with you, how would they do that?
Maurice Dubey 33:32
That's just maurice.dubey@Q4.co.nz or just on my website, there's an information sort of place there.
Debra Chantry-Taylor 33:41
That's fantastic. Thank you very much.