These three words aren’t just a tag line for me. They act as a compass of sorts. As I’ve worked with people and teams over the years, these three words have given me a true North to work from. No matter how big or how small the team I’m helping, Purpose, Process, and People gives clarity. Let me explain…

During my sessions with teams (or individuals), there is one thing that is almost always consistent. I make them write things down. It seems so simple…and it really is! However, I’ve also witnessed many teams having long conversations and debates only to find that everyone in the room has scribbled in their notebooks with little alignment. Taking the time to record what everyone is saying and then boiling it down to P.P.P. brings clarity and alignment. It doesn’t usually happen without some lively debate, but writing something for everyone to see is like setting something in concrete for their brains. And, if well done, it leaves little to the imagination weeks, months, or even years later.

One last thing on this…doing this work is not a one time deal. It’s a start or a baseline. If you take the time to do this for a process or any situation, you have to re-read it occasionally and adjust. Think of it as a calibration. Don’t let the dust settle on it. My sensei used to say, “if you haven’t improved your process within 6 months, tear it up and start over”.

How I Define P.P.P.


Purpose is what drives us. Understanding the purpose to any activity, changes how we behave. Purpose on it’s own can drive action. Think of a person that sets out to lose 100 pounds and does it. That’s purpose! That means the lack of purpose can drive action (or inaction) as well. Don’t get me wrong here, if the purpose is weak, boring, or self-defeating, by writing it down you’ll shine light on it. That means you can also adjust it so that the purpose has meaning. It doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should be tangible and understandable. It should also only be a sentence or two.


Process is pretty self explanatory. What is the process that is going to help us execute the purpose? More often than not, people assume it’s only going to be a few bullet points so they think, “why even write it down?”. The truth is, to record a process well, you need 3 ingredients…

  • Content – what are the steps
  • Sequence – what is the order of the steps
  • Timing – How much time does each step take


This last P is actually the simplest one. To be honest it’s so simple that even I sometimes forget how critical it can be. Taking the time to figure out who is involved in a process is worth it’s weight in gold. Skipping someone that needs to know something or even worse skipping someone that is responsible for executing an important action will leave you hanging every time. Take the time and it will be worth it, every time!

So, I’ve explained how I see P.P.P. and how I’ve used it. But what is the P.P.P. for MDT?

MDT’s Purpose:

To serve team’s over the world by sharing the knowledge and experience that has been shared with me by my amazing mentors. I do this by writing, facilitating, coaching, and continuing to learn from them. Success = growing and making a living doing it.

MDT’s Process:

  1. Continue to facilitate workshops for teams around problem solving and process improvement. (Never stop!)
  2. Write 2 articles per week during my off hours. (1 year)
  3. After enough articles have been written, focus on building a digital product. (6 months)
  4. Build brand equity enough to teach others with in-person events. (6 months)
  5. Eventually, hone my skills and viewpoint enough to present a Ted-Talk (3-5 years)

MDT’s People:

  • Myself
  • My wife
  • My kids
  • My readers
  • The teams I work with and the family’s they serve
  • The Leaders I coach
  • The Team members I invest in
  • My Mentors