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Edgar Papke

Episode 56: The 5 Steps of the Design Thinking Process & Its Impact on Your Business, with Edgar Papke

As a consultant, author, speaker and coach, Edgar Papke is dedicated to helping leaders build cultures of innovation and better align their organizations and teams to drive new ideas, produce change, and deliver meaningful solutions. He is the author of the books True Alignment and The Elephant In The Boardroom, and he is also the co-author of Innovation By Design.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • Design thinking process: a way of engaging people and getting them to collaborate at a significant level through which you can identify and solve the right problems
  • The five steps of the Design Thinking process: to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test
  • Edgar and Thomas Lockwood’s book “Innovation By Design” that was born from studying the most innovative cultures in the world
  • The common thread of design thinking that all of the cultures studied for the book implemented
  • Empathizing in design thinking: understanding the experience of the customer
  • Ignoring your personal experience: the most challenging aspect of the empathizing process
  • Brainstorming without limits: why the brainstorming process must allow for any idea to be heard
  • Who should be in charge of design thinking throughout an organization (and why this depends on the makeup of the organization)
  • Why culture dictates accountability for design thinking
  • The three types of culture
  • How to implement the design thinking process in your organization

Ways to contact Edgar:

Podcast eBooks:

The Power of Two

Episodes 1, 2 and 3 collide to bring you summary of lessons learned and systems created around Vision and Key Initiatives that help drive success to companies and businesses.

The Transition to Automation

In Episode 25, Vera talks with Heidi Rasmussen, CEO and Co-Founder of one of Inc 5000’s fastest growing companies in America – freshbenies. This eBook highlights part of the conversation to bring out the best lesson in automation and on-boarding for startups.

Using IT Strategically

In Episode 29, Vera talks with Tom Grooms, Vice President, Information Technology, and Chief Information Officer for CF Industries. This eBook is your guide for seeing IT as more than just a faster way to do your accounting.

The ZFactor Methodology

In Episode 35, Vera talks with Cindy Goldsberry, founder and partner of ZFactor Group. This eBook shows you how to take your business from vendor to value creator.


Welcome to System Execution, the strategy and system behind today’s successful companies. Systems can make or break your company, but here, we’ll solve your physical, technological, and psychological systems issues by connecting you with experts that have succeeded in overcoming those challenges in their own business, and providing you the guidelines and tools you need to implement those same strategies for immediate results. Now, here’s your host, Vera Fischer.

Vera Fischer: Today’s episode is sponsored by 97 Degrees West, the brand marketing agency located in Austin, Texas. 97 Degrees West serves regional and national companies in the healthcare, finance, energy and manufacturing industries. 97 Degrees West believes that an integrated approach to marketing that involves traditional and digital strategies that fit your customer’s buying journey, yields the greatest impact on your bottom line. Go to www.97dwest.com to learn more.

Welcome to System Execution, a podcast devoted to using processes and systems to drive to a better outcome for your business. I’m Vera Fischer, your host. Many of you know that business success relies on systems. Systems can be physical such as a warehouse or a factory, they can be technological like software, or others are psychological system such as checklist or charts, or your daily hot list.

Today, I’m really excited to have my guest, Edgar Papke, who is a consultant and author, a speaker, a coach, and he is dedicated to helping organizations and teams, and leaders improve their alignment and achieve greater levels of success, and fulfillment. Edgar is globally recognized organizational and leadership psychologist, and a foremost expert in the alignment and innovative development of organizations, teams and leadership. He works with clients ranging from fortune 500 companies, multinational organization, and governments, to small businesses, start-ups and individuals.

Edgar brings his creative and unique life experiences to all of his offerings, including his keynote speeches, workshops, and personal, and team coaching. Edgar just released a new book that he co-authored. The title of the book is Innovation By Design. Welcome to System Execution.

Edgar Papke: Thank you. Thanks very much.


More on Edgar’s Background

Vera Fischer: Edgar, it’s awesome to have you on the show. Before we start to dive in to your design thinking process, if you don’t mind, my listeners would really love to hear more about you, your experience and about the new book.

Edgar Papke: Okay. To give you the short version of the biography, my first career was as a high risk insurance underwriter in international global markets. I did that for seven years, and then left that and went to culinary school. All of my creative bend is food and music. I went to culinary school, the culinary institute of America. Earned degree in culinary arts, and then worked as a chef and executive chef restaurateur and entrepreneur for about a decade. Then, left that and pursued my interest in leadership and psychology, and did my graduate work in leadership in organizational psychological, and earned my graduate degree in that. Since 1989, I do coaching and consulting work. Well, focused on alignment, which is in a broader sense, the alignment of an organization and its offerings to the customer experience, and how that shows up through cultures and the influence of leadership systemically on that.

I do quite a bit of coaching and consulting work. As a hobby, I also write and record music. That’s who I am. I’ve written The Elephant In The Boardroom, and the book, True Alignment, which covers the alignment work that I’ve done for the last couple of decades. Most recently, we just released a book. My co-author and good friend, Thomas Lockwood and I released a book titled Innovation By Design, which focuses on how organizations, or any organization can use design thinking to better solve problems, better relate to the customer experience and deliver to it.


What is Design Thinking?

Vera Fischer: Edgar, before we get started, can you help me understand what design thinking is.

Edgar Papke: Yeah. A great way to look at it is that design thinking of itself, if you look at it as a process, is a way of engaging people and getting people to collaborate at a significant level, and through which you can identify and solve the right problems. It is, in effect, a way of thinking more like a designer in terms of being creative and allowing the creative side of human nature, and this idea of human-centered approach to come to the surface and to utilize a better, of course, organizations and teams.

Vera Fischer: I would imagine that you would say that everyone has some type of creativity within them. It’s not just reserved for those that have creative in their title.

Edgar Papke: Yeah, absolutely. If you just look at the human experience ever since we’re children, our incredible ability to play creatively and to imagine, and to bring that to life. As children, it’s amazing, and then over time what happens is we curtail that. We let our fears get in our way of that free expression, and our ability to actually play with others and to create with others. Of course, that’s also, in a way, limited by our experience and education, where we focus a lot on scientific data and approaches to education, and so over time, what we do is we find ourselves using less of our imagination, less of our creativity in our day to day lives. Design thinking is a wonderful way to tap into that creative aspect that we all have with us.


The 5 Steps of the Design Thinking Process

Vera Fischer: Okay. Well, I’m excited about this. Edgar, we obviously have figured out that you are an expert in this design thinking process, so let’s get started. Start to walk us through it.

Edgar Papke: Yeah. If you look at the process itself, you could break it down to five key steps. The first step is the ability to empathize. This is that human centered component that one begins with. As an example, if we want to solve a problem or create a new product for a customer, the first thing we want to do is empathize with the customer to understand their experience as a human being. That’s the first step.

The second step then is once we’re able to do that and engage in contextual inquiry to understand the experience of the individual, or again, the human side, then what we can begin to do is look at that and look at what we’re learning, and define the actual problem that we can solve. From there, then begin to brainstorm, and be creative, and collaborate with one another in groups to bring in different resources and different ways to think, to ideate and to create a possible solutions and possible approaches to solving the problem.

From there, it’s a matter of then defining solutions and beginning to prototype or to create those solutions, and that can show up in a product or service. Even a new process or system within an organizational context. Then, to use it and to test it, and to begin to evolve and continuously improve it. You can see how this can apply in creative ways to continuous improvement to the creation of new products or services. It’s just a host of different approaches. The other thing that we’ve discovered in this, what has been quite remarkable and what Thomas Lockwood and I in our research in writing Innovation By Design discovered is that you can apply this and we think this is a phenomenal outcome, as you can actually apply this same thinking to designing cultures of organizations.

Beginning to better understand cultural systems and how organizations and teams function, and actually being able to use design thinking as a means to create better environments for people to work in. It’s quite phenomenal.

Vera Fischer: The amount of research that you and Thomas did, is that talking with people or talking with leaders in organizations? How did you go through that process just to get to the findings that related to your book?

Edgar Papke: Well, Tom and I, we’ve been friends for a long time. Couple of decades. We’ve always had conversations about our work, and I’ve always admired his work. He’s one of the world’s, I think, leading thinkers in design thinking. As a matter of fact, he’s one of the few people in the world that has a PhD in design management. We’ve always kicked around different ideas, and we kept coming back to questioning and wanting to inquire further into how some organizations are just by in of themselves, how they function and their cultures were innovative than others. We started delving into that, and we decided to research it. If we came up with something good, then we make something of it, which is eventually what led to the book being written.

What we did is we began to take a look at what the threads of these organizations that are considered to be the most innovative in the world, and one of the threads that kept showing up was design thinking. That they all are using design thinking as a process to innovate, to creatively innovate new products and services, and ways to do this. We started approaching them, and started researching them. Looked at collecting data, and then we started doing interviews. For the book itself, we conducted over 70 interviews with design leaders and executives, and people in the organizations, both individual and group basis.

What was interesting about it was one organization would then lead us to another. In other words, the study group of the 21 organizations that we write about in the book and use case study for, they kind of led us into one another, and then we added some that we decided needed to be part of the group. Most of them do show up on lists of whether it’s Forbes or Fortune or a fast company list of the most innovative in the world. We took a deep dive in different ways and used different methodology to take a look and see what we could find out about them.


How Organizations Use Design Thinking

Vera Fischer: In your research, as you came up with the five steps that you mentioned earlier, is that something that you saw across all of those organizations that they were doing, but they maybe didn’t know that that’s the process they were going through?

Edgar Papke: Most of them knew that they were using a design thinking process in one shape, form or another. Interestingly enough, in some cases the CEOs of the companies themselves with key champions for bringing design thinking into the organizations, what’s interesting is that many of the organizations’ design thinking becomes, in of itself, something that they tailor to the organization and they give it its own name within the organization. It’s interesting and it’s really powerful to see that the same basic elements of design thinking, to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test shows up in every organization, they’ll just use different names for it and slightly tailor the design thinking process to suit their needs.

Vera Fischer: Edgar, I wanted to just give a little bit of an overview on each of those five steps, just for my own curiosity.

Edgar Papke: Go.

Vera Fischer: Okay, so when we talk about empathize, the first thing that comes to my head is I can empathize with a friend who doesn’t feel great, or I can empathize in situations where something not good is happening. That typically when you use the word “Empathize” or you use that type of activity. What we’re suggesting here is that you actually use that word or that process to go through and really empathize with a customer. How do you do that?

Edgar Papke: You’re making an excellent point, because there’s a difference between sympathizing with someone and empathizing. Sympathizing is what you refer to as being in touch with somebody’s emotion and sympathizing, having empathy for their emotion or their state of emotion. When it comes to empathy in design thinking, it’s more about understanding the experience of the individual. The experience that they’re going through. Let’s say as someone is using a phone and they’re having a hard time being able to connect their email to the phone. How would you approach that to understand what the user of the phone is going through? How can you simplify the technology or build an app of some kind that allows them to very quickly set up and access e-mail on their phone. It’s really about looking and breaking down what the experience of the customer is and understanding that experience.

There is an emotional component to it, there is, and we see those emotional patterns emerge in different shapes and forms in how we innovate products and services. Like the desire to feel confident when I use a product or service, or that it allows me to more easily access information or whatever it happens to be. There’s always that emotion piece, because everything life is emotional. Here, what we do is we understand the customer’s actual experience and so the first step is doing that. A lot of that actually gets done through interviewing and in a conversational context. That is, for me, to really understand what you’re going through is more of a dialogue-focused and it’s just data collection.

Vera Fischer: Absolutely, because first of all, you really have to understand the steps of the experience. It may be a little bit different the way some people read a magazine from right to left, the others read it from left to write. There may be a couple of nuances like that.

Where is the frustration point in that experience? That makes sense. When you start your design thinking, you really have to understand you’re going to be really understanding that experience. If you haven’t taken the time to do that, that’s part of it, is that process.

Edgar Papke: There’s a skill set of inquiry of asking good questions that goes with that, and not working from the standpoint of inference or assumption when you hear what a person’s experience is.

Vera Fischer: Correct.

Edgar Papke: Don’t so quickly tell our own story. This is actually focusing on the story of the customer, of the individual.


Why Employees Enjoy Design Thinking

Vera Fischer: Yes, and I have learned that my 14-year old daughter can absolutely tell me what is wrong with any piece of technology around, and why can’t they just do it a simpler way. We’ve gone through the empathy or the empathize, what I like to call now the experience empathy.

Now, we’re going in to defining the actual frustration, maybe friction points, maybe where the problems that we’re trying to solve. That is almost product development or coming up with those new service lines, or whatever that may be, but you’ve identified that area, and then you get to the fun part of, “Okay, let’s throw around a lot of ideas and brainstorm, and what could we do to make it better?” Correct?

Edgar Papke: Correct.

Vera Fischer: Then, there’s no limits in this part of the process, right?

Edgar Papke: Yeah. That’s actually one of the more exciting elements in why people want to engage and want to take part in design thinking. It’s because it is very free flow and quite creative. In terms of there’s no bad ideas, and it does go back to some basics of brainstorming.

The thing is that in the design thinking process, you’re focused on a problem that you’re looking to solve. Therefore, a lot of the constraints that hierarchy and role definition typically create kind of fall by waste side. Because anybody can be involved.

As a matter of fact, when CEOs or leaders get involved in the process of design thinking, very often when ideas get generated, they consciously don’t jump in and take part. It’s very often the leader says, “Well, here’s my idea,” and everybody just naturally falls in line with it. Here, there’s a much more of a conscious effort, and naturally built into the system, into the process to make sure that everyone is heard, that everyone’s creativity can come to the forefront, and be utilized.

Vera Fischer: Then, we move on to defining what those actual solutions are?

Edgar Papke: Mm-hmm.

Vera Fischer: That’s where you start putting more of the business stuff behind it? Like, can we actually offer this? Can we develop this product? Is that what that is?

Edgar Papke: Yeah. That’s a really good point you’re making, because one of the things that can happen so readily is that people go to the place of, “Well, we can’t do that. We can’t do that because.” One of the things that design thinking allows you to do is actually also start coming at those process, and start questioning those assumptions that we have about what can work and what can’t. Certainly, you’re going to have certain constraints that are always going to be there in terms of resources and resource availability.

Yet, very often, even questioning whether or not a resource is available or not allows you to more creatively come at it. It’s much like in the development of a product. You may look at it through the lens. A good example of this go all the way back to Apple’s development of the iPod, and looking at well, what in fact are the resources that are available to us through the music industry? You’d kind of almost immediately say, “Well, we’re limited because of who we are and how we play in our space. Well if we get music executives, and we get experts in the music industry involved, can’t that then allow us to better see and understand where those resources may be?”

It’s a wonderful way to question limitations, and very often, find some very unique solutions to, very often construed as the barriers or limitations that we have.

Vera Fischer: If we have gotten through the fourth step, then ideally we have something that we can actually go out and test. Obviously, that will come in many shapes and sizes, correct?

Edgar Papke: Yes.


How to Implement the Design Thinking Process in Your Organization

Vera Fischer: The variables are infinite, yes. It’s a dollar test. It’s a, “can we actually implement it?” Et cetera, et cetera. My next big question is, who’s in charge of this?

Edgar Papke: Excellent question. There’s two pieces to this. The first one is how do you use certain competencies in organizations. The second one is the cultural piece itself. In some cultures, we align competencies to functional areas. An organizational development team could own product development and thereby provide design thinking to it. It could be part of an HR function. It could be part of the product design function. Some organizations actually develop and have their own design elements. One of the things that we discovered early on in researching for the book, and one of the things we took note of that led to our research was a lot organizations were buying up design firms. IBM, Apple, Google, they were actually going out and buying design capability, and per units of the organization.

Depending upon the culture and how the hierarchy or functionality of the organization is organized, what you’ll see is there’s different approaches to actually who owns it. I think one of the more important things that we’ve realized is that leaders in the organization need to be aligned. The more versed they are at design thinking, the more they understand it, the better they’re able to organize it through an organization and use it. Intuit is a wonderful example of this because they’ve been at it for over a decade now, the use of design thinking. Every employee at Intuit gets trained in design thinking. You can see the scaling. One of the attributes … We identified 10 attributes of design thinking organizations that really allow them to be as successful as they are, and as innovative as they are.

One of them is the idea of design thinking at scale. Very often … The other one is aligned leadership. We see those coming together where at the end of the day, everyone in the organization feels like they own a part of design thinking, and becomes part of the natural process and culture through which the organization performs.

Vera Fischer: Edgar, is this something that you drop in, maybe in a smaller organization, let’s say maybe 100, 200 people, that you say, “Okay, we’re going to do this four times a year. We’re going to do it once a quarter. We’re going to tie it in to some objectives, et cetera, et cetera.” Then, you scale it up for large, or scale it down in frequency for smaller organizations? How do you keep the accountability track in all of this? How do you make sure that once you start on this … Because it’s a lot of work. This is no, “Oh we can just do this in a week.” This is work, but it’s fun. How do you keep that accountability trail? How do you do that?

Edgar Papke: Yeah. That’s another excellent question. There’s this idea of what accountability is, and I think that the first thing that I would always suggest is let’s be really clear in what the definition is. In most instances, accountability is meeting a performance requirement or some kind. It’s also, we can use it to define expectations that we have of individuals and of one another. To be accountable would be that you’re responsible for meeting expectations. What can happen is that an organization will undertake a specific strategic initiative, and then use design thinking as an approach to designing and implementing that strategic element for the business. Then, accountability may reside with the manager or the person, a director, that’s responsible for that strategic initiative. That’s one way that it can happen.

Another way that it can happen is if you have a design element, or design function within the organization, and a team of people that bring design thinking into the organization, and facilitate that process, they can also be accountable to then what’s the level of innovation or how quickly, what are the timelines for getting new product to market, et cetera. They would own some accountability to that as well. At the end of the day, the accountability that gets applied through design thinking, in most instances, are related to a group that has a specific outcome that’s attached to it, a specific goal set that they’re trying to achieve, and then they’re held accountable in that way to it.

Vera Fischer: Okay, that’s interesting. Do you find that that is the same across the board regardless of the size of the organization?

Edgar Papke: No. You’ll see it being broken down in different ways. A lot of times, what’ll happen, and this is an interesting aspect of design thinking, is that a problem will be identified or doesn’t, per se, there’s a need from a customer’s perspective, and then it gets put out to the organization. Then, people, and we call this the pull factor, is that people naturally be attracted to take part in the problem solving process. It’s kind of interesting when you think about that through the lens of accountability, it’ll still go back to who is ever responsible for the strategic initiative or the strategic pursuit of the organization. Yet, people will feel compelled to and feel responsible to be involved and be part of the process. This is one of the things that Lego has done so exceptionally well. Visa does it so well.

Lego will post any from engineering perspective or products perspective, will post a problem or a challenge, then people from all different parts of the organization, based on their interest, will engage on it. You kind of ask yourself, “Well, who’s ultimately accountable for it?” Again, it goes back to the idea that an individual maybe, depending upon the culture, at Lego it’s the entire team. That’s what a culture …

Vera Fischer: Yeah, to me that would be … Yes. Exactly. To me, the culture is accountable factor.

Edgar Papke: Yeah, and we’ve identified, and this comes from work from the book True Alignment, is that there’s really three different types of culture. There’s a participation culture, which is much more team accountable focused. Then there’s also an expertise culture. In an expertise culture, it’s more meritocratic, so we hold individuals more accountable to the outcomes. In each one of those, design thinking has primarily the same role, to innovate, yet it’s used differently depending upon the culture. There’s also like an authenticity culture, which is very free willing in individual empowerment and individual engagement. There’s not as much of a direct influence of an accountability to individual or group performance, rather, it’s a shared accountability to the idealistic view of what’s possible, and the idealistic endeavor that the organization is involved in.

There’s different approaches, depending upon the culture. You just hit on something that’s key to how to successfully use design thinking.


How to Make Sure You’re Implementing the Process Correctly

Vera Fischer: Oh, cool. That’s so great. Let’s talk about implementation. Let’s say I do not have access to one of the great authors of the book such as yourself, and I cannot hire you, the expert, to come into my organization and implement this design thinking process because I’ve never used it, can’t afford it, whatever. What are some of the things you must do, even if it’s just one or two items, to make sure that you’re implementing this entire design thinking process correctly?

Edgar Papke: Yeah. For that purpose, I’d go back to the attributes that we found in the innovative organizations that use design thinking, and what they have in common. There’s everything from design thinking, its scale, and recognizing the need to train and to educate through the system, leaders need to be engaged and be a part of it, and there’s that cultural awareness piece.

One of the things that I think, it doesn’t really matter in terms of the size of the organization, in terms of the challenges you’re going to face are relatively the same, it’s about people learning and understanding that there’s a different way of coming out to work that they do. This is something that’s right up your alley, is the simple idea that process can change people’s behavior.

In terms of resources, there is quite a school of thought on design thinking, there’s a number of great books out there, and a lot of great resources. Even LinkedIn now is offering design thinking training online. There’s a lot of different resources available out there. I think the important part of this is to recognize that by undertaking design thinking, what you’re doing is taking on a process that’s going to influence people’s behavior and way of thinking, and to be open and receptive to that.

Regardless of the size of the organization, and there’s a multitude of wonderful, just wonderful sources of expertise and knowledge out there on design thinking, I think fundamentally goes back to the idea of the willingness of people and the willingness of leaders in an organization to engage. Because the leaders are going to need to be able to let go those that have a significant level of control in organizations over problem solving or controlling how things get done. The process does allow for a sense of control. It also allows for a much, much deeper and substantial level of creative thinking and interplay to exist.

It really does come back to the idea that you’d want to be very clear of your commitment to design thinking for it to work.


Production Differences Between Different Generations

Vera Fischer: Edgar, I’m curious, as you know in today’s workplace, we’ve never had as many generations sitting in the office, or virtual teams as we do today. Have you seen any generations working together that produce better results than others?

Edgar Papke: That’s another great question. The straight answer to that is no. Here’s why. One of the things that makes design thinking as a process and so, so powerful is that it taps into everything that every human being wants and desires, and needs. In the book, we’ve described the collective imagination. Collective imagination is really how it is that we innovate as human beings with one another. Regardless of generation and background, what it does, it taps into, if you look at the collective imagination, we’re tapping into human desire that drives creative thinking.

There’s three pillars to this. One is that all of us as human beings want to participate, because when we participate, it gives us a sense of importance and significance, a fulfillment of the need and desire to feel that we have a sense of self worth because we’re asked to participate and we feel a part of.

This is why naturally, as human beings, we socialize and build a community. That’ll speak to anybody in any generation. The second one is all of us are driven to pursue knowledge. We all want to be better at what we do, we all want to gain knowledge. We want to be smarter and better at what we do. Again, that resides in all of us as human beings. Therein lies our desire to understand logic and collect data, and understand data, and have a better sense of predictability in our world. All human beings have that need and desire.

The third one is that we all have the need and desire to freely express what we think, see, and feel. That has to do with how well accepted we are by one another, and that it’s much like moving into intimacy in relationships. We can convey and be creative in what we think, see, and feel without running the risk of rejection.

Those three pillars, those three aspects of human behavior is what drives our need and desire to come together, to work together, to pursue better outcomes, to be smarter, better at what we do, and also feel a sense of freedom in how we do it. That’s cross generational. That applies to anyone, regardless of age, regardless of background.

The design thinking process taps into those three better than any other process that we’ve been able to come across or find in how it is that we create and innovate.

Vera Fischer: Well, I find that to be extremely positive just simply because of all the information surrounding the inability of generations to work together effectively to create really great outcomes, and you are saying that that is not the case. I’m very happy to hear that. It’s a great little light at the end of the tunnel.

Edgar Papke: Yeah. Turns out that we’re all much more alike than we often recognize.


Next Challenges for Edgar and His Team

Vera Fischer: That is exactly right, Edgar. Exactly right. All of this information you’ve shared with your design system process and your book, Innovation By Design, is really insightful. I, myself, have learned a lot. What’s on your next challenge?

Edgar Papke: The piece that I’m now looking at is moving a little bit deeper into the realm of who we all are, and some of the conflicts that we deal with. There’s two levels to this for me. One of the things that we realized in exploring design thinking is that it also turns out to be by way of process, by way of approach. One of the best ways that organizations can manage conflict. Any kind of conflict, despair at viewpoints and different views that people carry with them, and that they use in their work, design thinking allows us to build a framework on how to manage conflict much better. We can rely on that. Right now, I’m leaning further and further into the challenges around conflict and how we can use design thinking to resolve social conflict, and looking at it through that lens. I do believe that design thinking can be used in government, can be across all different types of situations, not just organizationally in the business, rather in social realms as well.

Vera Fischer: Oh, that’s really interesting. I’m fortunate to know, what is it, the four steps of accountable communication. You can have an accountable or confrontational type of conversation or communication within like three minutes in the workplace. That’s proven to be pretty good for me, because it takes some of that emotion out of it, which is that’s what conflict is, rife with emotion.

Edgar Papke: Yeah. I’d like to say that there’s some great fallacies in life. The number one fallacy accepted worldwide, among all cultures is that the sun rises, and the earth turns. The number two fallacy is, “Don’t take this personal,” which is a complete bunch of crap.

Because everything’s personal, everything’s emotional. I think, one of the nice things design thinking does is it allows us to understand what’s our true intention, what are we really trying to do here, and how does that relate to somebody else’s experience? I think the same thing is true in all human relationships. We have to be intentional and bring it into the smoke and realm and be clear on the type of relationships, and what we want our friendships and relationships to look like.

Vera Fischer: Edgar, you’ve shown us that processes are needed to get the work done, and have provided a few of the nuances that our listeners love to hear regarding the execution of a successful system. Before we go, let’s close out today’s discussion with any final advice you want to share. Anything that I missed in my questions. Then, tell our listeners the best way that we can connect with you.

Edgar Papke: Okay. The one piece that I would always suggest everyone in life strives for, is to know themselves. To know themselves. If you strive to know yourself, then you can design your life the way that you want and be intentional in doing that. Through that level of consciousness comes choice, and then that’s a power that no one can ever take away from you, is your power of choice. I would suggest that as the constant pursuit. In terms of contacting us, Tom and I have launched a new website called InnoAlignment. That’s InnoAlignment.com. We can be contacted through that website. The book is available, of course, Amazon, and it’s available in all different forms. We can also be contacted or reached through our author pages and the other resources that are available.

Vera Fischer: System Execution fans, no matter how many notes you took or how often you re-listen to this episode, remember, every successful business uses systems to drive to a better outcome. Edgar, it’s been great to have you on the show. Thank you so much for sharing your insight with System Execution listeners.

Edgar Papke: Thank you very much. It’s a true pleasure. Thank you.

We hope you found this episode of System Execution enlightening. For free examples, case studies, e-books, and more, be sure to visit systemexecution.com/resources. Contribute to the conversation by reaching out to Vera directly on e-mail at Vera@systemexecution.com. Until our next episode, thank you for the privilege of your time.




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