THE HUMAN SIDE
THE POWER OF
PEOPLE IN LOVE
PepsiCo's award-winning chief design officer reveals the secret to creating life-changing innovation: putting human needs and wants at the center of any design process.
“Innovation is an act of love — or at least it should be. Always. It is a gesture of empathy, respect, generosity, of one human being’s devotion to another,” writes Mauro Porcini at the beginning of this extraordinary book.
It is in part a memoir by one of the world’s leading designer — the first chief design officer at both 3M and PepsiCo. But even more, it is a manifesto for a genuine, authentic, and deeply humanistic approach to innovation, one that aims to create personal and social value first and financial and economic value afterward.
In every industry, globalization and new technologies have lowered the traditional barriers to entry like never before. Either you design extraordinary and innovative products, brands, and experiences or somebody will beat you to it and ultimately take your place. Porcini shows, in example after example and story after story, that the key to real, world-changing innovation is to put people first – not only the people we innovate for but also the people who lead the innovation process.
Putting people first requires a special type of person, what Porcini calls unicorns: people who are in love with people, who have a genuine fire in them to create meaningful solutions for actual human beings. In this book, he describes them, celebrates them, and details their superpowers so you can find them, hire them, grow them, and retain them. Some of these qualities you might expect – the ability to dream and think big combined with the ability to execute and make things happen. But when was the last time you heard an executive ask prospective hires if they were kind or optimistic, curious or humble?
Porcini uses his journey across startups and multinational corporations, through successes and failures, to create a handbook for modern innovators.
From the foreword of Ramon Laguarta, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo
“…In this book, Mauro goes into depth about the mindset and strategies he has used to champion a more people-focused approach to innovation. It is a fascinating study of what it takes to drive change at the team and organizational levels. And it offers a blueprint for anyone who aspires to build companies and brands while growing as a leader—and as a human being…”
From the foreword of Indra Nooyi, Former Chairman and Ceo of Pepsico
“…The first time I met Mauro, I knew he was a complete original—one of one.
And his influence on PepsiCo has been singular.
I like to think of PepsiCo’s history as unfolding in two stages: Before Mauro and After Mauro…”
“Mauro has written a fascinating book about entrepreneurs who have the disposition and skills to innovate.
But there is more to innovation success than being entrepreneurial.
The social skills of empathy, curiosity, attentiveness, optimism, and resilience will make
a critical contribution to whether the innovation wins of fails”
– PHILIP KOTLER, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
“Get ready for a powerful journey inside the unique mind of Mauro Porcini,
full of innovation frameworks, stories, and one-of-a-kind insights
for business leaders, designers, and students alike”
“Mauro Porcini reveals in this book the unique combination of rigorous research, focus, sensitivity, curiosity, collaboration, and passion that is at the basis of a dream as ancient as his practice – producing good design for all. Just as he was able to inspire a trailblazing CEO, as well as a massive global company and its billions-strong clientele as a consequence, Mauro now inspires us all with his passion and endless talent as a designer and as a raconteur.”
“Mauro Porcini explores the universal truth
that innovation is by, with, and for people.
He delivers it with a unique and provocative voice that shows
how each of us puts our own stamp on the creative process.”
“A pathbreaking leader shares wisdom on how empathy
and a deep love for people is at the heart of big, bold innovation.”
“From the first time I met Mauro, I knew he was a special leader.
While his eye for design is exceptional, his eye for talent is what sets him apart.
He invests the time to get to know his team, understand them, mentor them,
inspire them, and grow them as leaders. I applaud Mauro for sharing his story!”
From the first chapter of the book
INNOVATION IS AN ACT OF LOVE
“Innovation is an act of love—or at least it should be. Always. It is a gesture of empathy, respect, generosity, of one human being’s devotion to another. This is the innovation that I hope for.
This is the innovation that I want for my children and their children, for the society of today and of tomorrow. This is the very best innovation: meaningful, useful, beautiful, and sustainable innovation, the kind that continues to improve the status quo, now and for always.
This is the innovation that the new world we are living in requires. Not only because it is the right thing to do, ethically speaking—this should be the first and final word in the matter, though it often isn’t. But also because, at last, in our global, technological, and digital society, ethical goals are increasingly aligning with business goals for both enterprises and individuals. Innovation as an act of love is today (also) becoming good business!
It has not always been this way, of course. We are surrounded by thousands of products, brands, and services that represent the outcomes of a very different kind of logic. Yet today, matters are changing. There is no alternative. This is a real historical turning point, one that needs to be understood, celebrated, and accelerated…”
Available from November 1, 2022
Pre-order now on:
L’età dell’eccellenza (il Saggiatore, 2021)
Innovazione e creatività per costruire un mondo migliore
Mauro Porcini © 2022