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Success Story Podcast

Mauro Porcini – SVP & Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo | The Human Side of Innovation

By May 26, 2023September 24th, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Mauro Porcini is a highly accomplished design leader known for his expertise in driving innovation and shaping brand experiences. As the Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo, he transformed the company’s design capabilities, making it a global leader in design and branding. With a background in design, strategy, and technology, Porcini has also held influential roles at 3M and Philips Design, where he contributed to the companies’ design transformations.

Porcini’s strategic vision and emphasis on design-led innovation have garnered recognition for PepsiCo’s groundbreaking design initiatives, focusing on enhancing consumer experiences and driving sustainable growth. He is known for embedding design thinking across the organization’s diverse portfolio of brands.

As a thought leader, Porcini has shared his insights on design and innovation at prominent conferences and events. He inspires audiences with his unique perspective on the role of design in business success. His book, “The Human Side of Innovation,” explores the human-centered approach to fostering innovation within organizations.

Mauro Porcini continues to shape the landscape of innovation with his visionary thinking and commitment to human-centered design. His expertise and passion have elevated the importance of design as a strategic driver for business growth and societal impact.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 03:02 — Mauro Porcini: The Journey of an Innovation Leader
  • 12:03 — Crafting Compelling Product and Company Stories at Global Giants
  • 17:57 — The Human Side of Innovation: How Design Drives Transformation
  • 32:16 — Shaping Values and Perceptions: Inside the World of Large Corporations
  • 50:10 — Unleashing Design Thinking: The Key to Universal Success
  • 54:15 — Connecting with Mauro Porcini: Insights from a Design Visionary
  • 55:36 — Redefining Success: Mauro Porcini’s Path to Excellence

Show Links

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On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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Machine Generated Transcript


companies, design, people, PepsiCo, shopify, business, drive, designers, products, innovation, love, society, happiness, world, life, create, curiosity, dream, book, 1000s


Mauro Porcini, Scott D Clary


Scott D Clary  00:00

How does a company like PepsiCo create true value and start to move the needle on what the perception of a company actually is?


Mauro Porcini  00:07

The beauty of these big corporations is the scale that they have and their ability to have an impact to reach as many people as possible. Now Roper TV,


Scott D Clary  00:18

He is PepsiCo, first ever Chief Design Officer. In the past eight years, him and his team have won over 1100 Design and Innovation Awards. He’s been recognized with several personal awards, including fortunes 40, under 40 GQ Italia is 30 Best Dressed Man,


Mauro Porcini  00:36

I really think that if we focus everything we do on this idea of human beings will can really create an amazing value for our companies. But it shouldn’t be the reason the drivers The reason the drivers should be the fact that we need to do it because our society needs.


Scott D Clary  00:55

Talk to me about the human side of innovation. What is the human side of innovation?


Mauro Porcini  01:00

First of all, two dimensions of this humanity in the world of innovation. The first dimension is


Scott D Clary  01:09

Welcome to success story. I’m your host Scott Clary. That success story podcast is part of the HubSpot Podcast Network. Now the HubSpot Podcast Network has incredible podcasts like my first million hosted by Sam Parr and Sean Perry. They interview some of the most incredible business leaders, Alex from Mozi Sophia Amoruso, Hassan Minh Hodge, who share their journey to success and how they made their first million. On a recent episode they featured the acquired podcast hosts Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal to discuss how they scaled their multimillion dollar podcast. Don’t sleep on my first million if you want to get inspired. If you want to learn from the best, you got to tune into my first million wherever you listen to your podcast. Today, my guest is Mauro porcini, he is PepsiCo first ever Chief Design Officer. In the past eight years, him and his team have won over 1100 Design and Innovation Awards. And in 2018, PepsiCo was recognized by Fortune and it’s driven by design list. He was previously three M’s first Chief Design Officer, and he’s been recognized with several personal awards, including fortunes 40, under 40, GQ, Italian 30 Best dressed men and fast companies 50 Most Influential designers in the United States. In 2018, porcine was awarded a knighthood by the President of the Italian Republic. Now, we spoke about creativity we spoke about curiosity, we spoke about ethical business, forced change via COVID, human centricity, design and innovation thinking, creating true value, and how to build a life around Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and true happiness.


Mauro Porcini  03:02

Well, I am Italian, as you can hear from my heavy accent. And I was born 47 years ago in the in a town called Galera in the north of Italy, close to Milan from a beautiful humble family that since I was a child gave me these two values as the most important values that you should focus on. The first one was the idea of culture, knowledge, knowing things. The second one was the idea of being a nice person being kind being good to others. For my parents, that will translate in the idea of being Catholic. But obviously, those values transcend completely any kind of faith or religion, and they apply to any kind of person, my parents will see fame and success and wealth, actually a stress that will deviate you from being a nice person from the stability of a certain kind of life. So this is the kind of people that somehow educated me in the early part of my journey. My father was an architect. He’s an architect, and but but his passion was painting and so I will be there as a child and still today as an adult observing him painting every single day of his life. My mother was working in finance, but she was forced to the line of work from her grandfather because she needed to go to work right away. That’s what she started to do. But at 38 She left to be close to her family, and she fought was all her life in Friday. She loved riding and translating, or thoughts employ and sending prayers also. And together my father and my mother over the years published eight books by themselves Seth poxa publishing online using tools that were totally not comfortable to use for themselves, without selling a copy of those books, literally, you know, publishing them and breeding them, for them and their friends and families. And so this is what inspired me early on in the journey, then I did my own mistakes, I went in different directions, I experimented, I tried all kinds of things. And later on in life, I realized how important they was what they told me back then. And out today, those kinds of values are the pillar of the person that I became. And so back then, I had this inspiration of a mother working in a world of literature, a father, passionate about the world of art, and I was writing and painting myself, and it was coming pretty well, to me, I was pretty good at doing those things. And, and so my dream as a child was to become either a writer and author of books, or the painter. And I ended up becoming a designer completely by coincidence. And one of the reason is that, as I said, at the beginning, I was coming from a humble family, we didn’t have a lot of money. So it was already a miracle, they could they could send me to university, by the way, public university, not paying a penny for it. But even the fact that you had to spend five more years without having an income was a sacrifice for my family. And, and therefore there was all the pressure to get a job, as soon as we get, I will get my degree. And so the two words of art and being a writer were probably not, you know, the words that at least my parents were seeing as the most, you know, concrete and the ones where you can get, you know, a stable income. And so I decided to go for architecture, because somehow was a little bit more concrete and was combining a little bit of the art and you monistic approach to what you do with something again, that could give me eventually a job. But just a few weeks before I do the exam to enter the Faculty of Architecture at Polytechnic of Milan, I bombed into another thing that Polytechnic was doing. Yeah. Essentially, a friend of mine from high school calls me one day, remember the day as it is today, I describe it in the book as if he was literally yesterday, today. And he tells me, look, there is a new faculty called vz, new industrial industrial design that the Politecnico is started just like last year, and thinking I’m gonna do the exam for the oven, you know, the admission exam, and let’s see how it goes. So intrigued by these two words, industrial design design was talking to me about art and creativity and innovation. Something I really loved and industrial was making more concrete, more tangible. It was a new faculty. So there were more opportunities eventually to find a job after I will get the degree. So here I am, I go, I try the exam. And I get I become first I get first in out of 1000s of people. And so I was like, Okay, maybe this is my dad.


Scott D Clary  08:17

And what do you think? What do you think? Like, what do you think allowed you to be first? Like, you don’t have


Mauro Porcini  08:23

to? They have no clue. I really? Look, I school I was doing well, very, very well. I saw I don’t know that there was a little bit of natural talents, maybe I really don’t know. But you know, to get first it’s not that easy. I really don’t know, I really don’t know. But that’s what happened. And maybe maybe, maybe we’ll you know is the first time they asked me something like this. And where you were asking I started to think maybe is that curiosity that pushed me to investigate the world already when I was a child and read a lot and talk to people and back then my father gave me a camera when I was eight years old. And I will go with my bicycle everywhere and take pictures everywhere. And I remember always taking this camera with me. And today we have social media, we have Instagram, we have all these different platforms and and by definition, a lot of people are there with their phones, ready to capture an interesting moment and they can share it online. I do it all the time I post every day. And you know when you do something like this, even today, especially today, that kind of platform and that kind of tool push you to try to be curious to try to catch you know, the moment that is unexpected, unusual behaviors of people interesting sides, you know, whatever you do, amazing experiences that you can share with the world. Well, I had the kind of curiosity since I was a child because of my camera. And because I have a


Scott D Clary  09:59

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Mauro Porcini  15:16

and they love to share them. We know this and I love to share stories of those pictures or even stories in general, there was the other element. You know, when I talk about Daddy, that passion for the word of art and the word of literature, I think they were manifestation of something different. They were the manifestation of this passion for the for everything is visual, and everything you can write. But once again, those are platform for this desire that people may have to tell stories, I always wanted to tell stories, I’ve been always somehow a communicator. And so those stories could be told through a pizza, it could be taught to something that you’ve arrived. Later on, I realized that you could tell stories through a product or a brand to anything you do in life, I think the success of water was able to build a 3am. And then in PepsiCo with the 1000s. And 1000s, of designers I’ve been working with over the years, is also driven by the fact that we’re not just designing products and brands, and driving innovation. But we’re being able also to tell the story of what we’re doing. And these kinds of stories have been exciting. The CEOs of these companies, the executive teams, our own designers see now is the ones where attracted to the company, there is this dream, first of all, this vision, and then this ability to share a story tell the stories and the people living in it over the years somehow add that ability or that passion and desire also to tell stories themselves. So it was not obviously it’s not been just about me, but about the entire team. So this idea, you know, combining curiosity, ability to dream, and desire to share stories, somehow nurture your now grow your culture. And so I’m psychoanalyzing myself while I’m talking. And maybe one of the reasons why I did well in that test was that I learned a lot through the process very early on without even realizing you add me with this question. I love it a little bit of myself. Should I love it?


Scott D Clary  17:20

It was it. Listen, this is what we have to do, we have to like dive deep into your mind. Because you’ve you when when your Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo, when you’ve, when you’ve worked with three M, when you’ve worked with some of the largest brands in the world, there’s there’s some reason as to why you’re so successful. And the lens at which you look at the world and you look at brands, and you look at product and you look at design, you look at innovation, this is what has allowed you to be successful. So what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to understand, and we’re sort of understanding that it was like it was this curiosity, it was this thing that was built into you from a very young age. That probably was a common thread throughout your career. And of course, it’s evolved and expanded. But this is what’s lets you be successful repeatedly, is what allows you to work with one of the largest companies in the world, telling their product story and telling their company’s story.


Mauro Porcini  18:11

Yeah, and look in the in the book and in everything I do every day in the companies. The characteristics that I just mentioned, are part of the key traits of the people we look for. And we hire and we grow inside the organization. I mentioned curiosity, I didn’t mention curiosity, randomly, is the first time I associated it, to what happened back then and to that test, but curiosity is something that we celebrate all the time is one of the key traits of these innovators I talk about in the book, he’s one of the key criteria that we use, when we hire people, but also when we grow them inside the organization. For a simple reason. Curiosity is that inner desire and passion for learning that makes you look at the world with wonder, with the eyes of a child with that with the one the typical of the children. And you know, I saw these traits in so many incredible innovators they met over the life over my life. These are people often they’re so I really have been traveling all around the world that tried all kinds of things and and you see them, no matter all the background, all that experience, they’re still able to get excited about something. They look at the details of the behavior of people of the way they dress, the way they eat, what they read. Everything is able to spark that inspiration that that excitement, excitements and is all driven by their curiosity and they are not afraid of the curiosity how many people at a certain point reach, fame and success. Send great titles and wonderful positions. And they think that they need to show the world that they know it all. Because they’re there, they’re up there. They’re CEOs, their business leaders, they, you know, they’re successful. And they need to show that they don’t need to learn more. And so they stop being as curious as probably they were before, you know, with the curiosity that drove them to where they are. And they stop, even if eventually, they will have to learn more, even if eventually, they still have some instinct to ask questions and try to figure out something, but they’re afraid to show the counterpart, the people in front of them, the people surrounding them, that they may not know something, how many people we, you know, I imagined my life that in these positions, they don’t ask questions anymore. They because they need to show the world that they know it all. And the reality is that already Socrates 1000s of years ago, told us all that the wise man and woman, the real, you know, the one that really understand things, are the ones that know of not knowing anything, you know, no, of not knowing any means. That essentially, the more you learn, the more you grow, the more you understand, the more you realize that we are literally fragments in the universe, there is so much that we can learn and you realize how small you are. And this is phenomena. But it’s important to have another characteristic of these innovators, these leaders that I talk about in the book, and that’s optimism, because you if you’re not an optimistic person, the more you realize the leader, you know, and the potential that is out there, the more you’ll you may get demotivated and demoralized and be like, Oh my god, I would never, I just can’t do it. And this translates in your projects and the things that you can do. The more you a vision, the more you realize how you can change a company, how can drive innovation in a project how you can change an industry. The more if you’re optimistic, you get excited about this, because you see the potential you keep going no matter what roadblocks and the difficulties. But if you’re not that kind of person, if you’re pessimistic, if you’re not able to get energy out of the potential, then you go the opposite direction you give up because then the challenge is to be


Scott D Clary  22:23

Just want to take a second and thank the sponsor today’s episode HubSpot. Now, if you’re growing a business, you’ve got a ton on your plate, you need more leads, you need to close deals faster. And to get better insights. To connect with our customers. You need a CRM, one that works from day one gives your teams a central source of truth and helps them do more faster. That’s why you need HubSpot. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that will accelerate your business growth without slowing down efficiency. With 1000s of customizable tools like ad tracking, social media management and an AI content assistant. Your teams will have everything they need to convert prospects to qualified leads. Plus, you can customize your CRM with apps and integrations that meet the needs of your business at any stage. So as your business grows, HubSpot CRM grows with you get started for free Can I Can I ask you because I find that even the title to the book he wrote the human side of innovation. It’s interesting because when I think innovation incorrectly, I only think of how do I innovate the product? I don’t think of design, I don’t think of creativity. I don’t think of brand and like how do I build something better than what already exists? But that’s incorrect, because that’s not how people that’s not how people purchase and how people communicate. People need a story behind the product. It’s not just function and utility, there’s always a story. Now whether or not it’s something you create, or whether or not if you don’t create it, and then the customer is going to create a story in their head about that product. So talk to me about the human side of innovation, the side that we should focus on that you’ve built your entire career round. What is the human side of innovation? What is how does design and innovation intersect? Look,


Mauro Porcini  24:03

there are first of all two dimensions of this humanity in the world of innovation. And they are somehow clarified in the subtitle, people in love with people. The first dimension is the second people in this sentence, essentially the fact that we need to refocus all our innovation and innovation efforts on the human being on creating value for people real value, not value for the company, economic value, value poor people. First, we can talk more later about what I really mean with that. But the second dimension is the first set of people, the innovators, the entrepreneurs, the designers of the world, and love somehow summarize everything that these people do for the other people. Why design I mean, and this is the big misunderstanding about the word beside in our source Sighs a lot of people think that design is aesthetic. Somebody thinks that is for my function, when we’re lucky, you start to associate the aesthetic factor to the function. design can be applied to different dimensions you study industrial design or product design, you design products, you study brand design and communication, you design, packaging, communication pieces, eventually, more and more, there is the digital world, you design fashion, you design clothing, so you can apply design to different kinds of substrates to different kinds of objects and solutions and, and experiences and brands. But in general, the designers, they all do one thing, this is what you start your school, a school, they teach you to observe people understand their needs, their wants, their frustrations, their dreams, and figuring out solutions. For them. This is the number one focus. That’s why for instance, a design school we don’t call these people, consumers, we don’t care about that consuming our products or buy our products, we call them people eventually, eventually users because we focus on the use of our products. But what drives us is not to sell them stuff is to create value for them. Now this needs, all of them all together, the needs of humanity can be summarized and codified in the Maslow Pyramid, from the bottom, physiological needs, safety needs all the way to the middle, self expression, sense of belonging, connecting with others all the way to the top of the pyramid or sending yourself something bigger than you. The summary of all these needs create what we call happiness, if we fulfill all these needs, from the bottom to the top, we reach our happiness. And this is our life, our journey in life is to reach the kind of happiness. So designers essentially are trading a school to create fragments of this broader social happiness, if the word will be driven by designers and not by business leaders, and not by other kinds of profiles. Who that happy word. Now, designers, I was also taught at school, that on top of this dimension of the human being well, we call it desirability, you need to consider to other dimensions for your product to go to market. Because at the end of the day, designers create products that are producible in scale, and you can sell elsewhere, artists, there is another kind of discipline. So they’re taught there are two dimensions, additional dimension feasibility, so you need to understand technology, science data, you know, to make these things a reality. And then viability, you need to understand the business model. And so these three pillars are the pillars of design thinking, desirability, viability, and feasibility, the human factor, technology, and business, or translated in the vernacular of these companies big and small, is what these companies call innovation. Or eventually, if the desirability is the primary focus over the other two variables, this is human centered innovation. So design is nothing else than the only education, the formula to drive innovation, there is nothing else. If you study business, you study the viability part. Eventually, they they teach you something about the desirability component, even though they look at that as a, again, a level of the marketing mix a lever to succeed, but not the only one, you may succeed with a very mediocre product because you are able to use the other levers in a great way and you’re still a successful business leader. But they don’t teach you mathematics, physics, material science, you know, our core technology. If you study technology, if you study chemistry or biology and engineering, they don’t teach you the human factor anthropology, semiotic human science. So in design school, they teach you these three dimensions. The problem is that then all these designers get out of school, and they go in companies and companies track them in an in a very niche definition, job description. They ask them to be aesthetic stylist to design the aesthetic of a product again, sometimes if you’re lucky is forming function, but rarely, there leverage for what they can really do. And so, one year, two years 510 1520 of these at the end of the day, also these designers forget what they learned at school, and they lose their way. Some of them try to change the system. The Dreamers you know, this is what happened to me. I was like a naive dreamer. 27 and two, three I’m in Italy in the periphery of the American empire. I was not hired in St. Paul, Minnesota, it was hired in Italy. As a design coordinator. For the consumer business. It was one of the six businesses of the company just for Europe. So imagine it was anyway, this is more part of the big business. And here I am with this dream of changing the way three M does innovation, leveraging design, thinking, infusing human centricity, obviously, was a life dream. You know, and I say this in the in the book, if you don’t have a dream, you will never, you’ll never be able to make it come through. And so you need a dream. And a dream is by definition naive at the beginning. And by definition, you will face so many people that will try to stop you from dreaming, they will laugh about your dream, they won’t understand your dream. But the real innovator is the one that keeps pushing, no matter all this resistance from the system, but also trying to connect the dream with the reality of the business of the processes of the company or the reality they live in. This is what they do. They combine the dream with execution and operations.


Scott D Clary  31:09

So have you now as you’ve you’ve grown in your career, have you especially at Pepsi almost reimagined the place that design has in a business? Is that what you’re doing right now?


Mauro Porcini  31:21

Yeah, look, both at 3am. And PepsiCo, design didn’t exist in this company. So I created the capability from scratch. So by definition, it was my role to reimagine what design could mean, in those companies. But my mission for sans 3am, first and PepsiCo, now, I always look at these companies as unbelievable platforms to give me access to billions of people every source is to push something that is bigger than the company itself. And my dream, you know, we have been talking a lot about my childhood, my dream as a child, at the end of the day was always the one of creating something that could patch the life of people that could create some value into the life of people, for instance, my dream of writing books, you know, the idea of creating something that could touch the imagination of people, it could be there, it could be there. Also, when I was gone, when I was dead, you know, I will read all these books of people that were not that existing anymore. It was like, wow, you know, that was Spain. For me, the fame driven by culture, and they faint, driven by impact in the life of people, you know, in your heart and your soul. So I was always driven. And that’s why by this idea, and that’s why I told you, when I started as a university, I realized that it was something I always wanted to do, but I didn’t know a school existed for that. And so here I am, in this corporations. And the first Mehta dream, the big dream is been for years, they want to somehow adding value to the life of people touching the life of people. When you design something, you impact the life of people, you have a moment of convenience of style of fun, or safety to the life of people depending on what you do, but in a way of the order, if you’re driven by the right purpose, you are creating value into the life of people, for sure you’re touching the life, if you’re driven by the right values, you’re creating positive value, or you can make the life of people very difficult or complex or deep, you know, in a variety different ways you can make a nightmare, you know, eventually even in the life of people. So we have a big responsibilities as companies and designers and entrepreneurs and innovators in this world, to touch life of people and create the kinds of value there was the big meta dream. The second dream is the one of driving, for instance, to the platform of PepsiCo values, like sustainability has the awareness, personalization to really create something, focus on you what you need and what you want that makes sense for you. And then, more recently, I realized another value that comes out of the book in a very powerful way, I think, because I really believe in it. And I talk about this all the time, that is this human sin three city, but really talking about the humans behind these companies, this brand, these tools, these processes, and especially certain values that people don’t talk about enough, like the power of kindness, the power of people in love with people that the subtitle of the book, The Power of optimism, that we talk about the power of curiosity, the power of a series of skills, that often you don’t look for, in people in companies, sometimes actually you do the opposite in companies often, you know and you see it in the literature of management in the coaching that is done, you know to business leaders often you look for the opposite of kindness you You want people to be tough to be a little bit, you know, rough eventually you to put people against each other to extract as much value as possible out of them. And what I’m trying to do instead in PepsiCo, what we’ve been pushing the kinds of things we’re creating, now based on this idea of kindness and love is the filter number one before anything else. And this is a feature, this is not a nice thing to do for a book, and you put it in a book, and you’re gonna sell the book for this. Now, this is a criteria of features or feature a given to our human resources to find the people we’re looking for. And kindness being a good person is criterion number zero, I call it zero, meaning that is before the first one, you know, the first thing we need to look at is this, and then everything else can. And so when I realize that all of these can also create financial value for this company can drive productivity, efficiency and quality was like, wow, and I have a platform with hundreds of 1000s of people following me on social media, I was like, Wait a second, this should be my mission as well, I want to push this because I know it works. And it can work for so many other people, and not just for your company, and is the reason why probably many people would embrace that. But if those companies embrace that, this will work for our society will create a better world a better society. And so it became really probably number one mission for me today. And it’s funny, and that will close my mom when I was a kid, and will talk always with a priest of my pet rock, my neighborhood. And both of them, they dream for me to become a priest. And the reason was that they thought I could be a great ambassador of the values of Christianity in the world. Because I was like, you see me now you know, I love to talk. I was a storyteller already when I was a child. And so it’s funny. Because I found myself I went in all kinds of directions in my life, experimenting all kinds of things, and going wide, then deleting these neath of the extreme experimentation. And here I am, many years later doing exactly what my mom was expecting me from was expecting from me. Now there is no that’s why. But yeah, but not at all, not at all on the idea of Christianity, but on the idea of love. And being an ambassador of the power of love in everything we do in life.


Scott D Clary  37:34

You spoke a little bit about creating value. And you said, you know, we sort of touched on this a few times. But what does, what does true value look like when you’ve accomplished your mission successfully? What does true value look like for a customer because somebody who looks at Pepsi, I think that Pepsi is trying to innovate and trying to do things maybe differently. But ultimately, people still look at it as a company, it’s very hard to remove probably the stigma of big company, big corporation, right? So how does a company like PepsiCo create true value and start to move the needle on what the perception of a company actually is?


Mauro Porcini  38:13

Look, the beauty of these big corporations, and could be also the thrive in some situations is the scale that they have, and their ability to have an impact to reach as many people as possible. So let’s say that value for the society is to drive a more sustainable ecosystem. Let’s say that value for the society is to have a portfolio of products, snacks, and food and beverage, the weed every day that is more permissible, that is healthier for us. And so on, so forth, let’s say there are a variety of different values I just mentioned a couple. When you were four companies of the scale, if the company allow you empower you to drive certain things in the right direction, then the impact is huge. The scale because of the scale of the organization. So the F, you know the results of we’re doing in the world of sustainability is exponentially bigger, but we’re talking about 1000s of times bigger than anything I could have gone with my own startup or with a smaller company, even though eventually is less visible. Just the acquisition of SodaStream as an example, and the amount of bottles of plastic they were removing from the environment from now until 2025 is mind blowing. And, and so what is value for the society? I think there is absolute value. And this is where we want to go is the lighthouse is a totally sustainable kind of society, a totally healthy society, happy society, a society where you create all kinds of products and brands totally customized for each individual. needs and wants, as society, by the way, beyond corporations without conflicts between communities, between political parties, between countries. So I think we should look at that kind of word and then putting in also the social opportunities, because brands add the possibility to somehow have a purpose that transcend their products and push certain kinds of values in the society. That’s why I put them in as well. And so we need to understand where we want to go. And then we need to understand the constraints of today, the infrastructure, the culture of the system, we live in the business models of the society. And we need to understand from within how we can change the system at scale as fast as possible. But obviously, you know, it’s going to be incremental, I mean, unless there are things that disrupt the system. COVID, for instance, is for sure one of those elements that all of a sudden disrupt our ecosystem. And for instance, in a matter of one year, May, hybrid working reality. But this company is a company PepsiCo was already going in that direction, flexible working policies were already in place in the way I was managing my teams were already, you know, very aligned to flexible working. But somehow there was the overarching culture within the company in society in every other company out there. They you needed to be in the office. So even if there was flexibility still was not accepted by society, until a traumatic event, accelerated everything. And today, thank God, this idea of very working, at least in a comprehend PepsiCo is absolutely accepted is the way we work. And essentially, this kind of disruptive event accelerate is something that was already somehow happening in the society. And that’s been happening for hundreds of years, probably in a very slow way. Because these entities are very slow to evolve, the amount of hours we were working a century ago, is much higher than the amount of hours we work today. The plays a war is different today, once again, from the past, and probably we are moving towards the future, it could be in 20 years, in 50 years in 100 years, where people will work less traditional kind of work. And we use part of their time, in order activities that can drive their happiness that can really have them. Focusing on the three dimensions of happiness that I talk about those in the book is the way I close the book. The first one is yourself, your Self Realization, self expression. And again, the job is for sure a big elements a big component of it, if you have a job, but it could be many other things. The second dimension is the people, surrounding you, your family, your friends, your close one, and he is an exchange of love is the love you give, and then you get it back, you don’t give love to get it back, just to be clear, but you get it back. If the people you are giving love to are your friends and your family. The third dimension is something that is bigger than you throw a sense yourself is a cause is a purpose where we live. And again, it could be I don’t know, charity work that you do. Or it could be, you know, in the case of your job, something bigger than you and your company that you’re trying to drive, you know, that idea of me driving kindness, happiness, and the role of designing society to create value for the world is an example of purpose apply to what I do at work. So this hybrid model of working is giving us the possibility to invest in our happiness, because work is a component of it. And you should find way to apply those three dimensions to your work. But obviously, especially the second or the third dimension, there is so much space outside of work for you to apply them. And if you instead sacrifice your entire life, just for work, this society is going to create a society of people unhappy. And in fact, if you look at the data, this is the data where we see we see out there the level of happiness, depression, and suicide, and not just in corporations, schools, universities, if we if we see the suicide rates in universities in the United States, is mind blowing is very high. And it shouldn’t be like this, but why Islam is because of this pressure. We put in our kids from very early on they need to perform they need to perform they need to perform. Instead we should teach them that they Need to be happy. That’s what we need to do in life. To be happy is my parents telling me about, you know, the value of culture and being a nice person as, as drivers something bigger. And then the example that they gave me leading by example of their passion for what they were doing art and variety, essentially, they were teaching me that in life, the most important thing is to be happy. And he said too many times in social media, the media, even families and communities, we keep hearing that the goal should be to get rich, wealth, fame, when I hear people talking about how can I get rich, how can I get wealthy, I lose my mind. Because there shouldn’t be the goal also, because by the way, if that’s your goal, you try you young adults, at the beginning of your journey, the most of you will fail. You want to achieve that, because not everybody can be rich, not everybody can be famous. It shouldn’t be your goal. But the real truth is, even if you get there, even if you get rich, even if you get famous, if you just went there for that, if you just have that there is a high probability you will be miserable, extremely unhappy. And in fact, the suicide rates even in those categories is very high. money and fame don’t give you happiness. We need to teach people in every kind of context, including companies, including our families, from young adults, all the way to mature people. That happiness is what we need to drive. This should be the filter number one for everything we do for the way we treat our things our families, our friends, our communities for anything we say, and we do in any kind of context and platform.


Scott D Clary  46:45

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Mauro Porcini  49:37

I look i i hope the certain companies and I look I say this with sincerity, PepsiCo, I love the way they are embracing these I love the way Ramona go after the CEO of the company during cognitive embrace human centricity. If I didn’t think these I wouldn’t just mention PepsiCo and they will just you know, go on With your thoughts, but I believe in is strongly. So I hope that companies that perhaps you can, there are a variety of their embrace this kind of idea. And essentially, can push the orders that didn’t embrace it yet, to go in that direction, the more companies embrace this idea of human Centricity and work life balance, the more opportunities people will have to get out of the companies that don’t, and go to companies that instead, do this, for sure is today in this moment, becoming a wonderful competitive advantage to find the best talents out there. So offering something that this is extremely important, but I think is an ethical need is it is an ethical goal that every company should have. Again, we invented the idea of work 1000s of years ago, in the prehistoric time, to essentially delegate to orders, the creation of goods, products, services that we need, personally, I could produce x, I couldn’t do more than that. So I askew my friends, my family to do something else. And to gather, we can generate value for our community. And then you scale it up and you started to create the seed is organized around the idea of work, and then companies and multinational corporations and brands. But the initial idea was the one of using the practice of work, first of all, as an act of love, creating something for myself and for others, because of their needs to reach that happiness, second, as a tool, to reach that happiness to fulfill needs, from the basic one on the way to the top of the Maslow Pyramid to help others, then we forgot about this. And we substitute the act of love in the interest of other human beings that you are serving through your products with the economic interest with the financial interest with the extraction of as much profit as possible, out of the system. And, and we transform work in a driver of economic profit, and many people became a cog in this machine. And it’s time we rebalance all of these, and we really understand that work is a platform to reach happiness. And when I talk about people in love with people, that means that you need to think about your company, your business, as a platform to love other people. So to create products and brands and experiences are really meaningful to them, they’re really adding value to them. And then the first people people in love, you need to think about your companies as entities that are there to make people happy, including their employees, including the people working in those organizations. And again, I’m seeing this happening, I’m seeing, no matter the ecosystem, we are in no matter you know, our society is organized, I see the conscious effort of companies to try to change things. And the progress is that we’re doing. And so I’m just positive also, because if I look at the new generations, especially if I look at the new generations, these are people that are growing up without the idea of boundaries and a state against the order encountering as the Lowcountry they’re growing up with the idea that racism is not a good thing that, you know, we should be diverse simply because, well, when you go in the metaverse, and you meet people, from everywhere from all around the world, in fact, if you grow in a city like New York, or in a metropolis where you are like you’re exposed to people different than you is more difficult to be racist to hate diversity simply because you understand that those people no matter the color of their skin, their gender, their political orientation, their sexual preferences, they’re like you, they’re exactly like you, we’re all the same, and all different in the meantime, who are the people that are afraid of diversity, the people that are not exposed enough to the kind of diversity and so they are afraid of something that they don’t know, they don’t know. And instead of opening their mind and try to get out of their comfort zone and embrace something that is different, they fear it and they want to push it away. And then unfortunately, sometimes, some people leverage that fear to amplify that they even more in China and in wrong directions, but probably the same people that are so racist, if they were educated in different way, if they were raised in connection with people that are different from them, they will think in a different way. And so my hope is that those kids that eventually are not exposed physically to diversity of culture because They leave in every morth plays where there is not enough interaction with people different than you, because of the digital world will be more exposed to the kind of diversity so that in 30 years time when they will be the leaders of the world when they will be the leaders of companies, the first thing will be just a no brainer is part of who we are is the society we live in and mostly, is the richness of who we are as human beings.


Scott D Clary  55:25

I love that. I want to ask one more question. I didn’t really want to pivot from this conversation. But there’s one more point that I need to take out from the book. And I think it’s very valuable for people that are listening, design thinking it’s a success in some companies, but it isn’t in others. So if you’re a business leader listening to this now, and you’ve listened to everything you’ve spoken about, in terms of how to bring design and how to properly understand design, and how to apply it to innovation and human centricity. Why is it not working? In some organizations? What do you see is the biggest red flag?


Mauro Porcini  56:02

Look, this is so important, because at a certain point, a variety of different agencies and consultant and leaders were able to finally bring the attention of the war to this new methodology called design thinking. And so a lot of companies got really excited by this and were like, oh, we need to invest in a then. And, and the mistake that many of these companies made was to think that in design thinking as a methodology, there was the solution. So here they are, and they bring in designers of design consultants, often not even designers, scenarios, just consultants. And they start to use design thinking as a tool, that double diamond, you know, the diverging phase of ideation, the converging phase of testing and learning, and then you diverge again, and converge again. So the tool, the design thinking tool, and didn’t realize the main difference was not driven by the tool, the tool is like a brush, put the brush in the hands of Picasso, or Buddha brush in the hands of your tax accountant. And probably the results will be very different unless your tax accountant is the reincarnation of Picasso. So was


Scott D Clary  57:26

that your Alexa cost? So


Mauro Porcini  57:27

I think I mentioned that because you’re talking to me right now. Thank you stop saying no, I don’t know. She’s still talking. And, and so companies spend so much time often in defining the best brush with the right brace or the right material and they spend millions of dollars we consultant to define the brush and the the thing that with the brush that we create the best painting. And when they don’t get the best painting the paintbrush they get again, based on the brush brush, why you didn’t create what Picasso was able to do. This is what happened to design thinking in many situations where they introduced the right methodologies, but they didn’t have the right thinkers. And by the way, there’s them thinking should remind us that the thinking part is the key component of that. And that’s why years ago, I came up with this list of the characteristics of the unicorns, you know, the ability to observe reality in a unique way with extreme curiosity, the ability to extract learnings in a certain way, the ability to prototype with courage, to push things against roadblocks to change the game within an organization to bring orders with you with that party, not to be arrogant, both in your observation of reality and the myth that you do know certain things, but also in the way you interact with other functions designed with marketing with RND, and so on so forth a series of other characteristics that make all the difference of the war between successful ideas, and no successful ideas between generating the right insights, translating them in the right products and the ability to take them to market in a successful way. And not saying to you, same brush, you can create the masterpiece of Picasso you can create a scribble or somebody that doesn’t have the kind of talent by the way is a natural talent, but it’s also talent nurtured by education, by practice and maintenance.


Scott D Clary  59:30

I love that. Okay. I’m gonna I’m gonna ask one final question to close it out. But before before we close this out, any last thoughts that you want to leave with the audience? And also most importantly, where do they connect with you on social media? Where did they go buy your book? Any anything else that you want to lead with us? Well,


Mauro Porcini  59:49

you can follow me in Instagram in LinkedIn, Mauro porcini there is no many other more opportunities so we finally breathe easily and I post all the time every day. So I’m very active there the book, you can find it online Amazon, Barnes and Noble. So the usual


Scott D Clary  1:00:05

human side of innovation, yeah. So anywhere, okay, perfect.


Mauro Porcini  1:00:09

And the message, I really think that if we focus everything we do on this idea of human beings, we can really create an amazing value for our companies, all the business value I’m talking about should be the just the reason why the people around us are going to do it, but it shouldn’t be the reason the drivers, the reason that drivers should be the fact that we need to do it because our society needs it. Because if we invest in the human being in the way we can be the better war and more sustainable planet, and a better society for all of us to live in. That’s really the driver of everything.


Scott D Clary  1:00:53

Okay, the last question I asked everyone. So you’ve had an incredible career now Chief Design Officer at PepsiCo. What does success mean for you in your life and your career,


Mauro Porcini  1:01:03

being happy, being happy, being happy and never you know, you may be happy at a certain point in your life and so happy just as my daughter she’s five months old, wonderful family, thank you. I’m happy with what I’m doing this company, I have a purpose in life. I have the right work life balance, but happiness, you know, can be there in a moment that can disappear in the future. So happiness is a war you need to keep investing in it is so successful means to keep this level of happiness or even bigger for the rest of my life.


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