On the Design Mind frogcast, we invite podcast listeners to meet the humans designing the future. From industry leaders to design and strategy professionals and creative thinkers of all kinds, our guests are passionate about making change and solving problems that matter to people, business and society. For this special episode of the podcast, we’re looking back at the guests who have joined us so far to share never before heard bonus footage. From navigating work during a pandemic to finding inspiration in unlikely places, you’ll hear insights and perspectives from people making their mark in the world of products, services, experiences and far beyond.
Design Mind frogcast
Bonus Episode: Beyond the Edits: More from Our Guests
[00:09] Welcome to the Design Mind frogcast. Each episode, we go behind the scenes to meet the people designing what’s next in the world of products, services and experiences, both here at frog and far, far outside the pond. I’m Elizabeth Wood [EW].
[00:24] EW: We’ve been a bit quiet this summer, but only because we’ve been hard at work putting some very exciting new episodes together. We can’t wait to share those with you soon. So, today on our show, we’re dropping into your feed with something a little special. Each episode, we record so much more than we can possibly include in the final edits—trust me, the hardest part is cutting anything out. So for this bonus episode, we’re looking back at the guests we’ve had so far on the Design Mind frogcast, and sharing previously unshared wisdom from some of the designers, strategists, business leaders and creative thinkers we’ve been lucky enough to have join us so far. You’re going to hear a collection of voices from our past episodes, talking about different recurring themes that have emerged since our show launched. To dive deeper, check the show notes for a link to full transcripts with links to previous episodes.
[01:12] EW: So let’s get started. First up, launching our show during the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many of our guests have offered perspectives informed by their own experience working, leading, learning and just living their lives during this time. From exercising more empathy to changing up communication styles, we’ve learned a lot from what our guests have shared. Here’s a few of those voices now.
[01:35] Justin Maguire, III, Chief Design Officer, Salesforce: My growth into the Chief Design Officer role here at Salesforce has coincided with COVID, which has made some of the relationships I need to build with a global organization more challenging. I gain energy from being in the room with people and taking quite a personal approach to the relationships I build. And so it’s required me to rethink my strategies for how I build those relationships. I’ve had to rethink my own strategies around relationship-building, around relationship maintenance, the channels I use for communication. I think everyone right now feels overwhelmed with meetings. And so if you’re asking for someone’s attention, whether that’s in an email, or a video, or a podcast, or a video call, more than ever I’m creating great intention around what’s the value I’m providing. (Episode 5: Building Design Economies)
[02:23] Sesh Vedachalam, Associate Strategy Director, frog: Naturally, there was a lot of just sort of, I think, sadness that we were losing out on the richness of in-person interaction. A lot of the casual conversations, the unstructured moments where we would get together were some of the most sort of valuable magical moments of all of it. So how do you recapture that digitally? That’s, I mean, that’s a challenge I think most teams and most groups are facing at the moment. We have to be aware of the fact that people’s lives have now changed. The commitment that everybody initially thought they were going to be able to give to this, maybe that is shifted a little bit. So you have to be mindful of the change in people’s schedules first of all. You have to be mindful that everybody was doing this after a whole day of video conference Zoom calls and Teams calls, the appetite for sitting at the end of a long day, on a three-hour Zoom call was not quite there. So how do we make some of the calls shorter, but maybe more meaningful? (Episode 2: Uncertain Times Call for Regenerative Design)
[03:17] Doreen Lorenzo, Asst. Dean, School of Design & Creative Technology, UT Austin: I think we’ve learned too, you can be that you can be at a distance, and still make it work. I think where it’s particularly important is in the work environment, as you enter the work environment, you’re not always in the same location. It’s not like you may not go to an office, but your team may be all around the world. So learning this skill is really important. (Episode 9: Design Needs Women Leaders)
[03:40] EW: Our guests are always passionate about the role of design and innovation in solving problems—and that’s ordinary, everyday problems and massive, complex, much-needed system change alike. At the heart of all of it is using the diversity of our skills and perspectives to bring about a better world. Here’s more from our guests on leading teams, communities and businesses to do better for more people—for better reasons.
[04:07] Alexis Puchek, Executive Design Director, frog Austin: There is not one right way to solve a problem. And I think fundamentally, if we think that there is—whether that is as an individual, as a team, as a company—we’re inherently going to miss something, or even potentially cause harm in a community or in ways that we weren’t expecting. (Episode 14: Increase Your Intention Span)
[04:26] Justin Maguire, III, Chief Design Officer, Salesforce: Ultimately, a company has to shape its own opinion about how it wants to show up in the world, on what its values are and how those values underpin how they behave. And that seems almost too simple to say. (Episode 5: Building Design Economies)
[04:40] Andreas Markdalen, Global Chief Creative Officer, frog: We’re getting into the basic ingredients of the brand. Whom are we speaking to? What are they going through? What are their needs? What are the different audiences that might sit on the inside and the outside? What are the diversity of needs across these different audience types? (Episode 3: Behind the Design: Designing the Brand Strategy for frog’s ‘Make Your Mark’ / Episode 13: Phone a frog: What’s the Point of Having a Brand?)
[04:58] Patrick Kalaher, CMO, Capgemini Invent: I think the older I get, the more I think about the past. I’m particularly interested in first contact. So I’ve been reading a lot of books lately about at many times through human history where two cultures meet for the first time without preconception, and without, you know, sometimes it’s completely out of context—so it’s like an accident. Working at frog, I often think back to my experience in role-playing games, my experience with our clients, putting myself in the shoes, you know, whether it’s moderate empathy or radical empathy, putting myself in the shoes of somebody who has a completely different experience than I do. (Episode 4: Trends 2021: Predicting the Future By Design)
[05:31] Toshi Mogi, AVP Strategy and Innovation, frog: There’s a particular culture here that is very inspiring. There’s a lot of cross-functional learning. There’s a lot of creativity. And I’m always surprised and amazed at the concepting and the solutions that we come up with. You know, when I think of, if I were to sit and think of all these answers by myself in a room would I come up with all this stuff? And the answer is no, because we just had so many different viewpoints coming at it. (Episode 11: Building Trust into Digital Futures)
[05:57] Doreen Lorenzo, Asst. Dean, School of Design & Creative Technology, UT Austin: Ask the right questions and people will talk. They want to tell their story. And I see that over and over again. (Episode 9: Design Needs Women Leaders)
[06:05] EW: Over the course of the show, our guests have had a lot to say about the value of workplace culture and how personal passions can often inspire the type of creative, collaborative environment necessary to do our best work.
[06:18] Asja Simunovic, Senior HR Business Partner, frog: Your career is part of your life. I mean, when you think about the hours that you spend at work, it’s such a huge part of your life. It’s something that people should be actively thinking about. The way, the structure in which you think about that, the way in which you manifest that for yourself—that’s a really personal decision. And different things work for different people. Exactly how productivity tools or anything else, essentially, you use in your life. I mean, there’s lots of different approaches to the same question. And you have to find the right one, the right approach for you. I’ve also encouraged people in considering their careers here at frog, but also what are their passions? What things are they interested in doing? And what can we give them? (Episode 7: Human-Centered HR to Improve Employee Experience)
[07:03] Patrick Kalaher, CMO, Capgemini Invent: But there are lots of commonalities, like people used building tools when they were kids. They played Legos, they drew, they sang. They did things that ended up impacting their craft. And I think that’s a common thread that runs through all of us. I got really interested in college in the history of science and technology, and so that is the bigger passion for me, right? Astronomy is one piece of it and the way I describe some of the things I learned, like, you know, that’s pretty remarkable. That’s been replaced or that’s been augmented in my life by the love of the story of science and technology and human development. It’s been really fascinating to me, and it’s still fascinating. (Episode 4: Trends 2021: Predicting the Future By Design)
[07:42] EW: Our guests have also shared the tools and inspiration that drive the way they work and inspire the way they live.
[07:49] Peter Schreyer, Head of Design Management, Hyundai Motor Group: There’s a lot of things that I’m interested in and jazz and rock is just part of it. I always have a pen with me, a pencil. I cannot live without it. For me, it’s always an automatic kind of reaction. When I want to explain something to somebody, I need to draw it up somehow. I always put my hand to my chest where I have the pen always clipped in there like a tie clip. And if I don’t have it I get nervous and so I always need it constantly. Mine is a Farber Castell black nice aluminum. It’s a pencil—it’s an actual lead pencil. (Episode 1: Peter Schreyer: Visionary Designer, Recovering Petrol Head)
[08:28] Megan Nesbeth, Senior Strategist, frog: I’d say tiny houses to me are just something that I became interested in. There’s the novelty of them, the cuteness of them the idea of thinking, hey, this is a small interesting place that somebody could make home like the sense of like here could be my little home that I come home to—like, physically little, but also just like just small enough that I have a place that feels like home base, but doesn’t control me. In a lot of ways it feels like the millennial extreme or the millennial ethos taken to an extreme of saying, “I want to prioritize experiences over my possessions.” I feel like my friends would not be at all surprised that I’m into tiny houses. My family’s probably like “Oh okay, that’s what you want to get? Fine.” I think there’s like the novelty piece of it right. I’ve just like, the idea of a tiny house, like how weird and quirky is that? That somebody would just live in such a small space? (Episode 15: Expand Your Economic Imagination)
[09:24] Toshi Mogi, AVP Strategy and Innovation, frog: People who make good beekeepers are ones who are just totally interested in what is going on with this hive behavior, this insect social experiment that goes on in your backyard. You just see so many things that happen and develop and change every week, every month, and you kind of have to keep on top of it sometimes because they will do things. Like, they’ll just leave. They’ll swarm. And then they’ll split and they’ll just, they’ll leave your hive all in one go. It’s like an alien landscape that you get to watch all the time in your own backyard. (Episode 11: Building Trust into Digital Futures)
[10:04] EW: Often on our show, guests will offer advice to up-and-coming designers and changemakers. Here’s a few pearls of wisdom we weren’t able to share their first time.
[10:14] Peter Schreyer, Head of Design Management, Hyundai Motor Group: You need to be convinced of what you’re doing. And you cannot just spit something out because it’s your gut feeling. It needs to be backed up with things that you can prove, or you can show that it actually works, of course, not just pluck something out of the air somehow. (Episode 1: Peter Schreyer: Visionary Designer, Recovering Petrol Head)
[10:30] Sesh Vedachalam, Associate Strategy Director, frog: And it’s about having that sort of creative confidence to say, “I’ve got a unique perspective here.” And that means I have the sort of confidence to make choices that are informed in that, that are true to my experience and my expertise. And that is creative in itself. (Episode 2: Uncertain Times Call for Regenerative Design)
[10:47] Doreen Lorenzo, Asst. Dean, School of Design & Creative Technology, UT Austin: The world changes constantly. And you have to look at what is going on and be very attentive to what is going on and understand how you ebb and flow with it and how you change along with it. Because that is a skill that will really make you successful your whole life. Those are the skills that artificial intelligence and machine learning can’t replace. (Episode 9: Design Needs Women Leaders)
[11:11] Justin Maguire, III, Chief Design Officer, Salesforce: I think you need to be a humanist. You need to actually deeply care about human beings and be curious about them. I think you need to be passionate. I almost don’t understand when I meet people who lack a passion. I think you need to see courageousness, the courage to really have hard conversations, the challenge to live your values. (Episode 5: Building Design Economies)
[11:31] EW: Along with offering advice on an individual level, Design Mind guests often share ways for shaping companies and organizations to be more valuable for employees, customers and society at-large.
[11:44] Andy Zimmerman, President, frog & Managing Director, Capgemini Invent NA: I think one of the elements of this is a culture that’s somewhat fearless. So in order to have this sort of transparency, you need to have a little bit of that fearless spirit. Without that culture of transparency, without that willingness to take risks, to be fearless, it’s probably going to be hard for companies have the kinds of discussions around ethics and purpose. (Episode 3: Behind the Design: Designing the Brand Strategy for frog’s ‘Make Your Mark’ / Episode 5: Building Design Economies)
[12:04] Alexis Puchek, Executive Design Director, frog Austin: What I think we need to make sure that we’re always paying attention to is we are inherently going to miss something or even potentially cause harm in ways that we weren’t expecting if we don’t have diverse teams, groups, perspectives, individuals, etc. helping to create our solutions. Diversity will always create better solutions. Period. Because there are going to be a variety of considerations that will come to the table in a cross-functional, collaborative way that you can assess, you can prioritize, you can raise a flag around, you can double down on that will help us make those decisions easier, or build the rationale. Or keep in mind that if we do this, there are ramifications. We cannot have diversity if we aren’t creating spaces that allow all people to thrive and to show up authentically as well as feel safe and supported in those environments. (Episode 14: Increase Your Intention Span)
[13:13] Todd Taylor, Marketing Director, frog: There’s new things coming behind the new things. And there will always be new things coming behind anything. So if you want to have a brand that’s at the bleeding edge of innovation, then you need to have that brand perpetually relevant and perpetually opening with open eyes to the world around it and the context—the social context and the business contexts and other contexts—and adapt to them right? To really do so, you have to do so in a way that is authentic to the brand. (Episode 3: Behind the Design: Designing the Brand Strategy for frog’s ‘Make Your Mark’ / Episode 13: Phone a frog: What’s the Point of Having a Brand?)
[13:41] Megan Nesbeth, Senior Strategist, frog: So if you think about it, what we’re asked to do 95% of the time and our work and design strategy is to really say like, the world is ambiguous, we have no idea where things are going. Everything is kind of tough, but everyone wants to get ahead of it. How do we bring it down to that smallest level of the smallest change, and empower people to start feeling like they’re making a difference? And so that can be an individual within a company, it can be a specific product that’s changing in some kind of way or a service. It can be really anything that we’re building to get to the place where you see that first kernel that feels manageable, and from that manageable kernel you feel like you’re on the pathway towards building a future that you want to see, even if you’re not really sure what all those steps are in between. (Episode 15: Expand Your Economic Imagination)
[14:28] Doreen Lorenzo, Asst. Dean, School of Design & Creative Technology, UT Austin: Who am I solving that for? What’s my audience? What am I trying to accomplish here? And once you can answer those questions honestly, and take in the feedback that you might not want to hear, you can get to some pretty good answers. (Episode 9: Design Needs Women Leaders)
[14:42] Ethan Imboden, VP Design, Global Head of Ventures, frog: The collaborating with reality that we’re talking about for individuals is also taking shape at that sort of larger corporate level. They’re needing to collaborate with the reality that’s being created around them by this pressure and the employee pressure, the government pressure, the financial market pressure is real. And as we’re seeing with our clients, the leadership within these organizations personally want to engage and are feeling a sense of urgency. I think increasingly, not uniformly, but increasingly. So I do think there’s reason to expect a faster pace and a reason to be hopeful. (Episode 10: Sustainability X Ventures: Your Questions Answered)
[15:21] EW: That’s our show. The Design Mind frogcast was brought to you by frog, a global design and strategy consultancy that is part of Capgemini Invent. Check today’s show notes for transcripts and links to full episodes from our featured guest voices. We want to thank Doreen Lorenzo, Ethan Imboden, Megan Nesbeth, Justin Maguire III, Andy Zimmerman, Todd Taylor, Andreas Markdalen, Alexis Puchek, Peter Schreyer, Toshi Mogi, Asja Simunovic, Sesh Vedachalam and Patrick Kalaher for being a part of our show again today, and thank you to all of our guests from the last nine months. We really appreciate it. We also want to thank you, dear listener. If you like what you heard, tell your friends. Rate and review to help others find us, and be sure to follow us wherever you listen to podcasts. Find lots more to think about from our global frog team at frog.co/designmind. Follow frog on Twitter at @frogdesign and @frog_design on Instagram. And if you have any thoughts about the show, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening. Now go make your mark.