How to pitch your process with Ole Tillmann from PEAK Creative Leadership
#011: Learn from Ole Tillmann what the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch presentation are and how to create one to pitch your process to top management as well as to inspire employees for processes.
In this episode, I’m speaking with Ole Tillmann about how to pitch your process. You will learn about the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch and how to create one. You will learn how to pitch your process to top management and Ole is going to provide a lot of insights into a big case on how to inspire people for processes. – Everything nicely structured with many tips and tricks.
Ole is strategic brand and communication consultant, executive coach, and founder of PEAK Creative Leadership GmbH. He’s based in Berlin and he’s also working as startup coach and consultant for accelerators like APX the startup accelerator of Axel Springer and Porsche.
He is author of the book beyond the obvious. And for sure, we are also going to talk about that as well. And maybe you also know Ole as an actor or a moderator and by the way, beginning of the two thousands, he was hosts of the music tv show “Top of the Pops”.
- Besides a lot of insights on Ole’ work
- What the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch are
- How to create the perfect pitch presentation
- How to pitch processes to top management
- How to inspire employees for processes
- Where to learn more about how to create a perfect presentation
- Ole Tillmann on LinkedIn
- PEAK Creative Leadership website
- Ole’s example of a perfect product vision: Lilium Air Mobility
- Ole’s book recommendation “Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage” by Roger L. Martin
- Ole’s online masterclass “How to pitch”
- Ole’s book “BEYOND THE OBVIOUS: Agile Presentation Design – an innovator’s guide to more impactful presentations”
- My article with my key learnings from the interview
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Please note that the transcript was generated automatically and only slightly adjusted. It does not claim to be a perfect transcription.
Mirko: Yeah, welcome to episode 11 of the New Process Podcast. Today, I’m speaking with Ole Tillmann about how to pitch your process.
Ole is strategic brand and communication consultant, executive coach, and founder of peak creative leadership. He’s based in Berlin and he’s also working as startup coach and consultant for accelerators like APX the startup accelerator of Axel Springer and Porsche.
He is author of the book beyond the obvious. And for sure, we are also going to talk about that as well. And, yeah, maybe you also know Ole as an actor or a moderator and by the way, beginning of the two thousands, he was hosts of the music tv show “top of the pops”.
I met Ole when he was working as a consultant for Lufthansa Technik and we’ve been working on several projects together which has been always very inspiring for me and I learned so much from Ole that I thought it might be great to have him at the new process podcast as well.
Just to give you an outlook of what is coming: Besides a lot of insights on Ole’s work, you will learn about the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch and how to create one. You will learn how to pitch your process to top management, as well as how to inspire employees for processes. Yeah, there is a big case we are providing with a lot of insights into. And finally, you can also learn how to learn more about how to create a perfect presentation, which is quite useful at several occasions I would say within business.
So enjoy the episode with Ole Tillmann.
Mirko: Yeah, Ole! Welcome to the New Process Podcast. It’s great to have you here. As I already said, we did some really exciting projects together and I learned so much from you. So I’m happy to have you here. Welcome.
Ole: Thank you very much, Mirko. Happy to be here.
Mirko: Yeah. Great. So let’s dive right into it and, start with a check in. And the first question I always ask my guest here is: what do you prefer in an aircraft aisle or a window seat?
Ole: Aisle seat usually, because it’s easier for me to get in and to get out. And also I’m very happy to have my hands very early at the luggage. so that’s why I usually want to sit aisle.
Mirko: That’s very good. And is there a favorite airport that you have?
Ole: Actually. Yeah,I like Frankfurt a lot.
Ole: Yeah. I like Munich a lot. these are, yeah. We are spoiled with airports, I think. And we are spoiled that we are allowed to just take the plane with our German passport and fly to wherever we want to.
This is why I usually don’t have too many expectations to airports. it’s really, it’s important for me to get to the lounge, the business lounge, if possible. spend some time there, get to the plane and get off. So that’s usually what I like. I’ve been to Tokyo, which has been amazing.
I’ve been to, to Moscow, to Istanbul. We’ve been to China. There are so many international airports that, are client also intimidating, just by its shared size. But, I wouldn’t say I have one favorite one. I don’t know. No.
Okay. No problem. then let’s get closer to the topic of process here. looking back, what was the best process you have ever experienced?
Actually, I think. Americans are a really process heroes, especially in the entertainment world. And I remember, being in universal studios at the theme park a couple of years ago. And, I’ve been at the minion ride, the tiny, the yellow, comic characters and the idea of the minion ride is that you, together with 50 other people, staged by stage are transformed into a minion.
So you stand in front of the building and you step into the first room. the door closes behind you and you stand there and then the floors start shaking or a crazy scientist, an actors, a crazy scientist come out, comes out and some fog, and then they talk to you and they help you to transform step by step at the end you get out and, you are a minion.
And I thought this process design was so amazing thought. So because it allows you to experience entertainment at. and so all the actors who’ve been there. they sometimes only had a couple of lines, but they must produce them and reproduce them over and over again. And still it needs to look fresh.
still, it needs to appear to the audience as if they have set their sentence for the first time. And this to me, was very well designed processes they had at hand.
Mirko: okay. Yeah, that’s super cool. Thanks for these insights. And,how would you describe your personal relationship to processes?
So how did you get to know processes?
Ole: Yeah, I think I discovered my love for processes. yeah, early on as an actor, because as an actor, if you stand in front of a camera, especially in television, you have to sometimes over and over shoot the same scene again. sometimes from different angles, sometimes you have a mistake and you have to redo it and you get very used to going over and over through processes.
So that was the first time I really got aware of that. And then when I made my acting, an acting coaching education. I’ve been trained in an American storytelling system for actors, which is a step by step process for an actor to build up their relationship with the role they want to play and then really immerse.
And then at the end become the role. And,this, process really hit home to me. Ah, I thought this is so professional. If you do it like this and even creativity, acting is all about creativity and processes do not exclude each other at the end. They’re complimentary. and this is where I fell in love with processes.
And then I, understood also with my topic of presentation, design communication of innovative ideas. I need to build a repeatable system and a repeatable system, a method, a methodology with,a repeatable outcome, right? Quality outcome is only possible if you have a good process design. and this was, very clear to me.
I need to build something like that. That’s also why I’ve written my book, agile presentation design, a step by step guide to more impactful presentations. It’s a method I developed that method. And I know when we, the both of us, when we started to work together, Mirko, at Lufthansa Technik.
it was very interesting because, you’ve invited me to work with all your colleagues, to develop their pitching skills of innovative ideas. And I came with a process and it was super smooth. So the integration was super smooth and I never knew why that was until we started to work on the process, of ProX.
Ole: And I said, ah, because Lufthansa Technik is all about processes. Now I come as an external consultant with another process and it integrates so smoothly because everyone speaks the language of processes. And, this is where I really first understood the real importance of need processes where are really understood well in the business world.
If you don’t have your processes together, you cannot produce reliable outcomes.
Mirko: okay. Yeah, that’s super cool. So now you are working as a strategic brand and a communication consultant. can you elaborate a little bit more on that? What you are doing there?
Ole: Sure. So one example would be a newly established brand, let’s say a venture capital firm.
So I work a lot in the startup ecosystem. So these are my natural clients. A venture capital firm approaches me and says, Hey, we’re newly, set up fund. we are looking for a branding. Could you help us with this? And, so what I do is an extensive research phase. I tried to understand the brand.
I tried to understand the target group, competition, and all these kind of things. And then from there, I develop a narrative. and this narrative then is displayed in, in the brand itself, in the logo, in the website and all the other communication materials. So this is one part, and I love to work on this because,I’m super curious and I love to tell stories and I love to do it with design then, another, use case I would have is that VCs again, or startups approach me to work with the startups, on their equity story in a preparation for their funding,and investors communication. So this is what I do on a regular basis. I do this for, APX, which is the accelerator program of Axel Springer and Porsche. Do it since more than eight years for them also for the previous program. And, yeah, then. Also, I prepare, CEOs from younger companies scale up for their internal, but also external communication. Internal that would be, I support them with their all hands meetings and how would they communicate effectively throughout the entire organization? I’m sparrings partner here. I really help them to develop, their concepts and then also support them how they get. communicated through the entire organization, but also with the external communication, meaning for product, keynotes and so on.
And then I work as a creative consultant or creative producer supporting, working on the entire script, the visuals, and then also as a director, when it comes to inscenating everything on stage. and, this is what I do against the backdrop of my own career as an actor and as a moderator on television.
Mirko: Yeah, that’s super cool. And I guess you have developed hundreds of pitch presentations, when consulting startups and, other corporates there. Can you tell us what are the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch?
Ole: Yeah, I think the first thing that everyone needs to have at hand is a very graspable product vision at the beginning and this is what most startups fail doing correctly. They start to talk about what they do. They talk about their impact, but they not really talk about the product. And as an investor, you must understand right. From the first sentence onwards, what the product or what the startup is all about.
Product vision at the beginning is very important and you need to,and you need to explain the big picture. Why is it important? Why now who’s your protagonist? So who’s your user, what’s the user experience. and, then visualize everything that you do, right? So that’s also very important.
Ole: The most successful. fundraisers. I saw they visualized everything they did with, computer generated images. If you look at, for example, the startup Lilium and for me, a best practice, they were able to raise a lot of money, even before they had their first flying prototype because, they were able to show their product vision, let’s say the Lilium jet in front of the Copa Cabana or New York.
and we understood, oh, okay, this is how it looks like. Or the heli port or whatever, was necessary to understand what they do. So having the product vision is very important. and that’s, to me always the first part, and then the rest, all the business metrics, they can only be understood once I’ve understood, the value that the product creates and they need to understand the customer and the, also the insights that the startup had, why they came to their And, the insighting incident where the founder understood, ah, this is a problem and I need to solve it and I can solve it because of my background, because I have a very special industry inside. And if you weave all these modules together into a compelling narrative at the beginning, then you not only grasp the audience’s attention, but you also hold it and you make it a meaningful experience for them to listen.
So what I usually. you need to have, you need to have such a structure, clear narrative that the audience is not forced to think , but only to experience the meaning of your narrative.
Mirko: Okay. So how do I get there? How does the process look like of creating that?
Ole: Yeah, the creative process usually always follows the same patterns.
And that’s also very interesting once you’ve understood that, at the beginning, every creative process is super messy and you need to allow yourself. To step into that what is called the divergent phase of the creative process? So you open up, you generate as many ideas as possible, crazy ideas, maybe that would never find themselves in the final product, but you would allow yourself at the beginning to just explore and to stay open and generate and generate.
And then. Only once you have reached good height, or depth in your creative process, then you start boiling it down in the convergent phase and you start to exclude ideas. You start to, prioritize and you create a first rapid prototype. And, then if you have that rapid prototype and I usually use post-it notes, for example, or just, some sketches on the whiteboard.
if you have this prototype at hand and it’s very important to start every creative process opening up and then closing it down so that you also have a feeling of accomplishment, and then you have that first prototype at hand, and then you let. and that’s very counterintuitive, but it’s very important.
Ole: So you let’s say create a first, storyboard, you have it on the whiteboard. and then you let go, you do something entirely different. next task you go for a walk or whatever it is. And then what your mind does subconsciously is it consolidates, all your thinking, and then you might get inspired by other things, that you see or discussions that you have with others.
And then because you have that storyboard, you have a contain. In which you can put all the inspiration that you have alongside, later you are at the storyboard again. Or if you have a digital copy of it, you can just integrate it there. And, then you might have experienced it yourself. Mirko, if you have written a text and you sleep a good night and then next day you look at the text again, you see all the things that you would like to.
Also processing information whilst you’re sleeping is very important. It’s a very important part of the process. And then, you look at all the stuff with a fresh eye and then you start rearranging and shaping and so on and so forth. But again, you open up from here. So you go into another divergent phase.
Ole: and then you go back into conversion phase and then you get even closer and closer to the gist,of your idea until you then can release your product. So I think, pitch design or communication design is very much like product design. And, if you understand that you need to have breaks in between, you understand that you need to start very early.
Let’s say couple of weeks or sometimes month before an important presentation. And then to me, everything that you do is a presentation, everything in business life right? Whenever you want to communicate something with, something with someone, then you need to have a presentation for that. So it doesn’t matter if it’s a marketing strategy.
It’s if it’s a pitch, if it’s, just, yeah. Some instructions or whatever it is. So yeah, this is the process. So you come from very messy at the beginning to very clear and structured at the. And the idea is to come from chaos to order. And you fight against reality to get your thinking into that, that clear and concise storyline.
That’s cool. I actually, I wasn’t aware that sleeping could be part of a professional process design and that’s super cool. I know that taking a shower, me personally often helps to sort out what’s in my mind and, come up with cool ideas. but sleeping that’s cool. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah. you should try to get as many sleep circles in between the first draft of your thinking and the final result. That’s really very important.
Mirko: Okay, cool. That reminds me of, a call I had yesterday who was, a customer of mine where we thought about setting up a workshop to, yeah, inspire top management for processes.
And, in the end I said, yeah. Okay. I think I need a night to think about what, to do there and. Now as you are here, what would be your recommendation? for us to approach the top management, how to proceed in pitching process management to top management.
okay. First of all, we have to understand if someone is a top executive, top management.
Ole: Usually they like decision making, right? Usually they’re very action oriented. And as with every good story, you need to always communicate receiver oriented. So it’s not so much about your story that you share, even if that’s counterintuitive, but it’s more about the reflections and connotations your audience has with regards to what you’re saying. So you try to own that process in your audience’s mind. And if you know that there is a person who is, who is very action oriented, likes decision making, usually this is the counterside to processes, right? Because processes are very detailed. they are very much focusing on the process and not only on the outcome.
but for decision making outcomes and options are very important. So what I would recommend to do is design the story from the perspective of the listener, think of their frameworks and mindset, and try to narrow down everything that you have to say to a very action oriented option oriented, version of your content.
Ole: Therefore it must be concise. It should be visual, right? Because that usually helps with, processing information. If you visualize the information and it should be very much. accurate, but simplified. And that’s very important. They usually only have little time. in top management they have to prioritize and if they don’t get the value of it right away, then you are already off.
So that’s what you should think of. What’s in it for them. How can they benefit with your idea? How can they save money, do something quicker, with more ease. And yeah, focus on.
Mirko: Okay. Yeah, that helps. And maybe we can talk about that in a few weeks to see how this worked out. that’s, super interesting, but let’s,switch perspectives there and, not talking about top management, let’s pick up employees.
So as, I learned the biggest challenge of all the people providing process management to an organization out there is that processes are often perceived as something really boring, not very exciting. What are your ideas? What would you recommend on how to proceed to inspire people? So employees working in processes for a specific business process or a process in general?
Ole: Yeah. Maybe we can use our example for that Mirko our joint. collaboration we had a couple of years ago with ProX at, at, Lufthansa Technik or Deutsche Lufthansa in general. maybe you could provide us with a bit of background around the project and why you decided to then ask me to jump in and support.
Mirko: Yeah, that’s super interesting. As I, I remember we just,I knew you already from another project where we pitched something to our board and that was super exciting. And I thought maybe we could ask Ole to get some ideas on how to communicate what we are going to do here. And, we invited you to Hamburg and we explained to you the situation, which was basically like, we were setting up a new process excellence process for the whole Lufthansa Group. so the design was already there and, we had some ideas, some pictures how this process looked like, and for sure, we also mapped the process very detailed. And, now the question was, how can we roll it out? How do we tell it to the people. And I still remember us standing there in that meeting room and, putting sticky notes onto the wall and we ended up with something really big, I would say, which was then called the pizza game. And, that, that was how it all started, just from my perspective. So what about you Ole? What do you remember?
Ole: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I understood that the challenge was that you came up with this new process management system, ProX and you were asked that all 140,000 employees at that time should work with that new system.
And then we thought of, okay, how can we communicate the value of that new system to 140,000 people? And for sure, in, an email or in the in, or just, a message in the, intranet wouldn’t work also just to put some flyers at the Kalia wouldn’t work, right? Because the, we were about to change the entire operational system of a globally operating company. It couldn’t be more complicated to me. Now that I think about it. And you came, you had this great idea on mind, which had a lot of value and we understood it because we took ourselves the time to really go through it. But,you already had one approach where you tried to communicate, your, the value of the new system to 400 arch architect or process architects, pro process professionals, architects, right within the company. And it was very hard to convince them. And so you approach, and you said we have a second chance. We have a second try, we have two days with them.
So how can we make them see the value in it? And I remember that my first thought was, how can we, how can we make the value experienceable for them? So how can they see the value of it right away in that moment? And usually also a learning theory. If we only see something, let’s say a process flow chart on the wall, and someone talks about it, it’s very hard to understand the real meaning of it.
And so we co-developed that idea that we need. we need to let the people in the room for 400 people in Frankfurt in the convention center, we need to let them experience the real value of the process. And I remember that we thought we need to some somewhat build up ambassadors for this value.
So we decided to build this, board game. Which I, I think at the beginning was, building paper planes. and, then going through your entire process that you have developed through the ProX process. And then at the end, we ended up with,the pizza game, which, came more handy and we developed an entire game, With the story around. At it. And, then we developed,the board game even further to, we played through it a couple of times until we understood. Yes, it works. And it works with all the KPIs, which are also relevant, for a globally operating,flight company. once we had that and we had the story and we designed everything with nice graphics, we then, we’ve then been to Frankfurt to the convention center.
We knew we had, 400 people. We designed, we designed, the entire two days in ways so that in smaller groups, these people could experience the value. And what did we do? We said, okay. They are all now in a fictional scenario, working, in. In a pizzeria and now they must use the ProX process to produce the most reliable, highest quality, fastest results, in that pizzeria.
And then understood. we had 18 different groups, like 400 people in 18 groups. And we explained them the entire game and we had this fictional character, Nonna and she was in Italy and had this wonderful recipe yeah for the pizza. And, now,we, we then created this scenario where, she built up the company in the sixties and then because of the great quality, they were having more and more franchise companies within Italy.
but, they had different quality levels. within their, notes and then competition from, the outside enter at the Italian market. So competition was fierce and they needed to level up, they needed to come back to the best possible outcome, the best possible results. So they needed to follow the one-on-one recipe from Nonna, So that was more or less the. And then we said, okay, we have 17 or 18 different Piza now here competing for the best process. And we then after we created this fiction scenario, and I think they must have been really thinking that was so strange. I remember standing on stage and they were looking at all the characters and all the roles and so on, but, they started,then working into it.
Ole: They went into their workshop rooms. They produced the first pizzas and, of our team, everyone was measuring the result. And I thought that was really amazing. So we had all the real KPIs at hand. What did we do? We then put everything into the presentation. We got them back into the big convention room, 400 people, and we put the results onto the screen and we saw difference in quality and output.
So one were super good. Some others were really bad and it was great variation and so we said, okay, now you have gone through it for the first time. Now, please go all back. Do what you’re best at design processes to improve, the outcome. So they all went back, to their workshop rooms. They worked on their process design.
Ole: They again came back to the convention room and now we saw that some got even better, some improved a little bit, but everyone was slightly better, but not really to that point that we would have the same quality everywhere. So then I really liked that idea, you Mirko and your team, you were harvesting the best practices from all the teams, Who has done what in the process design, to really make the process better. And I under, I still remember the night session that we had.
Mirko: Exactly. Yeah. Yeah.
Ole: That was really funny. Maybe you wanted to talk about that.
Mirko: Yeah. So in, in the, I would say at night, we brought together a representative of each and every pizza place, the process managers, so fighting for their local, process and bringing in the ideas they developed in their workshops. and we tried to standardize that. So to create a best practice process, which was really a night shift, I would say. Unfortunately we missed the party. And, next morning, we introduced the new process, including some pretty cool tools. they developed, to the whole audience.
And they all went back to their local pizza places and produced pizza based on this best practice process.
Ole: Yeah. And then the reside was amazing. Yeah. When they came back to this room, 400 people from all over the world who were then in Frankfurt, who played a fictional pizza game and who really took it very seriously at that point.
That was also funny at the beginning. They were like, ah, what do they want from us? But then they really, they bought into it and they come into that room. And we put on the results and they were outstanding. Everyone was producing the best possible results. And that moment I still get goosebump now that we talk about it, they were, they understood the value of it.
Ole: They said, whoa, that’s amazing. We have to exactly do it like this. And then we said, yes, it doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about an onboarding process in Adelaide or Amsterdam. you need to have one process owner and, you don’t have to redevelop everything. If you once have the perfect process for the onboarding of a specific, airplane type, you better stick to it.
And, then you can reproduce it all over the world. and that’s, I think this is where it hit home for the people. And that’s what I meant with let them experience the value because from that moment onward, they became our ambassadors. And I know that we have developed the cardboard in a way that we can easily reproduce it.
And then every team lead could take that back home to wherever they came from all over the world. And they could replay that together with their team. They could educate them how to do it. They could then again, play it with their teams and this is how it dribbles down to the entire organization.
And I understood and remember that this was really very important. So making processes and their value experienceable, really physically experienceable is the key so that people can start working on their behalf. If they get only a technical chart, it’s very hard for them to experience.
Mirko: Yeah. Yeah. So true. And I still remember that year after, we had these events, people approached us and asked, can we have the game? We wanna play it with our team. It’s not that much fun to do it in a smaller group, but they could still experience how the process really worked out in the end. And, that was great. So yeah. Wow. That was a good time.
Ole: So now that we think about it, Mirko because you asked me upfront what I, what do I do? And I said, brand design and, I support startups with investors, communication. I support CEOs, with their keynote design and so on and so forth. This is what I really like, but what for me, the biggest challenge and most fun always is to take super complex, hard to understand topics and make them understandable And that really is important for everything that I do. So this project, this ProX project to me still was the most fun project I’ve ever done in my entire life, because it was the hardest nut to crack. It was such a hard nut to crack, and the challenge couldn’t be bigger than to change the operational system of an entire globally operating company. it’s, it can’t be any harder. And, this is what I, this is what I like most, unfortunately, not a lot of companies even understand that they need to work on their process design and that this could be something that would help them to really leverage more of their potential. .
Mirko: Yeah, definitely. And for me, it was also an amazing experience and I, I still remember what we did there and, how we did it.
And I would love to bring this spirit to other companies as well. So if there are people out there listening to what we just talked about and they are interested in that, maybe we can even think about how to push it even further, to create something new like that again. So that’s cool. Yeah.
Ole: Wow. no, for sure. For sure. And I think, as you said, it’s we brought it to a very good point, I think, and we bra we brought it to a repeat or to a point of repeatability. and that’s to me where you need to bring it, it needs to. So well designed that you can repeat it over and over again with the desired outcome, right?
That’s to me, the, there, it needs to be. And only if you have achieved that point, that the process is there, but still I, I thought that, yeah, of course what we have done, we brought it to a very great level. we could push it even further, for sure, we could push it further. but, to make it even more experienceable and using digital layers and so on and so forth, we didn’t have the time to do that and not the mandate, but, for sure there is still room to push it further.
Mirko: Yeah. Wow, that’s super cool. Thanks all for these insights also, from your perspective on how we did that at that time. So that’s super interesting. And I still remember us standing on stage and, introducing, the game to the people. That was awesome.
Ole: Cool. Yeah. And also one, one more thing, maybe, what was important?
Yeah, I thought we had these kind of gamification elements within and, we always pushed it one step further. And so that the people, so we pushed the people through this gaming process so that they experienced it understood better. Ah, that’s it, that’s it. And then whenever they have reached a certain point in their understanding, we brought them the theoretical.
So about roads, the necessity of roads in that, process design, or, other things around the KPIs. But whenever they have reached that specific level, we brought them the theoretical input and this again, helped them to connect their emotional experience with these patterns that these theoretical patterns, and then the combination of both is what is so powerful, right?
Ole: If it’s only emotional, it’s not repeatable. If it’s only theoretical, it’s not experienceable .
Mirko: Yeah. So even, dry topic, like processes can be super exciting for people.
Ole: yeah. Maybe we need to convince them that this is a thing. And I didn’t know, I was such a nerd around processes before, really, I met you at Lufthansa Technik, knowing that you were even worse. that, but yeah,but I like is, so if you,if you understand that everything is a creative process, And, creativity and human experience can only be scaled if you use the right processes. Just as I described at the beginning with the process of the minion, right? The theme park universal studios yet. So it’s an emotional human experience. It’s entertainment, of course, but it’s an experience that, that you go through and because of the process it’s scalable. And, this is what I like. if you look at other. So it’s very American. I think it’s very American.
If you look at all the franchise fast food companies, like McDonald’s, other companies, it’s always about that process, They know exactly, what degree the fat has to have, for the thickness of the burger patty, how long you have to put it into the fat in order to produce it as efficiently as possible.
I think they, they are really good in that. but, ation is even better because it’s high risk environment, right? So you must be really able to detach an entire, let’s say Boeing 737, over haul, and then, reattach it in the right way. Not forgetting one screw and it needs to fly again with hundreds and off thousands of people in the most dangerous, circumstances. And this to me is the grant mastery of process design and process capability.
Mirko: So summing that up. what are your top recommendations to our listeners on how to yeah rethink processes? What is your key message?
Ole: Yeah. So as I said, everything is a creative process. No matter you are designing your garden, you are overhauling an airplane, you are working on the financials of your company. To me, everything is a creative process and creative process is also follow specific steps. As I said, from chaos to order, it’s always the same and you follow an emotional journey with all of that. Chaos usually puts us in a place of fear. Because we think, oh, maybe this time we do not know what to do. Or, you might start thinking about your own capabilities. Am I good enough? And so on, these are all the things that usually happen at the beginning of a creative process. But if you push through these emotions and you understand that your insecurities are only an indicator for your own carefulness of how good something needs to be designed and that you understand you, you need to push it further until you feel secure. you want to get beyond that point of fear to feel that security and even maybe boredom at the end, once you have that perfect process at place. So the emotional journey is always the same push through it until you feel the security and take your own fear as an indicator that the process is not designed well enough.
And maybe a good book recommendation also, which,I really like about creativity and, and, processes is from Canadian management professor Roger Martin: the design of business. It’s a really great book. It talks especially about, the creative process and, how a design mindset can help you to create great user experiences through process design.
Mirko: okay. Cool. Yeah. Thank you also for this recommendation. that’s super interesting. So where can our learners, our listeners go to, if they would like to learn more about what you’re doing?
of course my homepage term and.com then peak berlin.com. and then, I give classes, I teach people what I do, support them with their concept design. so this is, one thing, so they can directly approach me.
Ole: And if there is interest in my topic, you can buy my book, agile presentation design, an innovators guide to more impactful presentations. And you can find that in. And this is a, this is just a process, Mirko, and it describes everything that we were talking about. And I think so my approach with that book was to contribute something to the global design community.
this is also why I put so much effort into the design, not only the process design, but also the visual design. And I think that the real impact this book can have in helping people to structure their thinking and being able to communicate their innovative ideas with more impact, the real impact has not even,developed yet.
Ole: So I think it still has a lot. to support people, approaching knowledge, design, or presentation design in a fundamentally different way.
Mirko: Yeah, I fully agree. And I ordered your book on the day. You, communicated that it’s coming out and it’s still here lying next to my desk. And I look into it from time to get some inspirations and no other book, it’s just your book lying here at my table because I really hate reading books, but this is, a format which I love to read. So I can definitely support your recommendation there to have a look at,
let me share one last thought maybe about creativity and processes.
So when I have designed this book, I thought I want to ha write a book. Which has the knowledge, depth of a real book, right? So if you read a management book, pop, whatever, whatever topic, but usually they have really deep in information and you have to digest it and go back to it over and over again.
Ole: So I said, I want to have this kind of depth, but on the other hand, I want to have the readability of a magazine. So I worked with two metaphors, right? So book and magazine later on, I merged it as a working title into MagBook, so magazine book. So then I try to understand how a book works, right? So of course it’s the structure.
if you look into the content, overview at the beginning, it’s the structure. Okay. I thought, okay. I need to have a very clear structure. It’s very important. But the, but then I looked at magazines and I thought, why do they work so well, why am, why do I like the lightness they provide? And then I wanted to understand how magazines work and I sent my former employee Kilian to the Berliner Hauptbahnhof to the railway station, to the, to, to the newspaper store and asked him buy only the most beautiful magazines that you can find. So he brought them back five or six of them, and then we cut them and then we brought them to the wall, To get an overview of the thing. And then we understood, the ingredients when I said, oh, a magazine is all about images.
I understood. Oh, I need to have good images. So I hired a photographer for every workshop for everything that we did for all the content. So throughout the entire book, you have the same image style. and everything is very visual. Then I understood you need to have, great, illustrations. So we hired the best illustrator.
But what I saw in the most magazines was that there was different styles of illustrations throughout the entire magazine because, different, different editors maybe contributed with different illustrators they hired, but I said, I want to have a consistent feeling with the same illustration style.
So we hired, with Christopher de Lorenzo, one of the world’s famous. illustrators. So he worked for New York Times for Times Magazine and so on. So really top notch. And again, my approach was I want to contribute something to the international design community. so at the end, we brought these two concepts of the book and the magazine together, and this is how then the readability and the depth then came together, but again, it’s a process, right? And metaphors, you can work with metaphors in order to inform your process and your decision making alongside that process. And so this is actually, now that we talk about it,the combination of creativity and process thinking is what really drives me.
Mirko: Yeah, and I’m really surprised that you, for me, it was just a pretty cool book. Yeah. With cool methods in it, which can I look into from time to get some ideas and guidance on how to do it? Yeah. But,I would say you completely reinvented, the process of writing a book with what you just explained.
That’s just, super exciting to, to hear what you did there, and that shows what you are doing. even when you’re just writing a book.
Ole: Yeah, but I did not only write the book. I also designed the entire book together with, Axel Lauer my co-designer and we did that together. Axel did a lot of great work for the Wired Magazine before, and we became a team, creative design team in that whole thing.
And, we also, published the book. Right. So I didn’t work with a, with a publisher, but I said, I want to have the entire creative freedom. I want to do it myself. So I found out how to publish it to how to get an ISBN number, how to get it on Amazon, how to get it listed. and so on. And, this is, yeah,I, I try to understand everything in, in the entire process. And now it’s there and I really love it. It works on my behalf and, yeah, I’m happy that you like it. And funny enough, I have a lot of people who told me: Ole, I still have it on my desk. And now when I think back at the product vision I had, I thought, so I was in Los Angeles a couple of years ago. And you see I’m very americanophile or anglophile. we’ve been to Abbot Kinney, which is like the coolest street in Los Angeles. All the cool coffee shops there and, jeans stores, and so on. And, also concept stores and the concept store. the features of a concept store is you cannot only buy clothing for example, but also nice candles or cart games, or just beautiful items.
And I thought if, whenever I write a book, I want it to be so pretty that it lies in such a concept store. And then if people see it, even if they don’t understand the topic, they just buy it and they have it at home putting it somewhere so that it provides happiness with the desire that this is exactly what was happening.
So people now have it and they just don’t want to give it away. And I, to me, it’s also the same, every time I look at it and I think Axel really did a great job here. I think, oh, it’s so pretty. It’s so pretty still. and it would, I think in 20 years or 30 years, it still will look pretty because it’s timeless.
Mirko: Yeah, definitely. And you just have to buy that book because looking at the cover and now you’re here and we are talking about that. I have to ask a question because there is this hole on the cover circle where you can see the green behind and it’s shining somehow. What’s the idea behind that?
Ole: So it’s about getting your ideas to the point. And that it has this, this kind of halo. And it seems like the idea is not really clear at that moment. If you then take the cover and take it off, you will see a solid circle. So this is the entire creative process of something, which is not clear at the beginning and bringing it really to the solid point. So from vague to solid, and that’s the idea of the cover.
Mirko: Super cool.
Ole: it’s a process again, right?
Mirko: Yeah, definitely. Wow. Ole, I love that. Thank you so much. Is there anything we have missed? I guess a lot, but, with regards to new process or rethinking processes?
Ole: No, just one thing I would like to say to you, I re I’m really grateful that you gave me the opportunity. First of all talking to you now today, but also earlier,in the ProX process to bring into that and then to, co-design it together with you, bringing in everything that you had and everything that I had, together with our teams and then, collaboratively designed this this entire project, I really enjoyed that. And, it really brought my understanding of what I am capable of delivering into the business world. it really changed my self perception. and to me, everything is like a puzzle. since then, and I understand that, you just need to think through it over and over again until you find the right pattern, the right structure, the right process. And, yeah,I would love to do more of these kind of projects, for sure. I really liked it.
Mirko: Yeah, cool. Let’s do that. I would say, yeah, looking forward to that as well. So I don’t know if you realize that we already landed. we are at our final destination. how would you describe your flight experience of this episode with just three words?
Insightful and floating.
Mirko: perfect. Great. So Ole, thank you so much for being at the New Process Podcast and, looking forward to collaborating with you. Have a great day. Bye bye.
Ole: Thank you, bye bye.
Mirko: Yeah, what a flight. I hope you enjoyed the interview with Ole as much as I did. And, yeah, let’s sum it up what we just heard. It was all about pitching good ideas to different targets groups, I would say.
In the beginning, I asked him for the secret ingredients of a perfect pitch and he told us that this is having a good product vision.
What is the product all about to be able to explain the big picture? Why is it important? Why now? Who is the user? What is the user experience? And then visualize this. He came up with the Lilium example. which I think is very great. If you haven’t seen that, have a look into the show notes to look it up.
And then create a story, a narrative, out of this product vision to build your perfect pitch on this. So that’s super interesting. And then he told us about the process of how to build, how to generate perfect pitch presentation and there it’s basically a cycle you are going through.
So first go into brainstorming, open up in a divergent phase and create as many ideas as possible and then boil them down in a convergent phase and reduce it. And do rapid prototyping. With regards to a presentation, put the different slides you would like to put into the presentation as a storyboard by using sticky notes onto a wall to have a first idea and then: let it go. Go to bed, take a nap or do something completely different to let the ideas work in the back of your mind while you’re doing something else. And then add all these ideas in another phase of brainstorming to the storyboard that you already have on the wall.
Improve the storyboard, the story you would like to tell, and then again, boil it down. It’s more or less a cycle, a process. This can be used not only to pitch business ideas or process to different stakeholders. It can be used for all the presentations you are doing in your professional life. So that was super interesting for me to understand that this is a real process behind doing it like that.
Then we talked about how to pitch processes to top management, because this is often the big question: how can we convince our top management? Or just higher level managers in the organization, to use or to apply process management, because for sure, I believe that it definitely makes sense and there is no alternative to managing your processes in a professional way. But now the question is, how can we put that into a pitch presentation?
And there, he told us to design the story from the perspective of the listener, to get into the heads of your top management to understand how they are thinking. Then use their frameworks and their mindsets. Take that into account and put everything into an action-oriented version of your content.
Should be concise, visual, simplified to get the value out of it right away. And, to tell the top management what’s in it for them, so that they can make a decision.
That was his recommendation on how to pitch processes or business process management to top management. And then we really deep dived into this case, the pizza game, to answer, or to give an example, I would say on how to inspire people for processes and there I don’t want to go into all the details again, I just want to point out that making processes and their value experienceable that’s the most important aspect I take out of this story from the interview. So make it physically experienceable for the people, how they can apply processes and what the benefit for them is. So like we did it with the pizza game, in the example here.
We made it to inspire the people and to create ambassadors for process management. And then, they took that idea into the organization and they told their colleagues about it. And he also added not just only make it physically experienceable, but also add theoretical input there.
So to combine both emotions based on practical experience on the one hand side, as well as theoretical input or theoretical experiences on the other side to make it repeatable. That’s the idea to inspire people for processes. And, if you would like to learn more about this game, feel free to contact Ole or myself.
It would be great if you’re interested in that to push it to the next level and to go even further. As Ole said with digital tools we could take into account. That would be super interesting. And then we can share the results here again, later on.
And then finally, I just, I really can recommend his book that he wrote there. It’s true. It’s lying here next to my desk already for about two years, I think. That’s when it came out. And I look into it from time to time just to get new inspirations on how to create a perfect presentation. I’ll put all the links also the ones that Ole mentioned in the interview into the show notes. So have a look there.
Good luck, have fun and enjoy to pitch your process to the people out there to bring it to the next level. Thank you very much for listening. Have a great day. Bye bye and auf Wiedersehen!
And before you leave, it would be so great, if you quickly think about who of your friends or colleagues would be interested in the New Process Podcast and then send them a message and direct them to NewProcessLab.com/podcast. I think that’s the easiest way. So thank you very much and bye-bye.