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Agile Innovation Leaders

Apr 23, 2022

Interview video available here: 


Bruno Pešec helps business leaders innovate profitably. He is the rare innovator who can claim that he's worked on a regulation-defying freight train and an award-winning board game. In addition to his corporate experience with brands like DNV, DNB, and Kongsberg Group, Bruno runs a community of entrepreneurs of several thousand members.

Longer version of bio available at

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Episode Transcript

Intro: Hello and welcome to the Agile Innovation Leaders podcast. I’m Ula Ojiaku. On this podcast I speak with world-class leaders and doers about themselves and a variety of topics spanning Agile, Lean Innovation, Business, Leadership and much more – with actionable takeaways for you the listener.

Guest Intro:

Hello everyone, thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of the Agile Innovation Leaders Podcast. My guest today is Bruno Pešec. He is one of those rare innovators and coaches whose focus is on helping business leaders innovate profitably. I had lots of learning moments and ‘aha’ moments speaking with Bruno and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation. I learnt a lot as well. I have no doubt that you will also get some useful nuggets from this episode, so enjoy.

Ula Ojiaku: 

I have with me here, Bruno Pešec. And, Bruno, welcome to the Agile Innovation Leaders podcast, it’s a great pleasure and honour to have you here on the show.

Bruno Pešec: 

Thank you very much, Ula. And I also want to give my special gratitude and thanks for perfectly pronouncing my surname.

Ula Ojiaku: 

Oh, well, I am very happy about that. I actually wrote it out, you know, phonetically on a piece of paper. But thanks, you taught me well, great. Now let's go straight into the questions we have for you today. So, who is Bruno Pešec?

Bruno Pešec: 

So, Bruno Pešec is, I will describe an Innovator, Martial Artist and Engineer, that probably sums up like parts of my life that I'm proudest, and that I engage with the most. So, I started my studies as a young engineer, and what I was really fascinated with are problems, wicked problems. Usually wicked problems are described as a collection of problems that don't really have a clear cause, clear root cause, and there is no clear-cut solution, the only thing you can try to do is tame them a little bit, and I was fascinated with that as engineer. That's why I studied industrial engineering, which is a combination of systems and humans.

I started my career in defense, and I had the good fortune of working on some very, very difficult products. And one of the projects that I was working on was an innovation completely based on product and technology. We made such a product that was by far the best in the whole world, it was so good, no one believed us.

And it was ridiculous, but for me, it was a great learning experience, because, you know, we were a young group of engineers that said, like, hey, let's just do everything we can to make the best product we can, and we succeeded, and nobody on the market believed us.

So, what happened, our sales department had to send our product on a tour across the globe. And with a lot of engineering products and solutions, they can be copied by sufficiently proficient engineers, and that is what happened after a few years. It wasn't such a leading product anymore. But for me, it was a very important learning lesson, because I realised that innovation isn't just about this technical side, but also about the human side, you must understand how to talk about innovation, you must understand how narratives form, how stories form and how people interact. And that is kind of how I started to slowly expand my own knowledge beyond just being an engineer, to also invest in a lot of time and effort to understand psychology, human nature, emotions, not just to reading, but also to try to be different myself, whatever that might mean. And it wasn't always pleasant.

Ula Ojiaku: 

I totally empathise - wow! Could you tell us a bit more about the product? What was the product all about?

Bruno Pešec: 

So, since I was working in industry, that's, you know, very limited with NDAs. So unfortunately, I can't really go into great specifics, but let's say that innovations were based on the physical properties.

And I can say, you know, people expect that the products made out of steel have a specific weight, what we were able to do is, through a lot of engineering trades, using numerical simulations, very advanced computation, a lot of testing in actual manufacturing whole, we were able to make a product that has varying thickness of steel panels, and that reduce the weight of the product and increase the functionality of the product.

And that's why I say, when a smart engineer sees the solution, they can easily copy it, but the challenge is seeing the solution, coming to see that.

So, we did the heavy working of finding the new improvement, and then it was easy to take over. And if we connect it to what a lot of companies and startups mess up, when they spend their time and effort to educate the market and then somebody else comes and actually picks up the market. So that is, you know, when you have the whole discussion, is it good to be first to the market? Yes, if you can afford to capture it.

Ula Ojiaku:

Yes. Yes. Very true, because you have the fast followers who just sit back, let you do the heavy lifting and then they, because they have maybe a wide range of resources and deep pockets, are able to mass manufacture what you spent years to put together. Wow!

Bruno Pešec:


Ula Ojiaku:

So, what were the key lessons, because you said you now realise that it's not just about having a fantastic product, you also had to focus on the human psychology. So, what's different between then and now?

Bruno Pešec:

So, one of the things, reflecting here in the moment, one of the very important lessons, for me personally, was that alignment is much more important and valuable than being the most correct person in the room, or following the perfect or the ideal process.

So for myself, you know, I have a decade of experience innovating and inventing, not just in defense, but also in transportation in oil and gas, in entertainment, you know, in different industries. And without trying to sound arrogant, I have a good grasp of what it takes to, you know, develop, invent something and take it to the market, which is not necessarily always true.

So, when I work, you know, with clients or different teams, I'm usually the person who knows the innovation process, but that doesn't matter a lot if I cannot help those people in the room to actually get from A to B. And that sometimes includes, I don't want to say compromises, but negotiations, both internal implicit, but also external, you know, when do you stop focusing on just the theory and when do you move to, okay, in practice being pragmatic, and moving on. And I would say that Agile and Innovation and Lean and Lean Startup and a lot of these fields, they're guilty of being extremely dogmatic and paradigmatic, and then you have this whole conversation around, okay, when is it about dogma and when is it about flow, customer, value, outcomes? So, that, to me was part of my learning journey, like, sometimes harsh lessons.

Ula Ojiaku:

I totally am nodding because I experienced this every day, as you know, as an Agile Coach, it's really about, you might know things, you know, but it's also about working with people, because finally, at the end of the day, it’s all about people and you need to work with people, you need to establish the relationship, the trust. And for me, a policy is I want to work with people in a way that they would want to work with me over and over again. And sometimes this may be about losing a battle so that you know, everyone can together win the greater war, you know, from time to time. One statement you made now that really stood out to me is that;

“Alignment is more valuable than being the most correct person in a room”.

That's a great quote. Okay, so can you tell us about your game Playing Lean? I understand you developed the game, how did it come about and what do you currently use it for?

Bruno Pešec:

So yes, it's called Playing Lean, and I'd be happy to tell you a bit more. So, it's funny, it came through part of this learning experience as well. So, I'm not the only one, it was also Simen Fure Jørgensen, he is the guy that actually started it as well. So, the starting point was very simple. You have a group of people, and you want to introduce a new concept. In this case, it was Lean Startup. And you know how it will go, if you tell two groups of people where here's a book, read it, let's talk in a week. So, maybe there's one person that reads it, the rest might skim it, and the, you know, the other third won't even open it. And what we were inspired with was using games. We were actually inspired with Get Kanban if you know the game for teaching Kanban in software development. And back in that time, Simen just tried to find a similar game for teaching Lean Startup Innovation, entrepreneurship, and there was none, and that was the trigger.

So, it was scratching our own need, and what I love and what I'm the proudest was that we used the Lean Startup principles to develop the game itself. That was very important to us, and to the listeners that maybe have heard about Lean Startup but aren't as familiar. So, Lean Startup is a methodology for developing businesses through experimentation, iterative development, and it basically relies on Agile body of knowledge, customer development and business modeling.

So, in our case, we decided after we have iterated a lot on the functionality and the desirability of the game, we decided to go down a crowdfunding route. And what happened, it was a big failure. So, we didn't manage to reach our goal, but when we were reviewing, so it wasn't zero, but it was not enough money to actually take us, so, we used Kickstarter as a platform, which is all or nothing, you must reach the goal, otherwise, you receive no funds, but you can see the data. And what we noticed is that the people that were supporting the campaign actually weren't who we thought the players are, but who would use the game to teach Lean Startup. And that is when we realised, hey, our customer segment isn't really the people that will play the game to learn lean startup, but our customer segment is actually people like you and me, Ula, that consult and coach and help others.

Now when we realised that, we started focusing, okay, what do these people need? What are their jobs to be done, what is important to them? And then tweak the product, what we learned is to them, what's really important is that the product is extremely polished, they need to be proud of it, it shouldn't look like you know, Microsoft clipboard, or clipart, whatever, it needs to look very professional.

So, we partnered with Holger who is one of the best illustrators in the world, he illustrated Business Model Generation and other things like that. So, we partnered with him, the game looks spectacular. Okay, then we said it needs to be reputable. So, we partnered with Ash Maurya who wrote Running Lean, we partnered with Alexander Osterwalder who wrote Business Model Generation and few other books in the series, that was important.

And then what was also the thing is the facilitators and coaches and consultants, they're not buying the game, they're buying a new product for their coaching or consulting portfolio. So, our value proposition is the game, plus the facilitating materials, plus the marketing materials, plus everything.

So, a lot of learning happened, you know, in that one failed campaign. And then we kept iterating on that, and they usually say the rest is history, I hope it's still not history. But you know, we won awards, first game was completely sold out, we made a new one, that one is also almost sold out, we have a global community of 200 Facilitators.

So, it's been going pretty well. And all of this, you know, learning, learning, learning, adjusting, learning, adjusting, learning, adjusting, learning, adjusting.

Ula Ojiaku: 

You're basically applying the, you know, the Lean Startup cycle as well, because you're adjusting, you learn, you take the learning you're adjusting, and you make an improvement on what's existing. Congratulations.

Now, that's an amazing story. And the fact that you said, you know, the Kickstarter failed, it wasn't a failure, it was more of a redirection, because you now got to focus on the right customer, the person who needs the product. Yeah and so, I also understand from your website that you sort of run, Train the Trainer sessions on Playing Lean, is that correct?

Bruno Pešec:

That's correct. That's correct.

Ula Ojiaku:

Okay, and when is your next one? Do you have any scheduled in the near future, or, you know, should listeners just go to the website and register?

Bruno Pešec:

So, listeners can go to And what we decided to do because of COVID, obviously, and the global situation, so we have a completely self-paced part. So, you can take it any time, and then when you complete it, we schedule, so we have batches of people.

So, let's say that you immediately go, you hear this show, and you go, you can take it, you can listen to all the theory or the facilitation, Playing Lean facilitator training. And then when there's four or six, we schedule a private session where we play the game together, and you know, let's say, finish the training, and we came to that because it's pretty flexible for people. And as I said, our customer segments are consultants and coaches, and the thing that they really don't want is to lose their precious billable time.

Ula Ojiaku:

Yes, yes. And will the follow up sessions, will they have to be in person or have you devised a way of doing it virtually?

Bruno Pešec:

So, everything is completely virtual for the time being. So, we're using Mural, but any of these can work. And what we basically did is we took and we recreated the whole game in that setup, and I was a bit skeptical at first. I wasn't 100% sure that, you know, it would work in such a setting because it is a board game, Playing Lean is a physical board game, and we purposefully designed it to be physical. Before all this happened, we rejected to make it digital, because there's a special connection when you're doing that together. And so I wasn't sure if we go with, we move it online, but people were asking so much, like, they want to play, they want to attend it. So, we said okay, let's give it a try. What we actually found out was that it works in some cases better, and in some worse. So, one thing that you lose is people cannot talk at the same time.  I'm sure that everybody noticed that now with all zoom and Teams and all the meetings is, it's very difficult, you cannot talk at the same time, which does happen in physical meetings, you might have small groups of people either whispering or saying something. Here, that doesn't work, so, you must facilitate and arrange everything differently. You can have breakouts, but again, you cannot see it as a facilitator.

When you coach team, you know, if you tell two of them have a discussion, you can slightly overhear. Yeah, now, you lose that. So, there are some challenges in this. But I'm pleasantly surprised, you know, thinking back 10 years ago, how many digital tools we have today and they're good. They work.

Ula Ojiaku:

True, true, I mean, that's why we're speaking although we’re in different geographical locations. So yeah, definitely. Right, so, I know that you also recently published the book, an E-book, “Nine Big Don'ts of Corporate Innovation: How to Spot and Avoid Costly Innovation Mistakes”, can you tell us a bit more about this?

Bruno Pešec:

I'd love to. So, the starting point for this, were something that's usually called survivor bias. And I'll just share two stories to kind of illustrate the survivor bias. And funnily, both include aviation.

So, in one case is Aeroplane Inspectors, so whatever is their formal title, were investigating plane crashes, and survivals. And what they noticed was that it wasn't the most important, how physically prepared people in the plane were, it didn't matter if they are obese, or if they're healthy, unhealthy, or whatnot, the only thing that mattered, was if people stopped to take their belongings before evacuating the plane.

So, everybody who stopped to try to get their, you know, things from the overhead department perished. And that is why you always hear that boring message, back in the time when we were flying much more often, you know, take oxygen first in case of evacuation, ignore your belongings, go out. So, and they discovered it by focusing on all those that perished, not those that actually did manage to run out and escape before the plane caught fire.

A similar story, but from wartime, was when they were looking into reinforcing fighter crafts. So, they were looking, they were charting, when the crafts returned, they were charting all the holes on the body of the plane. And then their initial idea was to focus on all the parts where the holes were. But one guy observed and said, “No, that's wrong. Because those planes return, let's take look where there are no holes, because where there are no holes, those planes did not return”. And then they reinforced that and that increased the survivability of the plane.

So, this is, it's almost like inversion of thinking. And that survivor bias at the core is, hey, sometimes there is value in looking at all those that failed, and understanding why did that fail, and avoiding the things that they were doing? And that was the logic, that was something that started me here.

So, I worked with hundreds of innovators with, I don't, I can't say hundreds of companies, but when you work with a large company, you know, it's easily several hundred people. And I continue to see the same mistakes again, and again and again.

And I said, you know, it's not about trying to copy Amazon, or Google or whoever you think is the most innovative company in the world. Stop, pause and take a look at all the failed innovations. And that was kind of the trigger that is, so from experience and observation, I decided to share mine. I will not go into great details of all mine, because everybody who listens to this can get the e-book for free in your show notes, they will be able to find it. If not, they can reach out to you, to me, whoever, we're going to help them. But one that I want to share with your listeners is one of maybe a little bit shocking ones that I say is don't invest in orphans, orphan ideas, and what do I mean by that is ideas by themselves are worthless. We keep hearing that, but we don't take action on that. So, an idea doesn't come out of nowhere, someone must have recommended it, and on the management level, a common mistake is when, let's say there's a group or strategy retreat, and they hire some consultant, they come up with brilliant ideas, but they don't execute on it, they give it to someone else to do it. So, there is a discrepancy, there is this idea, it came from Ula, but suddenly it was thrown to Bruno, go do it. I never met Ula in my life, I'm supposed to be passionate about this?

Ula Ojiaku:

Exactly. You don't know the context behind the whole idea? How did it come about? But, no, these things happen and I'm thinking of a recent example.

Bruno Pešec:

But it is, it you know, it is something that resonates, and people are aware of it, but they don't think about it this way, and then they don't realise how damaging this is. And especially, so I don't want to sugarcoat it. Innovation, in a large company, is a very painful process, it is very punishing on people, it's very rarely rewarding, and people that do deal with innovation in companies, they don't do it to get tapped on the back, they do it because they derive pleasure from it, they derive joy from it. But that does not mean that they shouldn't be rewarded, but those people that are like that, they're rare.

So usually, you know, I see that happen again, and again, a company decides ‘we want to be innovative’. Everybody, you know, there's a training for everybody in the company, and we will have like, big company meeting from today on, you must be innovative, and, you know, it's forced down the throat. And suddenly, people, you must work on this project, it's very difficult. It's difficult to force people to go through such pain for nothing.

Ula Ojiaku:

Like you said, innovation is not something you force down people's throats, it has to align with their intrinsic motivation, I believe it was Daniel Pink that wrote the book Drive about what motivates people. And, at the very least, they have to know what's in it for them, which goes back to, you know, your earlier statement about, you're dealing with human beings, you need to understand the psychology, how do you get people's buy in? How do you make sure that they want to do it, even if you're not there watching them? Yeah. Right. So, you've shared one of the don'ts, which is don't invest in orphans, do you want to share maybe one or two more of those ‘don'ts’ in corporate innovation?

Bruno Pešec:

So, the last one, don't make how much time, effort and money you have spent so far, guide your decision. That is also a very common one, it happens to all of us in private life, in business life, I'm sure you experienced this, well, you know, when you're sitting there, the project isn't going as it should be going. And then somebody says, well, we've been going at this for two years, we spent, you know, so much money, we hired people for this, you know, let's keep on doing it, and if that is your only reason to keep on doing it, I'm sorry, this probably doesn't have a very bright future.

And the same goes for innovation projects and companies, you know, after some time, you should just cut the losses. It's kind of if you've spent two years and there is no traction in the market, it's just not attracting attention. It's better, you know, to stop leaking more funds, and even worse than that is people’s time, like, as far as we know, time goes in only one direction, we can make money again.

But to me, especially in large companies, what every leader has is additional responsibility for the time of their employees. The most disrespectful thing you can do is waste somebody's time. It happens, unfortunately, often because people don't understand that it's happening. But when you walk into a room, and you tell someone that they've spent two years on something that's at a dead end, what you did, you threw away two years of their life, they could have been doing something else.

Ula Ojiaku:

True, true. And there's nothing more demoralising than you know, you're going on a road that’s a dead end, and everybody knows it, but nobody wants to say, you know, “are we actually headed in the right direction?” And there's a phrase, I mean, this is in in the scaled agile framework, which is one of the, you know, popular scaling agile frameworks. One of the principles there is to ignore sunk costs. And you know, that's basically, you don't base decisions for the future based on how much time, money, effort, resources, that you've put into it. You have to evaluate it based on the results you're getting - are you getting the outcomes?

I mean, if you had if you had made a hypothesis, has the hypothesis been validated or not, if it's not been validated, and you're getting, your indications are contrary to what you expected, it’s either you pivot or you kill it. You don't just go on for sentimental reasons. So, no, great one. Yeah.

Do you want to add anything else about your e-book? Is there anything else you'd like to share with the audience?

Bruno Pešec:

Well, we could probably go for several hours discussing everything in it. But what I can just say is that, besides just discussing these different don'ts, I also offer specific countermeasures. So, that is something for example, for the sunk cost I completely agree with what you shared.

Unfortunately, the side effect is, if you run into someone that doesn't want to see exactly how you describe it, so like, no, no, no, no, that experiment wasn't done correctly, or I wasn't involved in that hypothesis, then one easy countermeasure is to immediately agree on the spot, okay, I see, I understand that you're very involved in that you, you know, your ego is in this. So, let's make an agreement right here, right now. What is it? What terms are we giving to this? What terms are we giving to this to continue?

So, we, for example, this is a real one, but I'm removing the details, because of confidentiality. With one executive, he had exactly that problem. He was working on something for three years and he was afraid that if he would stop this, that his career would suffer as well. So, we sat down with his management team, and we said, okay, we are not now ready to immediately kill it, even though we have spent so much, but we're going to give it exactly three more months, and A, B and C, if that happens, it continues. As clear as that, signed by everybody, not for legal reasons, but for psychological reasons. You know, I put my name on this, I commit to these terms. Three months later, they kill it, we didn't even discuss it for five minutes. It was, you know, this is what we said, it didn't happen. Bam! I was shocked, I was shocked how easy that went.

So that is, you know, an easy one, because people need to own that, I cannot tell people go and kill it, they must see like, oh, we really should stop this.

Ula Ojiaku:

Exactly. And there's something about a public commitment as well, it kind of, you know, makes it easier for all parties involved. You know, there is a rational reason for killing it and a rational reason for stopping an initiative, if that makes sense.

Now, I'm going to ask you a question as a, you know, you teach innovation and entrepreneurship. Have you ever been in a situation where you've been asked to coach, you know, maybe a team or a particular area, so you have like the leadership buy in, and you've been asked to coach the team, but the team are kind of a bit closed to getting input from you?

If so, what have you, you know, could you share with the audience what you've done to win them over or, and get them to actually get to a point where they are seeking and actively drawing your input into what they're doing?

Bruno Pešec:

So, I had that happen both at the management level and at the team level. So, in one case, I walked in with a team, and the guy immediately told me as I walked through the door, Bruno, this is bull****, I'm here, just because I was commanded to be here. You know, you have three minutes. And I just completely ignored him, I just looked at him, I was like, okay, so, and started the discussion. Why are we here? What do we want to get?

In my case, I usually try to avoid confrontation in that sense, because people are, they have the right to be frustrated. Like, if they have really been commanded and just said, "You be here”. You know, it's kind of, I might recognise that and say, okay, I understand that, I'm not here to do innovation theatre, so I don't, how could I say, I don't really do training. When I'm brought in, I do very specific things.

So, in this case, I'm really relying a lot on my background as engineer because they can see that I'm one of them in most of the cases, so I'm not like a manager or a sales guy or something like that, I'm very curious. I'm curious about their work, and this is where we start. We start talking about their specific product or service. Understanding that, and I just let them talk, and that's the easiest one, it's kind of, I'm not there to be smarter than them, I'm there because I'm good at the part of the process, and together, we're going to figure out what needs to be achieved, and sometimes they have very strong feelings. I know exactly what needs to be done, but no one in management is listening to me, and then I go, okay, I'm here, I'm listening to you, now share.

And we just start from there. And people usually do have, and it is a great starting point, they will say, you know, this product sucks, because of A, B, and C, what needs to happen is X, Y, and Z.

And then I start probing, it’s like, okay, the things that you said that it sucks, why is that so? Okay, and you say that this will be a solution, why do you think so? And I ask them, we start to have a whiteboard, we start mapping it, if we don't know, we have this conversation, we start going to very specific things. Because what I strongly believe in is go harsh on problems, go harsh on issues, but be gentle with people.

So, if you and I, you know, I will always have my utmost respect for Ula, but when we have a problem in front of us, when I go harsh, I'm not going to harsh on Ula, I’m going harsh on the problem.

Ula Ojiaku:

Don’t take it personally.

Bruno Pešec:

Exactly. I want to rip the problem apart. That's our job as innovators, you have an idea, it's not about kissing that idea on the cheek, it's about breaking it seeing you know, what, if we do this, is it going to hold? What if we do this is it going to hold? What if we do that, is it still going to hold?

If not, well maybe this is worth doing, it has nothing to do with you as a person. You and I, we are in a partnership about solving that problem, that issue, and for me, it works because it's genuine and people can feel that.

So, I'm, you know, I'm being authentic, I'm being myself. And that is why I also say when people ask me, okay, Bruno, how can I coach like you? How can I, you know, repeat the same thing? I tell them, don't try to copy, you know, I am me, you are you, play to your strength. If you're a quiet person, if you're a gentle person, play to that, you know, be like water, be like river, wear them out, you know, wear them out with kindness, always go back to what you're discussing, be yourself. It's so tiring trying to be somebody else, it's so tiring trying to copy somebody else. It won't always work, but you will know that you were yourself, you did the best you could what’s then there left to regret, even if it goes bad.

Ula Ojiaku:

True, true. I'm beginning to get suspicious that you've been eavesdropping on me, because I recently this week, gave a talk on being yourself and being that perfectly, so it's almost like, hmm, did Bruno eavesdrop on my speech? But hey, well said, well said.

Now, let's just round up with a few more questions. This has been a fantastic conversation, I definitely have enjoyed speaking with you. Are there any books that you'd say you've drawn inspiration over the course of your career? You know, if so, what books are these? If you can share?

Bruno Pešec: 

Since the topics we have discussed today, were about innovation and a little bit of thinking better, I'll share three specific books.

So, one for innovation. That is The Corporate Startup by Dan Toma, Esther Gons and Tendayi Viki, it is a great book, it's currently I would say one of the best books on both Innovation Practice and Innovation Management. So, I would definitely recommend it to everybody. It's a bit thick, but you know, you get actually two books in one.

And another one, because to me, both Lean Agile Innovation, you know, they're all means to an end. If they become an end in itself, then that's when they become dogmatic. And what ties them all together is, you know, strategy. And the book I would heartily recommend, it's a, I would say, it's a bit underappreciated, is Game Changing Strategies from Constantinos Markides. It's a great book, so, he's a professor from London Business School, I think, or London School of Economics, I don't know, I keep mixing them. And he writes very well for an academic, you know, it's easy to consume a lot of examples. He makes business model innovation come to life. It's not just some theory, but it's specific examples, and for me, it's great because it shows you how to adapt. It doesn't have a lot of modules or anything, so it's more like looking at it and seeing okay, this worked, this didn't work, what's my case?

And the third one, to better thinking. So, one great thing I read was that employees can make a bad CEO look great, so, employees can make anything work, bad decisions, bad management policies, you know, if they want to, they will make it work. At the same time, employees can also make the best strategies and policies go to nothing if they want to sabotage them. So, the last book is more on, I would say, for managers and leaders, and it's The Halo Effect from Phil Rosenzweig. What he talks about is exactly like what I mentioned with the survivor bias, but he talks about different views. Let's say that the gist of his book is by focusing on, you know, those perfect leaders with their halo, you become blinded, and leaders themselves become blinded, because they get confused, because they think that it is their ingenuity that created the result and not the employees and their skill. And you know, was Steve Jobs, the one who created everything?

Ula Ojiaku:


Bruno Pešec:

No, he definitely had some things that were good, he had some things that are horrible, but he had great people around him, they didn't come out of nowhere. Obviously, you could say the same for Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, or all the people that we consider, look at that that person, the halo around them.

The risk for every leader and manager is to get deluded by their own success. And it's a lovely short book that will show you all these biases and delusions that can happen. I'll stop here. I think three books are enough.

Ula Ojiaku: 

I’ve had The Corporate Startup on my reading list, but the other ones, Game Changing Strategy, The Halo Effect definitely have gone onto my reading list now, which is already like this long.

So, thanks for sharing those. Now, how can the audience reach you? How can the audience reach you, Bruno, are you online on social media?

Bruno Pešec:

So, I write a lot about innovation, strategy, experimentation, entrepreneurship, as well. You can find all of that on my website, It will be in your show note, as well, so you can find it there. I publish a lot of free resources, templates, sessions like this, webinars, writings, an E-book, etc.

So, you can find everything there. I invite everybody who would like to connect on LinkedIn as well, but if you do then then please just drop in “Ula sends me.”

Ula Ojiaku: 

Well, more like “I listened to your episode on the podcast, and I'm reaching out.”

Bruno Pešec:

Right? They can make it as detailed as they wish.

So, keeping it simple, that is where I share everything, and it's open and free. And I'm happy to share. You know, if you heard something in this conversation, please reach out to Ula or reach out to me if you would like any questions or any specific materials or whatever.

Ula Ojiaku:

Sounds great Bruno, thanks for that. Now, any final words for the audience before we wrap this up?

Bruno Pešec: 

Well, before the audience, for you, thank you very much. This has been a great conversation, very engaging. So thank you for creating this atmosphere and making this a very easy conversation. I believe, I mean, I enjoyed it so much, I would be surprised if the listeners don't take a little bit of our energy and conversationA and to the listeners, I just have one thing. So, you heard today a lot of stuff. There's a lot of great stuff to hear from Ula’s other episodes, but the most important thing is start immediately, today, don't wait for the perfect moment. Take just one thing from today, and immediately discuss it tomorrow with the team or yourself, just one thing, it doesn't matter what, just immediately try it out. One step at a time. And, you know, a year from now we will look back and see what an amazing year you had. Don't wait for the perfect moment. Just start.

Ula Ojiaku: 

Fantastic. Well, that's very inspirational, I'm motivated to just go and conquer the world right now. Bruno it's been a pleasure speaking with you and I hope you would want to come back another time for us to have another conversation on this show. So, thank you so much Bruno.

Bruno Pešec:

Thank you, Ula, would be lovely.

Ula Ojiaku:


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