A conversation with Michael Mauer

Earlier this year I was very fortunate to have a conversation with Michael Mauer, Porsche's head of design.  You can read the complete interview here at Aol Autos.

I thought this thought from Mauer about creative leadership was particularly interesting vis a vis Innovation Principle 12, Instead of Managing, try Cultivating:

… at the end of the day, I do not tell them to move a line exactly 50
mils lower or higher or more to the left or more to the right, because
if the boundaries are too narrow you really kill all the creativity. I
try to motivate people to think for themselves about the solution and
how they could achieve the goal… Even if I have a solution in my
mind, it is just one possible solution. There might be ten other
possible solutions that are maybe much better, but by giving a
direction that is too detailed or showing a solution, a way to the
solution that is too detailed, I kill all the creativity. One of my
major goals is to give the team freedom in order to have a maximum of

This feels very much to me like a "cultivation mindset".  Instead of trying to push his ideas through the system at Porsche, Mauer is trying to develop the ideas of others.  He is a curator, a director, a cultivator.  As you can see from the stunning new Porsche 918 Spyder pictured above, his approach speaks for itself.

1 thought on “A conversation with Michael Mauer

  1. Oh man, this Porsche 918 Spyder really has my attention. I would love to get a chance to photograph and drive this car at some point and *hope* it goes into production… Come on Porsche!

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