At the first SAP Design Talk, designer Jason Mayden (Nike, MarkOne) kicked off the new series with words of wisdom on overcoming obstacles to success.

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“At Nike, we always set ourselves what we called a BHAG. That stands for big, hairy, audacious goal,” Jason Mayden recalled from his days as Senior Global Design Director for Jordan Brand, a division of Nike. Jason recently kicked off a series of Design Talks to a full house of well over 700 SAP employees in Walldorf, Germany, where the star-designer-turned-start-up-entrepreneur talked about creativity and meaning in design.

“With the Air Jordan, our BHAG was to make people fly,” Mayden said. Of course, the shoes didn’t really make people fly, but, according to Mayden, they did provide a bit of extra lift that brought professional athletes, and those wanting to be like them, a bit closer to the basketball rim.

Whether or not the shoes designed by Mayden actually delivered on their goal is pretty irrelevant to me since I don’t much care about the difference between a right guard and a left hook. As a design professional, I went to the talk hoping to pick up some interesting tidbits about design from a new perspective and left very much impressed with Jason’s effortless eloquence as well as his infectious passion for sports and design.

Moreover, I was really touched by the warmth and sincerity which accompanied Mayden’s goal to improve the health, self-esteem and life prospects of young people.  But Nike’s “BHAG” of flight struck me as similar to the goal of the SAP Design Talks itself. The series aims to take us out of our daily routine and help us to release the potential in ourselves to achieve the extraordinary. And this extraordinary thing is to inspire all employees to help SAP to become the leader in user experience for the enterprise.

Video produced by Natalie Hauck, Alex Januschke, and Thomas Leonhardi, all SAP employees based in Walldorf.


About the SAP Design Talks

The September 30th event with Jason Mayden was the first in a new series of talks for SAP employees which aim to support our path to success by providing fresh insights about design from outside our company. Regularly bringing illustrious people from some of the most influential brands in the world to the stage at SAP, the talks are not about making things pretty but instead about cultivating an understanding for the end-to-end experience we have with products many of us use every day. The talks take place live in Walldorf and are recorded for replay at other locations for SAP employees.

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The next SAP Design Talk will take place on November 12th again at the SAP headquarters in Walldorf, Germany.

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