Cake
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    • The real impetus for this was we had been running a business for about 5 years at that point, and really wanted to figure out what it was that made our work effective and successful. So we went back and looked at a whole series of projects that we thought we did well on, and those that didn’t do as well, and what was consistent across al of them was when we were practicing applied empathy, the work was effective. So we realized this was something worth digging into more. How can we built a practice around this, a North Star around this. So we started to build this out, talk about it in public, and got on the radar of Princeton University, and they asked me to come and give a talk to their undergraduates. And then the Dean of the Engineering School (who also ran the entrepreneurial program) said “this is really interesting, we think this could be a cool class, would you be into creating a 12 week curriculum for this?” So we created a course, we ended up team teaching it, for 3 semesters, and it became a really successful course on campus, students loved it, and we got a phone call one day, and it was the leadership team at Westpoint, and they asked if we would bring the work we were teaching up there. So we taught there as well. And with respect to me, I had a perspective on what I was going to encounter at Westpoint, and it was the exact opposite! Lifelong learners, deft thinking, an amazing academic environment. So we were able to teach there for a while. So as a result of all of that, we then distilled that down, and said “now we’ve done this for academia, the Obama Administration, the UN, we now know enough to boil it down for the fast-paced world of client work.” So that’s what led us to write the book and continue to practice this with clients!