Edgar Papke

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Edgar Papke
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Born (1957-04-02) April 2, 1957 (age 66)
OccupationAuthor,leadership coach,Public speaker

Edgar Papke (Born April 2, 1957; Emmendingen, Germany) is an author, leadership coach, and public speaker. He is a globally recognized thought leader in business psychology, enterprise-wide alignment, and the design and development of innovative

organizations and cultures. [1] [2]


Papke is the CEO of InnoAlign[3], Executive In Residence for Regis University’s Anderson College of Business and Computing [4], and the co-founder and Board Chair of the Global Dialogue Project. He teaches leadership and innovation at Anderson College’s Innovation Center and contributes to the design of its executive education program. Through InnoAlign, he coaches and consults with CEOs and executives, and leaders in business and government.

Papke began his business career in property and casualty insurance in 1975, working for Safeco, Hanover, and until 1981 for Dryden & Company, the global Special Lines underwriting arm of Prudential Reinsurance.

In 1980, he began pursuing a passion for cooking, and soon found himself building a parallel career as a chef. In 1981, he left the insurance industry and entered the prestigious The Culinary Institute of America, where he earned a Culinary Arts Degree and was acknowledged for both his outstanding culinary skills and leadership. He is a recipient of the CIA’s coveted Francis L. Roth Award and Outstanding Service Medal.[5]

As an Executive Chef and entrepreneur, Papke was responsible for leading several organizations. Throughout his career, he received accolades including multiple culinary awards, contributed to cookbooks and magazines, and appeared on television and radio. [6][7][8][9][10][11][12]

In 1986, as chef/owner of Lon’s, an upscale farm-to-table American cuisine restaurant, he was referred to as “The New Breed” by the The New York Times and featured on the cover of Nation's Restaurant News. [13][14] He appeared on PBS|PBS radio, television with Bill Boggs on Midday Live, and was involved in several high profile charity events, including collaborations with the New York Giants and Regis Philbin.[15]

In 1989, he left the food service and hospitality industry and began a career in leadership and organizational development coaching, consulting, and training. Papke attended the School for Professional Studies at Regis University, earning a Bachelors Degree in International Business Administration and in 1994 graduated Cum Laude, receiving a Masters Degree in Psychology, focusing his studies and thesis on leadership and business. During this period, he served as a trainer and consultant with the Mountain States Employers Council in Denver, Colorado.

In 1995, Papke founded The Buchanan Group, an enterprise-wide leadership coaching and consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders pursue alignment, including the design and building of aligned cultures of innovation. In 2002, he launched a successful speaking career, sharing his work in leadership development and the pioneering True Alignment® model. He soon established himself as a globally sought after speaker, delivering over 100 presentations per year and consistently ranking among the world’s top speakers. [16] He was recognized by Vistage Worldwide as its International Speaker of the Year in 2005 and Impact Speaker of the Year in 2013. [17][18] In over 20 countries, Vistage is the world’s largest organization for CEOs. By 2020, he had delivered over 3,000 keynote speeches and presentations and over 28,000 CEOs and leaders had attended his workshops.

In 2003, he served as the host for WorkTalk, a roundtable interview program produced and aired by List of PBS member stations (KBDI), a Public Broadcasting System affiliate in Denver, Colorado. He also hosted the radio program by the same name.

Much of Papke’s research and writing focuses on the impact of alignment on businesses, organizations, and leaders. His first book, True Alignment: Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results was published in 2014. The book introduced his True Alignment® model providing a measurable framework for aligning human motivation across the four business elements of customer experience, brand intention, culture, and leadership. The model has been applied by business, not-for-profits, and government entities worldwide.

Papke’s second book, The Elephant In the Boardroom: How Leaders Use and Manage Conflict to Reach Greater Levels of Success was published in 2016. Renowned executive coach and best selling author Marshall Goldsmith stated, “Papke’s perceptive guide will lead you through conflict to the innovation that will follow. No book prepares you better!” [19] The book further established Papke as a leading executive coach and expert in the constructive use of conflict as a means for generating innovation and solutions to complex problems.

In 2017, he partnered with Thomas Lockwood, the former President of the Design Management Institute [20] and recognized design thought leader, in a study of innovative organizations. As a result of their collaboration, the following year Papke and Lockwood established InnoAlign, a coaching and consulting firm.

In 2018, the findings of Papke and Lockwood’s research were published in the bestselling book Innovation By Design: How Any Organization Can Leverage Design Thinking to Produce Change, Drive New Ideas, and Deliver Meaningful Solutions. The book received a Soundview Business Book of the Year Award. [21] Along with sharing the results of their study of 21 of the world’s most innovative organizations, they introduced the concept of The Fifth Order of Design: Awareness and provided a definition for The Collective Imagination. Their research also verified the application and reliability of the True Alignment® framework in defining innovative cultures.

Books / Publications

  • Innovation By Design: How Any Organization Can Leverage Design Thinking to Produce Change, Drive New Ideas, and Deliver Meaningful Solutions. Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke. CareerPress. 2018
  • The Elephant In the Boardroom: How Leaders Use and Manage Conflict to Reach Greater Levels of Success. Edgar Papke. CareerPress. 2016
  • True Alignment: Linking Company Culture with Customer Needs for Extraordinary Results. Edgar Papke. AMACOM/HarperCollins. 2014
  • How Intuit Used Design Thinking To Boost Sales By $10M In A Year. Thomas Lockwood and Edgar Papke. Fast Company. October 31, 2017
  • Not-So-Secret Ways To Handle Conflict. Edgar Papke with Roger Dean Duncan. Forbes. October 31, 2015
  • The Elephant In The House: Congress, Conflict and the GOP. Edgar Papke. FOX News. October 24, 2015
  • Tim Cook: A Leadership Lesson In Legacy. Edgar Papke. Huffington Post. January 6, 2015
  • How Leaders Kill Innovation: And 4 Ways To Overcoming Them. Edgar Papke. AMA Playbook. April 24, 2014


As a singer-songwriter, Papke has released three albums of his original works.

  • St. Helena (2012)
  • Private Property (2010)
  • Let Time Run (2007)

Personal Life

In 1961, Papke immigrated to the United Sates with his family and spent the majority of his childhood living in Westwood, Westwood, New Jersey. In 1969 he attained U.S. citizenship. In 1978, he married Lori Papke (Nyhuis) and the couple went on to have four children. He resides with his family in Louisville, Colorado.

Papke is a co-founder of the award-winning Horizons K-8 School in Boulder, Colorado, designing the school’s community-based governing model and serving as Council Co-Chair from 1991 to 1994. He was also active in the Boulder County soccer community, coaching from 1989 to 2009 and, in 1997, being nominated for Colorado Coach of the Year. He served as a board member for Boulder Youth Soccer (1990-1994) and as a two-term President of the FC Boulder Board of Directors (1995, 1996) and as an at-large Board member until 1998.

Throughout his professional career, he has donated his time and services to a number of non-profit organizations including the Mental Health Center of Denver, Boulder County Humane Society, Second Wind Fund, Colorado Behavioral Healthcare, Humane Rescue Alliance, The Denver Botanical Gardens, and Boulder Community Foundation.

External Links


  1. "Edgar Papke". Fox News. 2020-09-09. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  2. "Edgar Papke | HuffPost". www.huffpost.com. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  3. "InnoAlign | Helping Leaders Design & Build Aligned Cultures of Innovation". InnoAlign. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  4. "The Innovation Center Impact Report 2019 — Anderson College of Business". Issuu. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  5. "Vo,. 8 No. 5". CIA Alumni-Association - Newsletter. September–October 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Papke, Edgar (1985). McKay, Judith; Rand, Ellen (eds.). The Teaneck Gourmet Cookbook.
  7. Restaurant Management Magazine. July 1987.
  8. "Dining Review". March 25, 1987.
  9. "North Jersey Herald News". June 6, 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "The Record". June 20, 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. "Chef Of The Week Award". The Dispatch. February 18, 1987.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. "The Record". November 19, 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. "Nation's Restaurant News". July 21, 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. "The New Breed". The New York Times. October 19, 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "Winter Issue, Vol. 11/Num. 4". Meadowlands USA Magazine. 1986.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "Rocky Mountain HR | People & Strategy". 2013.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Edgar Papke".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "Vistage: 2006 A Committed Community". Vistage International. 2006.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. "CareerPress".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Industrial Designers Society of America".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "Soundview".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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