Food For Thought #77

Age of Product’s Food for Thought of February 5th, 2017 focuses on team building, how to provide feedback to hardly bearable teammates, and why radical candor is good for business and your soul. Be warned, though, transparency has a dark side, too.

We also dive deep into how the best product teams evolve beyond Agile and Lean, how to utilize guerilla research to create excellent products, and what anti-patterns to avoid if you are pursuing a career in product management.

Last but not least: We discuss patterns and ethics of how today’s technology seeks to manipulate us.

Agile & Team Building


Christina Wodtke: Feedback for Teams

Christina Wodtke shares from her ‘effective feedback’ class on how to deal with annoying teammates, people that are not pulling their weight, or someone with terrible communication skills.

Source: Feedback for Teams

Author: Christina Wodtke


Liane Davey (via Harvard Business Review): If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together Is Pointless

Liane Davey suggests three techniques to change people’s mindset about dissent. As the saying goes: “Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.”

Source: Harvard Business Review: If Your Team Agrees on Everything, Working Together Is Pointless

Author: Liane Davey


andy cleff: Dealing with Dysfunctional Behavior Styles

Andy Cleff lists concrete steps how to deal with the “brilliant a**hole” on your team.

Source: Dealing with Dysfunctional Behavior Styles

Author: Andy Cleff


Julian Birkinshaw (via McKinsey & Company): The dark side of transparency

Julian Birkinshaw, professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the London Business School, points at that transparency is vital, but it has a dark side, and it takes real skill to get the balance right.

Source: McKinsey & Company: The dark side of transparency

Author: Julian Birkinshaw


Kim Scott (via 33voices): How Radical Candor Transforms Company Culture

Kim, Russ, and Jenna discuss how radical candor changes organizations, strategies to cultivate a feedback driven culture, and how praise and criticism directly influence individual and company success.

Source: 33voices: How Radical Candor Transforms Company Culture

Author: Kim Scott


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Product & Lean


Marty Cagan: Beyond Lean and Agile

Marty Cagan believes that the best product teams are already beyond ‘agile’ and ‘lean’ — tackling risk upfront, collaboratively designing product, and solving problems not merely building features.

Source: Beyond Lean and Agile

Author: Marty Cagan


Monal Chokshi (via Mind The Product): How Guerrilla Research Can Improve Your Product

Monal Chokshi, Head of UX Research at Lyft, explains what guerrilla research is, and how it fits alongside your other product development practices.

Source: Mind The Product: How Guerrilla Research Can Improve Your Product

Author: Monal Chokshi


Brian Swift (via Atlassian): 5 things I learned about product (and people) management this year

Brian Swift reflects on not leaving the office, solving the wrong problem, overlooking hidden costs, and other career-limiting steps for product managers.

Source: Atlassian: 5 things I learned about product (and people) management this year

Author: Brian Swift


Andrew Chen: The Bad Product Fallacy: Don’t confuse “I don’t like it” with “That’s a bad product and it’ll fail”

Andrew Chen shares his observations on the common roots of the ‘bad product fallacy’ as noticed by Benedict Evans.

Source: The Bad Product Fallacy: Don’t confuse “I don’t like it” with “That’s a bad product and it’ll fail”

Author: Andrew Chen


(via User Testing Blog): 2017 UX and User Research Industry Survey Report

User Testing provides the 4th annual UX and User Research Industry Survey, based on answers from 2,238 professionals.

Source: User Testing Blog: 2017 UX and User Research Industry Survey Report


The Essential Read


Kara Swisher (via Re/code): How technology is designed to addict us

Kara Swisher interviews in this podcast ‘Time Well Spent’ founder Tristan Harris, who wants techies to think about the consequences of their design choices.

Source: Re/code: How technology is designed to addict us

Author: Kara Swisher


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