4 Topics to make super hero product leaders

Few awesome products are a mistake, they typically have great product teams focused on delivering value and being creative. To cultivate a prospering and innovative product organisation, product leadership have to focus on 4 key topics. Each topic fuels and supports the others — they are symbiotic and together support delivering amazing products…

  1. Continuous team development
  2. Product culture
  3. Product vision
  4. Product execution

Team development deserves more investment and focus, engaged growing talent drives everything in a positive direction. Honest, candid but caring feedback provides potential for individuals to actively grow and improve. A support and challenge framework will develop product managers skills and effectiveness. Soft skills are key to successful product management and deserve focus as their less tangible characteristics frequently limit development.

Product culture has to encourage making mistakes quickly and learning, while respecting other disciplines and the user. A safe environment is key to a collaborative culture which is critical for product discovery. There is no place for ego in product management, it destroys collaboration.

Product vision engages the organisation in common goals empowering teams to wow the user and the shareholders. Product principles give a framework for strategy and guidance to increase autonomy across product managers. The product vision brings a suite of products together in a meaning manner, with clear metrics that matter. The product strategy will define where product lines are along the explore vs exploit journey and shape the value proposition of the product suite. Product strategy must bring the organisations vision and long term goals to reality.

Product execution focuses on discovery and delivery representing a typical product managers daily activities. It is not project management, BAU, customer support or order inputting. Product must validate learnings to define what to build in order to deliver mutual value to the user and the business.

The product office — lead of VP of Product / Director of Product / CPO — has to establish these 4 key areas and lead the product teams to achieve “group flow” which will result in more amazing products that change the world.

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