November 09

How to scale (1 of 5) – the journey from garage band to Glastonbury

“Software ends up being shaped by the structure of the organisation that develops it” Conway’s Law One of the most animated discussions I often have with founders, CEOs and other product leaders is how to structure product teams when a company grows.  While I think this is incredibly important (as Conway noted) I feel it misses […]

November 02

Beginners guide to crypto

Bitcoin, crypto and distributed ledger technology (DLT) are hot topics.  Very simply there are all just a form of a database which stores data in a very secure way.  They do this using in a fundamentally different way to historical databases.  The two main differences are: Where the data is stored How the data is […]

November 01

Product leadership part 3 – leadership

Leadership is a highly ambiguous and contested topic.  If you want to explore leadership, and how it’s meaning has changed over time, see here.  Briefly, in a dynamic environment with highly skilled people (i.e., at Monese), leaders need to support and guide their followers, rather than tell them what to do.  However, leaders need to ensure that people are […]

November 01

Product leadership part 2 – getting things done

“Actual productivity = potential productivity – coordination & motivation loss” Rich Kalgradd However, productivity is not the most important factor in team or company success.  Like running a race, you will not win by running the fastest in the wrong direction.  If you have chosen the right direction, .e., made a good decision about what […]

November 01

Product leadership part 1 – making great decisions

Product Leaders (PL) need to ensure that teams are building the most valuable experiences for customers and the company.  To do this, you need to find the right problem and then find a pragmatic solution.  Whether the solution should be executed, will depend on whether it is more or less valuable than your other options. Finding […]

November 01

What does a product leader do?

Product leaders delight customers in hard-to-copy, margin-enhancing ways.  Gibson Biddle, VP Product Netflix   In my experience product leaders (PL, may also be called product owner or managers) lead the teams that build amazing experiences for customers.  PL’s understand existing and target customers, the companies strategic context and then translate this into a prioritised list of […]

October 26

What you could learn from ‘The Age of Agile’ by Steve Denning (2018, 264 pages)

How have companies like Google, Spotify, Netflix and Facebook managed to continue to innovate despite their global scale? Steve Denning in his book ‘The Age of Agile’ argues that the competitive advantage of these companies is the ability to get teams focusing on bringing value to the customer and the priority of flow through the system […]

October 25

What you could learn from ‘Powerful’ by Patty McCord (2018, 148 pages)

Netflix is now the global superpower of streaming.  How did they get there, and how did they out-compete Google and Amazon? Patty McCord in her book ‘Powerful’ suggests that the Netflix culture and a strong HR team, under her guidance, played an enormous part in that success. In the book, Patty divides advice into nine […]

October 18

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink (2011, 256 pages)

Why do people leave one company for another?  Why do people dedicate their lives to work or the pursuit of a life-long goal?  Motivation theory has evolved a long way since Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (see here).  In his book ‘Drive’ Daniel Pink argues that there are three drivers of motivation: Autonomy Mastery Purpose   Autonomy […]

October 05

What you could learn from Barbra Minto’s The Pyramid Principle (2009, 172 pages)

Few books are required reading at McKinsey, the Pyramid Principle is one of the books that most people read during their time. Consulting and leadership are about convincing others to change.  While a leader often has positional authority, consultants do not.  McKinsey consultants found that Barbar’s framework helped them influence clients by building a well structured […]

September 28

What you could learn from ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman (2012, 300 pages)

What is intuition?  How do humans think?  Are humans rational or irrational and can we predict them? In the past economist built models that assumed that human beings are perfectly rational (what behavioural scientists joking refer to as ‘Homo Economicus’).  Daniel Kahneman, a Noble Prize-winning author, showed that Homo Economicus does not exist and that […]

September 13

What leaders can learn from Google’s Project Oxygen

Google ran an experiment to prove that managers are unhelpful.  The found something different – the right managers can be very helpful. Google established the 10 Oxygen behaviours of Google’s best managers (behaviours 3 and 6 have been updated and behaviours 9 and 10 are new): Is a good coach Empowers team and does not […]

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