The Product Leadership Imperative: Part 2 – Enabling Product Leadership


This is the second in a two-part Product Leadership Imperative series. You can read Part I here.


So how do we do this? How do we address the Product Leadership Imperative and create companies and teams that are doing the right things, right? Melissa Perri provides some great insight around product strategy aligning with corporate vision and building a culture focused on successful outcomes rather than outputs; but I believe there is more to be said, more to be done, more to be developed around the Product Leadership aspect of product. Reading “The Build Trap” has inspired me to start focusing on this, putting down all of the ideas and approaches that are in my head, and that I have developed with my clients and teams when I was an executive. Additionally, it has me exploring new best practices that can help the product industry address the Product Leadership Imperative, ensuring we get the best of leadership and management – doing the right things, right. So how do we do this? How do we address the Product Leadership Imperative and create companies and teams that are doing the right things, right? Let me share three key competencies that are critical to enabling Product Leadership.

Culture and Organization that Support Innovation

The first competence, or more so environment, that is critical to enabling product leadership is a Culture and Organization that Support Innovation. I have always had an issue with the old adage “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” as I think Culture and Strategy need to be partners as they enable each other. With that said, the Culture and Organization of a company is the biggest factor when it comes to enabling success. You can have all of the best intentions in the world, but if your Culture and Organization are not supportive of innovation you will not succeed. So how can a Culture and Organization support Innovation? It needs to be a culture that helps us “know and understand the customer so well” as Peter Drucker defines marketing. A culture that is continually looking for new ways to create value and innovate. To establish this a company needs to do three key things: Prioritize Ongoing Market Understanding; Invest in Talent; and Have an Appetite for Prudent Risk Taking.

Strategic Growth Alignment