Stakeholder Management

Stakeholder Management
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TOTW - Stakeholder Management
0:01 Hello Everybody welcome back to another product growth leaders topic of the week we got a great panel today John Harmer Jason been select know as always the wonderful the industry legend Steve Johnson
0:15 You're an industry pioneer Ripe
0:19 I think you just call me all but okay
0:23 which makes you older pioneer legend I think legend
0:28 and there was a time when Water was interviewing like Lauren Bacall and Nicole kid and she said you know it's just great to be with these two legends Hollywood and la Causa honey you got to be a lot older than She is to be alive
0:48 and we haven't even gotten into our topic we have our first rank in thee rant on others This week's topic was Stakeholder management actually was one suggested by a regular panelist Greg Fenton who cannot be here today bout with that said let's dig into the the immediate first Monday question right let me make this bigger you make me disappear and we go to the next page our AI Lawrence Allen
1:17 I'm getting better each week I'm getting better
1:20 The question we ask on Monday what are the keys to successful Stakeholder management and I think we actually now have somebody in the running to chase Jason around being the first person to respond of the most often for responder por Hurwitz came in I think it's been two or three times down the past few months Jason you're used to have a hell of a lead but paul came in quick with the most important part of Stakeholder management is identifying The correct Stakeholders in separate them from facilitators and people working on a project after that it's all about the same understanding and you know I had never thought about this weight who's the stakeholder versus who's just somebody who is part of the project C talk to me about what your thoughts are on that will you know it's interesting I do have a thought up AM I do a lot of white roles and responsibilities were in one of the things that really trips people are is when you do Racy
2:22 Ah it's in a couple of things that are weird they're I mean raising stands were responsible accountable consulted in in court one thing I've done is I've modified the aim there's a out of variants of racy where are the A is not accountable because nobody knows what that means and you change it to approve approval
2:43 So you got responsible party and who has to approve the work before Gus forward who must be consulted and who must be informed and I think these except the the stakeholder is no one knew must be who must have brew before you go forward and there are a lot of people that we consider stakeholders that I consider to be
3:07 just the ones who are being born Arkansas likes you know how I love salespeople salespeople one elaborate now Ah but you know they're only should only be involved in being informed they don't They're not consulted about generally I would consult salespeople but I don't I'm not required to but I am required to get approval from the true stakeholders
3:36 so that's my take is when you Wanna look at needs an hour versus want to now the need to know people are the prayers Yeah I and I've actually it are the army as always the most complicated and I whenever I've done the Racy I sit down with the demons okay we need to have clear definitions of what is response me was a candle mean in even one client we actually made it an archie a R C I has accountable became first accountable like your approval who's the one throat to choke right who's going to be the person who's is fully accountable for that responsible are the people who are helping get it done and then consulted informed but to your point it's that Whether it's approved or accountable that's the person who were to buy I completely agree with is is who the stakeholders in the I thought paul came out a good one This next one I believe John was you correct that the key to Stakeholder management as with much of product management is empathy understanding what is important to those stakeholders and communicating frequently in ways that speak to things that matter to them sharing not just what but also the why framed in terms of what is important that you Gonna talk about what's important sales leader in a market are actually Jason this made me think of a conversation we had an aluminum which one it was where we were talking about whether it's difficult decisions or something in you you basically said you have to treat the internal people like they're your customer their internal customers understand their problems but really resonated we just talk to me about your your thoughts
5:07 Yeah man think
5:09 I guess some of those have even just communication skills one or one of the other day right to understanding the point of view of the person that you're talking to everybody gets wrapped up in their own things and
5:19 has their own Okay hours are metrics or younger salespeople have their numbers are trying to hit and if you're talking to them about story points and crap like that they they won't care she just tells us how I tell them how this is going to help them
5:33 achieve the things that they need to achieve I think is the best way to manage and then you know that manage expectations around all that detail the sales people that you know exactly what's Gonna be in a released her to some stuff Stephen I've been talking about now make sure there's lots of hedging and getting in that buffer in the ways you communicate to say you can under promise over deliver eventually
5:56 not met makes a ton of sense in in in I know we got your answer on the next page Jason's Gonna talk to me about you know the customer the internal customer and the problem we talked about it before yes when I look at this and I was thinking to you know kind of executive management
6:14 as you believe they're kind of functional areas
6:18 so you know one of the hardest groups to kind of get through is finance because they obviously want the revenue middle any of cost
6:27 and so everything that you do you have to think about you know exactly what I'm saying is you know how do I put the things that I Wanna do to the product in Nutley a language but also the so the was say for example had a finance understands the benefit to the product line on to the market share is always people also why but where are we Gonna go what is my anticipation too for growth associate with this if you could speak in that language to finance the understand
6:55 Maybe it's you Maybe you're trying to kind of explain how you can reduce costs in some sort of Dev OPS problem you're solving or if you're going to increase revenue which they really really love of dennis kind of a way to get at stake holder on board to get your and story points out that you will actually go the opposite direction is I'll see everything has a cost and anyone get to in watching it very much involved in your process so you have to keep it at a level that they understand the get them excited and still be completely honest just you know it's just changing their story to your audience like say communication Wanna one
7:30 in in Ah I I remember long ago when I was getting my MBA the ongoing argument with the finance people Who's more who's more important important to the business marketing or finance and my finals like well if it wasn't for us you wouldn't have a budget like if it wasn't for us you wouldn't have a product
7:48 name economy with with sales The Oscars you know hey man it's all about revenue my wife how all hey enjoy so nothing
7:59 yeah no exactly we all have a part now there all right
8:06 The next are actually came from somebody advancing in the room for a while it's good to have some new voices back as you said John upon Paul now that there's an art to communicating bad news like delays cost increases our understanding your audience time Mine's at almost had timeliness timelines and expectation through the project not just the beginning it's key ensuring your trusted resource and voice in good times and not so good times communicate communicate communicate What is it communicate Anti Anything communicate is a key part of Stakeholder management but I think that was a critical thing to think about was it's not you know there's a lot of stuff you set up the front end of what you're doing and talking about
8:46 but it's not just
8:49 it's not just the front and it through the whole project and of course I'd move the slide back and at Best I have to say that's my failing you know I I just wish everybody would shut the hell up and let me do my job
9:04 and you know I gave you a road map a year ago I'm still on that road map ah what the hell you know and then I turn around and everybody's like OH shoot i remember that conversation and meanwhile three months has gone by and so much has happened in my life that I've added you know a nine hundred more things to my mental list that I think you're working on and on Again I know throughout my career I've been really bad about keeping people informed
9:35 and I I I had one manager in I guess it was my second Pi management job who started doing right virtual stand UPS now he just got bodies like so where are you on this project and I'm like shut the hell up and leave me alone you know in I realized what was happening was it wasn't known it was his boss
10:01 and go the last night communicated the more I undermined my own credibility with the Big B he's like I am with steve's Dylan and the silence is not golden
10:14 In the absence of evidence to the contrary they think you're doing nothing or doing the wrong thing space reply right Yeah I'm Yeah a metaphor for developers you know when developers go silent it usually means something is really really bad going on they're trying to work their way out and you need to go into the cave and pull him out there right let's let's make this a team project you're clearly blocked on something I think one thing stay without if you're certain the proper expectations and have a track record of
10:45 If unless you hear from me Everything's going fine unless you hear from me what your up that I gave you was right right if you have a track record of people like you know what I know i may be worried about it but every steve is made a commitment as soon as something change he lets me now essence of it's opulence me now there couldn't be a situation where you you you could let things go and as long as you're still on track they shouldn't have to ask because you've shown them time over time There's some quote I'm trying to think of I can't come to it like thirty minutes from now I'm going to blurt it out and we're going to get back this conversation
11:20 with that said
11:22 let me pull up Jason's quote Jason decided to come in last This week instead of first and he came in I think with the first actually list numbered list of things that we've ever had in one of these answers so Jason is pushing the boundaries innovating the way to answer new things I appreciate him taking the time this week to come down in in and push the envelope so Jason said as proud of manders we must remember our key job is to deliver great products that solve important business problems the market all stakeholders wanted one company success as we are communicating we need to one understand our audience to have the utmost integrity and communicating three demonstrate our understanding of the impact good or bad to the market and current customers all of these factors will build and maintain trust which is key deposit a stakeholder relationships Jason again we'll those on the innovation went with with the list I love it and great aunts or talk to me where you're headed
12:26 Well I think I with interface
12:30 so I think I may not be the first one to answer the question anymore obviously a couple days makes sense if if If
12:40 where you can scan Pereira the guy was Gonna be like let me see if I can put our real Thomas a bullet format it will make me seem smarter
12:50 so I think at the end of the day is do what you guys just talking about woods is a trust right especially credibility mean you have new stakeholders are coming in and out of your of yours kind of environment and you can forget it you have to gain their trust as well you you are a trusted person with your other stakeholders in sodium get it can repeat rinse repeat but it in I can't say is nothing I think a lot of product managers are very nervous about giving kind of bad news and in my opinion says he like what they're very happy product manager of doing very great man like well
13:32 i like to hear petting zoo sorry what's around because I know you're grounded you I want to know the truth at all times a one of it be sunny I also as a as a product manager leader I also wanna be challenged a lot don't you say yes and walk out my office of how does it work reader but I think that motivators have occurred to be able to disables and this isn't going right we have to change directions etc without feeling inhabit environments that they are comfortable in doing so so there's trust second word both ways in that in that regard the UM you know but I think it's our responsibility to be just you very face the facts I'm sure steve you dunce very much so far in your career but it has to be a safe environment for that because I've been in situations where Napkin not be very safe bet the same time you also have to be a product manger ASS is solutions are just Gonna walk around being Grumpy about news other times Listen There's a problem does not going to solve it you know nestled you gain the trust of stakeholders and then go ahead and install their problem so deliver the bad news but deliver the solution is well yeah and in build that trust a innocent I used to agree with you can't it's not always sunny but I now move live in the Philadelphia area and it is always sunny in Philadelphia it is always Sunny the loop but also bad things happen in Philadelphia so I'm not even sure which way I'm going to go with that but you know I think the kid is know if you take all his answers back it's it's set expectations build trust communicate understand their problems in Edo got it sounds like product management stakeholder management is rotted management but it's a different set of customers so and you know it's not an axiom you know it's
15:21 one of the main things I have difficulty weapons the number of times people say you know here's what you as a product manager need to understand about everybody else you know you have to understand developers you have to understand salespeople out hacking a hacker mind the youngest be so Damn understanding all the time but
15:39 I have certainly seen in my career that it really is a two way street I work for a president who was super happy super good to be around mean you have go lines whatever but We didn't communicate you know we we hung together maybe and you know I thought he was sent me an inquiry of some kind and I'd center know a well considered reply and he go you know great
16:10 and there were like three questions in the email that I needed an answer to an idiot it in retrospect he wishes like you a we we never really communicator I I I I was I thought I was presenting the information needed but you know I wasn't getting anything back burner so you know it's like Hey here's my roadmap in and Ah Here's what's going as the stat sheet I'm I'm I'm publishing as much as I Yeah but you know hey would you say something other than looks good
16:45 you know go
16:48 tell it there's I I don't know I think there's a what I'm implying is there's a danger signal there Bet you know if you're not getting any well considered be back then either you're not communicating or certainly you're not well you're not built you're not building are a trusted relationship or they're just being different which will get to but Yeah but in the end you know
17:14 there's an absence of trust yeah on it on one side or the M S m maybe it's a misalignment of goals right now everybody in wheat you do tell stories about salespeople right there are some times when the Stakeholders have their own personal goals that may not be the same as the teams and so it I don't know if we you know there's only an alignment issue on the golf sometimes we assume that and I think
17:43 that it was Jason's I said the the the company everybody everybody in the company wants to succeed I think maybe everybody's definition of success may be different right as you got some people are fighting for promotion some people are just fighting for the deals are going to make them said presidents club or whatever it may be and so it may be that you have a stakeholder who's not fully engage or not aligned with the goals when it comes to that with that said let's look at the polls or the pope question was which stakeholder function do you find the most difficult to collaborate with
18:17 executives came in with four that's where my vote was developed became with one in sales one Galaxy think more comments on the pole than we've ever gotten darkness Arabian who we haven't seen for a while came back with a great comment the first thing that came to me Jason you're talking about finance earlier I wonder if I had Hakan executives and by for catered it I like that where I'd wanted to use a buyer for keto into
18:42 the C suite in and then had fine it's a separate because I started thinking about most of my issues with executives in it was issues with the CFO a VP of finance trying to align around expectations in a business case or what what's the cost of capital of a kick to do a a thing on you think Jason if at first where did you vote
19:06 executives if it was separate if we had executives is one in finance as another do think it would have split some of those votes
19:16 Yeah I think so I mean certainly the executive team it was answers by the most challenging for those reasons I mentioned earlier um a but I mean I've community niles on an executive team and I have to get buy in from The returns legal counsel out of sales and operations the head of My T was always usually pretty easy actually the city owes always easy one for me because We can just pass out and battler at a kind of a geek level and figure out what that move forward with but the sea of the environments were so drastically the between legal counsels the CEO finance that it was really of ARC kind of hard to navigate exactly what was their triggers what was important to them Yeah and Yeah I vote for executives and until you brought Finance I was thinking of my stories with CEO founder types John and you would comment on that as well Ah and I've you know talk to me about we talked about this in the lab when we were doing me
20:19 comes out about bringing product management to A New organization where did you vote on this and what are your Techs
20:28 I also voted executives for the same reason you mentioned around the the CEO or executive has chief product person not getting out of your way problem Yeah I can i can see why somebody would have voted on the sales side because you know the same tell me what I'm getting when I'm getting at AH goldfish mentality of what the last deal I lost
20:54 so I can see why that's it's also such a different mentality than the product mentality Ah Yeah I people are super coin operated by Gilligan know going going
21:03 so I could see how it could be possible to have trouble interacting potentially there if you don't very personality but Yeah I think the executive thing is probably harder also because there's just so much more importance to that
21:17 set of relationships rape those people control the strings and the budgets
21:23 that no other reasons the decisions that executives have to make have a lot more impact in the decision the salesperson at me exactly anybody else on your right they get paid for making decisions each decision is it could be very costly I'll be it More strategic in an infrequent than say a decision in any other levels so when you're communicating with them it's like they're Gonna help they're looking at you like what do I do now at you know dwight lay off sixty thousand people or so after VC funding you know that kind of thing it can be quite drastic based on you s I had a product middle coming up with new strategies well I think your answering a different question
22:01 I think you're answering the question importance as opposed to difficulty yeah in Mayans to in my experience dealing with executives in general is not so much difficult as important
22:17 and are in many cases well you out one of my favorite stories is Ah the the president pulled me aside and said your developer sought you Gotta go fix that and so I went to develop and I hear I said hey you guys stop in lick my lead developer said you know like limiting what really happened you know what's happening is our requirements are changing every way The following money I go back leadership team said I found the parliament development if you guys you need to shut the hell up and there was a important conversation and frankly wasn't very difficult my could have been lousy and I you know I I chose I'm the one who chose sale might have building the sales is that what when we aren't wake you chose sales you know it's hard to imagine oh my God it's where in everything I say and do how much I love working the salespeople put on we're living in completely different universes I'm thinking about standard consistent long term and they're like screw that if I don't close these deals this month I lose my job so I remember vividly talking to the director of sales here in Virginia
23:36 and I just said you gotta stop taken my Managers and sales mouth you have sales engineers now to use on and he said but the yellow sales engineers we have our non good and art and your product managers are rates on taken them all sales off my several years the bank if you do that that means we won't have any new products next year
23:56 and he goes that's not my problem I'm worried about this quarter next year I'll be worried about something else next but if I don't deal with this quarter I won't be here next year so screw you and your strategy you niners it's like wow we completely live in different universes and i've always found communicating with sales to be most difficult and I mean this in a loving giving and the least important
24:24 facet in order to communicate with the leadership is annoying as shit to deal with salespeople because they're so focused on the deal the day and nine A long year which is what I'm trying to take I think there's two aspects to to the the lens they have so I think the lens problem you have is the timer rising lens ah you're thinking about Yeah what are you Gonna deliver a year numerically in long term strategy there's obviously thinking about the the next deal and recorder
24:57 so that and that's the cancer thing because you must pain but in theory The other lens is understanding the customers and their problems that you should share and have in common and that should make it easier for you to communicate with them I would think I would hope thing except you don't just to be contrarian
25:17 they don't care about the customer I talk to you they care about customer they smoked it
25:23 I mean Yeah i remember doing a session where the marketing team said they had developed these Persona Is and they were really good and then decided to share them with the sales team and the sales team was completely unimpressed know like I don't have a single customer who looks like this
25:42 OH know this is an aggregate is it's all customers in one bundle on there like I don't know a single person who looks like this and they're not even don't even have a right knee Yeah I mean they're just so any equals one they couldn't see in any was then
25:58 again that goes back to the alignment of goals we talking about it before we even one of the pole in that's a situation I will say back to your comment on the importance of leadership team in the executives verses difficulty I think the Experience Jon I had with with a CEO founder who doesn't want you know stepping on your toes because they don't want to get out of the product strategy that's a difficulty that's not an important thing now is important too because the you know they're the CEO but I it's a clear distinction between important difficult so with that said let's go to AH our first open ended question and this actually was one that Greg had sort of suggested this question what are the best techniques and tools to manage the expectations of stakeholders so There is the important sea level there's a difficulty level but what it's worth the tools and techniques we talked about allow the soft skills empathy and you know viewing them at understand the problem but what tools and techniques do you have above and beyond them were more harder to do that
27:08 for me it would be an ongoing communication call if I'm on a project who are the key stakeholders in the project that I would make sure that those Stakeholders I'm updating them on what's going on so email me back in the day maybe it's a slack channel with four or five guys in it
27:23 Whatever it may be doing edge on that was real I talk to me about you know what tools you use currently jay said you guys have a communication platforms you have a
27:36 project management platform what what are you using and what techniques
27:41 on what techniques borrowed from muse teams I think this the I for some reason this girl company and currently under you slack ah but I have in my product management another company that was like that us tool to use for us to to court within my development team but with other stakeholders you know it's a email or something but we've gone evian teams in We're trying to put some product management tools it really is by too many tools reason conference and other things have Gotta ask we coming out of other didn't we have a bit too many tools at this point so we're trying to actually go and harmonize somewhere It really just depends on what Stakeholders are talking about Yeah John you Guys have a set way or do you have things that you use
28:31 a yeah we do a set way maybe
28:35 not surprisingly a Google we don't use slack heavily we use google chat or teams or james true
28:44 way so use Eric did he use where did you have to have wave I actually like I wrote a blog post on wave back in the day I liked it I thought I was Gonna go authors just is there and the similar technology ended up being layered and other things later on anyway so we use lots and lots of DoCs for communication
29:05 lots of collaboration inside of the docks people comment liberally inside of these things and then we have the product plan of record that gets released to NBA partners aren't any customers at certain levels and with the Badness as necessary for the things you commit to for customers on a level level of detail more of her internal communications inc like that but those things exist as a spear slide Jackson
29:33 and spreadsheets Largely we don't use any like weird specialized tools
29:42 The injuries while talking techniques part of it was we talked about earlier aligning people are on the same goal so if I'm working with Stakeholders one technique I use is getting all stakeholders in room and in setting objectives right you know not really okay hours but here's what we're expected Spectre too here's my expectations of each of your organizations or you're remit and how do we leverage that's a once the technique a sort of a very up front getting people aligned around what we're trying to accomplish what we're trying to do and set those expectations and get the alignment with what with what we're doing Steve talk to me about your thoughts on techniques and tools to help manage expectations the stakeholders
30:25 I'm Gonna come back to product canvas and roadmap
30:30 go on in my last real job you know the first thing I did was more everything I was respond or I've built a canvas in our Here's here's who buys it year's New Year's is it yours what it is here's what problems it solves a mean you know the basic stuff that I teach in our in our own product management essentials or fundamentals oh so here's a spammer what it is and it's always Gonna be interesting in this particular case the the president but aH taped those campuses up to his whiteboard and like you know here's here's mine portfolio of products on and then what I knew when a new idea came along and like wow that seemed a great idea let's do a product campus together and we'd pull it out is lightning maybe this isn't so good so ah the propagandist sure were all singing into the same ten is one thing and then the other I think the most popular request from all executives show me the road map and I think it's a reasonable expectation here's your space want your space to your space gray the difficulty lies it as we talk about in a different context while back we tend to
31:52 give them too much detail
31:54 you know here's here are the stories were working on you know and yet they're like
32:01 that means nothing to me as opposed to you know epics or initiatives
32:07 Month by month or quarter by quarter and then being at go just with colorizing you know hey this thing's delayed because of code or this thing is delay because our lead developer took maternity leave or this thing is delayed for whatever reason but this thing is you know in a green beans good red beans bat and ugh up fairly simple metaphor the trickiest part those when they're like hey I don't see my Pet project feature
32:36 on the road man then you're like Nah well that's maybe a different conversation bear bear Oh a mess back to you're the the president and chief product officer you know Janet are Monitoring project requires like but still I was saying at minimum we would wanna be sharing at every leadership meeting now here's a here's a product canvas in a name any new information on the canvas Here's the road map at any new information on in
33:07 it so other are there other artifacts and I'm thinking specifically maybe the watch canvas would be also one of those because they were thinking about stakeholders in a long process so many that some of the artifacts are contacts were giving to people to help them understand do the job some of the artifact for creating are these stakeholder artifacts things that help people get people on the same page and me and get people going so maybe it Thinking about some of the stuff we do is to write contact some of it is provide guidance in alignment in communication about where we're going the direction the vision right though well it yeah plus I got mine in my launch class you know I've Gotta status Dashboard What departments are ready and which ones are not as well as a large canvas that again another a nice couple of one pagers us you don't here's what's going on with
33:57 the launch project
33:59 Yeah Awesome
34:02 are you Gonna our Point I probably don't do it
34:08 spreadsheets and you like was retching with conditional format exactly you're you're very good at those I I'd have to say that those are my two ah inside network will do a quick poll our point are presentation deck whether it is slides keynote or powerpoint or something else and a table based numbers thing whether it's number sheets are excel are those the tools of the trade that you use the most Stephen IRA are they are john and I did that hole for you because I am one I know I appreciate that thank you we have google all appreciate that UM Yeah I think we use those to and then we actually do a fair number of documents word Slash DoCs no indication for a number a working then
35:02 right ah Jason Yeah heavy heavy heavy every powerfully in a presentation slides Ah but I prefer to do a lot in itself in spreadsheets as well
35:16 santa we got Unanimous they're on their side note that we didn't know where we talk about today wonderful that Ah now our next question we talked about a little in the Poll paul but we talked about who was the most difficult What is the best way to manage a difficult stakeholder right Steve I'm going to go to you because you talked about yours know use you gave an example of a difficult sales stakeholder who wanted your product for people to be at ease and didn't care about new products next year how do you manage a difficult stakeholder
35:54 I'm not sure I have a good technique I mean I I'm I'm so is
36:01 I I assume that the people I'm working with are rational
36:06 We saw immediately you know it's like wow you're going the wrong direction now you know so I of I feel like I I if I just presented year with my rational understanding of the facts then You will embrace and in I was talking to I think it was rich mariners who I love I love everything he writes on merit dot com
36:30 and he was talking about salespeople particular ah and he said here's where you're usually fallen down
36:39 when you say no to a sales guy you think you have ended the conversation
36:46 and we spin thousands of dollars every year teaching our sales people that know is the beginning of a conversation
36:55 and so when I say out sales guy nowadays nah the road map
36:59 my work here is done his like will hang on air you know next thing you know he's talking to a developer is talking to my boss race talk to the head sales team won't let me make quota what are you Gonna do about it and so Yeah maybe It well may maybe that's my problem I've been trying to deal with salespeople is rational people and maybe that's why I have so much traction
37:25 so I will have a really good answer you know they also get back that the individual sales person with third Making Quota may not be the Stakeholder it's the head of sales who will be the Stakeholder potentially so made I'm reminded of an hour if you remember this in the early days of blackberry biker was found before the iphone
37:46 but it was once a break than it knows that was found NASA route again but anyway there was a hot they had to put an end to the mail server right there so all these sales guys found out about the blackberry they went out bought one they brought it back they went ITP and items that Oh Yeah you can't you can't get your email cause that's an unsecured device or something and every sales Guy walked into the VP of sales office and says I T won't let me make Quota and next thing you know everybody's got a blackberry because you know somehow that's Gonna help you make of When I just I was brilliant Escalation and yet I didn't i never recognized the salespeople don't sampling
38:31 yeah they are were two they were
38:36 jason talk to me about how you manage a difficult stakeholder get out as really challenges in our luggage at the executive level like I met chamber also with developers developers Project manager strong masters like anybody
38:55 you know I have a chow is challenged myself maybe the difficulty that is difficult I'm going to win them over Sounds identify with a person's Gonna be in and that's my goal and I I rarely am not successful a bath and um so I SpaM sure I spend time with debt a lot of the empathy component really try to understand what makes them tick what's important to them what's their background what have they done what have they done to be successful in the past because I know that's kind of weather driving towards then you know doing what I can to be an asset for them
39:36 and make sure that I'm part of their growth on Zach be a part of their successful their success an organization in then i do my best to win him over that way it seems to work out so I I associate a charmer I am a timer I have to be on a end party but I've been with people that are banned in the avoidance category of difficult stakeholders in the work around them
40:03 I find it that there there's little benefit to that but that is also a strategy but I don't recommend
40:10 Yeah and I My Body Art Patty has a all on demand seminar series on difficult conversations and in dealing with this kind of conflict so that interests you are petty died Tom
40:28 Lawson John top is it now your thoughts as a poorest I should
40:35 perhaps you should Yeah you can just recommending at maybe a chance
40:41 Maybe should take it before your actually recommended to understand
40:47 Yeah so I think my strategy is along the same lines is Jason's I've had
40:54 In early in my career had op's stakeholders that were like brutally difficult to deal with and I ended up figuring out through his leadership coach we had at our company that we basically approach problem solving in two different ways and at present you need to go off and think about it before coming back to the table the solution and I just wanted to make us wish and run with the best information we had at the time and move on natural than me insane and they thought that I was like being flippant and didn't care because I try to make decisions quickly so once I understood their different thinking the fact a dangerous approach things in a different way than I do and I develop some empathy for them just to come back to my original answer and we were able to have open discussions about This in a way that made it easier for us to then work together and I stopped trying to always solve the problem the room or I said maybe he'll this person years ago think about this let's reconvene on this tomorrow whatever the the thing Is
41:52 but it all came down to like understanding them as humans and trying to figure how best work with them to to layer on the Jason's don't go around them points that is a successful strategy exactly once and they've completely burned that Potential relationship and it will hurt you probably going for it so I added it
42:11 it's interesting because in your answer made me think about a part of a training presentation we're seduced eve where we talked about Different ways you talk to the different listening styles and there are some people who are story listeners some people who are numberless there's some people are process and I said I get that right
42:31 stood sales people love stories Ah fires people up more ambulance
42:39 developers loveday Yeah and so when you're when you start thinking about how people listen and what they're interested in then that's a way to start thinking about how to manage a difficult stakeholder by understanding what the to your point john you know the way they were approach to solving the problem was different so you need to take that step back and think about it for me the best success I had mending a d V D V got stakeholder was continuing to try to build a relationship but also build out the business case so all the other stakeholders especially leadership team saw the value of what we're doing in and got behind it I had a divisional CFO we were trying to make an acquisition is the president said we need to get this acquisition we grant your job is to get it done the CFO didn't like it and put a twenty plus percent cost of capital into My MTV Formula which made it a mean
43:34 for finance through non finance nerds the higher cost of capital is the harder it is a return on investment or net present value they were trying to kill this thing with a high cost of capital and I stopped and I sat back and let me tell the story in that's where I switched how it told the story to senior leadership and said here's the opportunity We go into this face right big opportunity at our install basis is going to add a new solution we get all those people do you agree we should go into in this case it was Ah park's management in the Amber Emerald Park's management and industrial space and was OH my Gosh Yes We Gotta go in the second thing I did was okay here are options we could build it ourselves here's how long that will take here's what that will cost or we could buy company x and all of a sudden it changed the whole so by getting the end game by working the other stakeholders and actually brought everything back around so I went on I agree with that and a good story
44:41 i Wanna i Wanna run with that bow I have an ass whipping thinking about managing difficult stank bowlers I have found doing it in a group is helpful as well When you got you know one person is not an entrenched Ah man just written remembering the number of times I would have say a leadership meeting and I know there's this one person is entrenched Ah
45:07 presenting it to the whole room and saying and I don't really know how to go forward here and you don't four of the five people say well this is brilliant we should go that way and then they can pull him into their little girl In the US a more tangible example is I had a sales guy who wanted single sign on to be the number one thing is he had a client who demanded single sign on Ah and yet you know we had other things on less to write so I was in a sales meeting and he's like Steve Allen I hear you say that single sign on the shipping next week and I say well brussels not I mean we're not working on it yet but what you know we planted was on our roadmap and he's like where exactly where and on so I
45:52 had the nerve it was stupid proudly but I brought up a list of my prioritize top ten AM single silo was like number nine and he's like I want this new number one my turn to the room of salespeople and said A message you guys want that's where I'll put it
46:11 in the room went crazy the project hell no I don't want it up there my client wants number two so you keep do and then you now or enjoy and suddenly win the whole room is involved now we're doing you know evil democracy and this guy was basically shouted down by the majority so you know maybe actually that is a bad example base all the love loving Enjoy and care and candy and flowers that Jason John were talking about so here's a question for you steve and I'm Vanessa went out and get a greggs prepared statement on this When you have a say a small team of five and you have one person do you do one on one meetings with the other four stakeholders to sort of pre a line here's the situation doing this here's what I'm trying to do are you just hope that they're Gonna all be Aligned with you
47:05 I know I sure do What you said I mean I did currently have a history of pre meeting meetings which in a team seminar will demean and you know it's kind of like The person you thinks decisions are made her a meaty aRM are made in meetings is a is generally wrong
47:23 but you know I would have I certainly would have conversations with key votes or the meeting not so much to be manipulator but just to have a discussion that was focused in their area of interest the answer that I mean so that I felt like Hell Yeah we're all in sync here and then in that meeting when there's an outlier then is planning poker time it's like well you know everybody else thinks this is a free why do you think it's a you know argue west to your position
47:56 they're Gonna come to true There's a
48:01 ah forget aka back to it to my time when a member of Roger Martin had a great phrase with that type of Stuff i can't remember what it was and I'll come back to it any last comments jason are John Before I go to Greg's prepared statement
48:16 all right greg said I'm very interested in how everybody handles difficult stakeholders this was a question he was it was very interested in When leading mobile products across multiple businesses this gets more difficult to deal with the various personalities and importance of their businesses I think about if your portfolio person with multiple it even compounds Sounds finally sometimes conflicting business requests while dealing with limited resources budgets and increased internal demands takes a balancing act in many ways this is a no win situation the best you can do is increase communication There's the soft skills that were right there I with Stakeholders be on emotional in a definition of privatization and be very clear on the road map current status and flavor successes and almost like hits a lot of what know communication alignment road map and then he said budget season requires a whole next level of Xanax
49:08 other
49:11 but Greg we wish you were here for the car but will afford to happen in the next one all right with that we're going to move to our Rapid Fire I'm going to put this up right now as I read it John start thinking about your answer I know never lived with Jason on this anymore
49:26 the question is what is your top recommendation to a new Product leader for Stakeholder Communications
49:35 communicate early and often communicate early and often Jason
49:41 so honestly Listen I mean been are supposed to be keen listening understanding problems in understanding weak spots but also I would say you know pay a lot of attention to every meeting that you're in in voll den fairly early on In find out who your leaders are they're not in management
50:03 those are those are those are those are the ones are to want to consult with with some of that communication initially to fly through them to see how that's going to be digested The Rusty organization is you're getting feel how the rest of it kind of works out dying that is a pearl of wisdom identified the non Stakeholder influencers who can help you with success there Johnson
50:27 God I don't know how to find that easily added lighting rental are I
50:34 wouldn't bet against England to to jump on one of the things that I teach my classes the way make change in your organization is to wind people who were asked me to change happened know why second they happy have the skills to do so and third they have two halves or from people they respect and every time i said that I'm thinking leadership
51:00 but your point is really powerful there are so many leaders In the organization that are not leadership that are not the executive team and so you got like a senior developer or senior sales rep who say well this is just stupid were never Gonna do this Then you're you're undermined when the very beginning so I would say if if you were Gonna call me grant
51:25 that you your deck is the top recommendation is to recognize and Stakeholder communications is critically important you a product later and in my early career at least melt now throughout my career I have never really considered that a top issue and in looking back every time I had a problem it was because I didn't put stakeholder communications at the top of my to do list of my understanding of my role
51:54 of awesome so we've got john with communicate early and often Jason with Listen pay attention in the wisdom of find those non leader leaders who are going to be influences and help with success and steve is coming around with the just the import note never forget how important Stakeholder Communications is because that's going to be credited it to the success there I'm Gonna build on all of those things trying to do our yes and and and and and say with that if you can communicate clearly crispy you need to communicate clearly incredibly what the alignment is what is our goal make sure where a line and in what we're trying to achieve and the outcomes of that that but you have to listen and pay attention to make sure you understand each person's what's in it for them and in that type of stuff Ah and steve once you have identified that yet to communicate that clearly ah so to me you use all those things and you put that in the center the core the alignment around what are we all working to what is R why what is our purpose what is our mission to make sure we got we got that flag in front and that's sort of I a lot of times I was the guy carrying the flag up the hell getting shot at which Help my Stakeholders Veto Rally Ah with that said actually one last question and I'll oppose it to everybody at you
53:18 if you were a product leader are your product managers stakeholders should you treat them like Stakeholder or is that just employees and management
53:28 though I think absolutely I mean if your product leader addition to have some sort of vision overall product product portfolio and you know so what you have to do is over communicate your vision consistently in two year a product managers and consistently justify your vision with new data that you're getting net net the music know still up today in new in an account changes They're Gonna appreciate them you know where you going in that you're using that information also they're going to queue on what you learn US rocky organization major talking to these stakeholders and you communicate about your product managers till you can help them also be good communicator to the singer
54:09 Guy and August Gonna turn over my Facilitation rather Jason he's just cabinet today Yeah I don't me out I don't need to add a comment that John or steve not good for all right if you guys want the address like instead texting okay
54:26 Well
54:28 as we do every week Mondays we have a question in that community product or growth later community that product growth leaders dot com on Wednesday we have the poll on Friday and we have these amazing conversations and as always you know Jason etc after last conversation in the in in the community I think we always said overweight this is one of my brightest spots of my week I always look forward amazing conversations in there has not yet been one of these conversations where I haven't been challenged to change my opinions or thoughts on something because somebody presented some ideas
55:01 that made me do that so thank you friends ah John Jason Steve Ah Thank you so much have a great weekend and we'll see you Guys on the next topic
55:11 OH it was really great