Lead on Purpose

Promoting Leadership Principles in Product Management

Flexibility and letting go

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For the past several months I’ve been immersed in the experience of working with top designers and learning how to take their work, write relevant requirements at breakneck speed and work closely with development to build our new products. We’re essentially changing the focus of the product from enterprise to consumer. Talk about a learning experience! It’s been nothing short of transformational.

The key for me has been a willingness to let go of past working habits — procedures I was very comfortable with — and embrace new ideas. One quick example: my main product serves a two-sided network. Four months ago, the “customer” (in my mind) was the paying/enterprise customer. Today that view has completely changed. Now the ‘customer’ is the end user (sometimes called ‘consumer’) who comes to the web site to use the free service. My product management focus has shifted significantly to the experience of the end users. The change has resulted in an entirely different product that (two weeks into the beta) is showing positive signs.

Letting go of old habits and ideas is not easy and requires flexibility. Those who are open to change learn to trust themselves and others. Watch for opportunities to try new things and be flexible as you go. Letting go of old beliefs can lead to new visions.

The Product Management Perspective: See above (and, of course, don’t get set in your ways or the change will be painful).

One thought on “Flexibility and letting go

  1. Pingback: | The Productologist: Exploring the Depths of Product Management

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