Hiring a Head of Product

I’ve seen some patterns in how companies recruit their Heads of Product (aka Chief Product Officer, VP Product, Director of Product Management, or Group Product Lead). This post unpacks some fundamental misconceptions — and how to get the strong product leadership we need.

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Podcast: Bridging the Product/Engineering Gap

I was thrilled to join Marcus Blankenship for this episode of his podcast.  Marcus is a long-time coach and champion of software engineering managers with an emphasis on processes / culture / leadership. We talked at length about the adjacencies and differences between developers and product managers… Topics: Differences in design principles between product and engineering management (1:35) Understanding the conflict between makers and marketers (6:22) How Rich helps marketers/sales develop a more useful frame for engineering (10:01) The “Innovation” Misconception (15:36) The culture gap between sales and development/product teams (21:46) Where does product management fit between sales and development? (26:31) Helping clients make effective organizational change (32:48) Read more here about Marcus’s writing, podcasts and videos.  

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Podcast: Cross-Functional Soft Skills for Product Leaders

A wide-ranging conversation about product leadership, stakeholders, understanding our different audiences.

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Recognizing Longevity

Companies often celebrate hierarchy but rarely longevity – the willingness and commitment to stay with a company long enough to have an impact. I recently uncovered some artifacts that reinforced an important cultural emphasis on company-wide success…

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Lying To Customers

I don’t think that product managers should lie to customers or prospects. In enterprise selling cycles, though, there is a lot of gray space around what’s true enough. Can we draw some hazy lines?

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Delegation for Product Leaders

Leading a product management team includes delegating most product-level decision-making. How do we match that to team maturity and differing difficulties of various product work?

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Product In the Time of Cholera

As product leaders, most of us have spent the first few weeks of the COVID-19 crisis focused on (worried about) our people and teams. But we’re now shifting attention to how this changes priorities and product plans…

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Hiring Enterprise Sales Teams Ahead of Product/Market Fit

Sending an expensive B2B sales team out to discover what we should build isn’t a great strategy. We should do less expensive, unemotional, non-commissioned validation and learning before scaling up our selling effort.

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Starter KPIs for B2B/Enterprise

There are no generic or universal KPIs, since every business has unique aspects. So if we want KPIs for a B2B/enterprise company, where would we start? And how do we avoid committing to improvements in metrics/KPIs before understanding our current scores (or situation)?

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Podcast: Creating a Thriving Product Organization

This podcast on Creating a Thriving Product Organization covered a lot of ground: becoming a product leader; what to do in your first month on the job; conditions that enable product teams to be their best; and Impostor syndrome.

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