Karthik Vijayakumar’s Design Your Thinking podcast brings in a range of product and design thinkers to talk about their hot topics.  He generously included me for a long discussion about organizations, incentives and motivating other functional groups — an episode that we labeled “Organizational Anthropology and Product Management.”

Some takeaways:

  • Different groups (sales, marketing, product, engineering and executive leadership) have their own success metrics, filters and biases.  It’s essential for product managers to understand how each group thinks.
  • How to prep for customer meetings where we’ll be asked for technical commitments
  • Motivating engineering teams is different from motivating sales teams.  We need to observe what each group wants, enjoys, appreciates.
  • Product/engineering folks know that adding something substantial to the roadmap requires us to postpone something of similar size.  Yet sales teams simply don’t see that as necessarily true…


Listen to the podcast here.