Episode 33
Guest: Lech Guzowski

Product Culture

Nov 10 / Petra Färm
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Company Culture = Product Innovation
What type of culture will enable us to continuously build successful products? Is there even an answer to that question? There are at least a few behaviors that will help us to build an environment where products thrive. For example, creativity requires structure. One of my favorite tools to manage the different phases of innovation, whether its evolutionary or disruptive is the double diamond. The double diamond, which is part of the design thinking framework, will give us two things; it will force us to stay in problem space, to really invest time in identifying the problem. If we are not solving the right problem it doesn’t matter how good the solution is. The second thing it will bring is that it will structure the work in two modes, diverge and converge. First you will diverge in problem space, exploring extreme users, collecting data through user interviews, user observations you name it. Keep an open mind, just gather data. Then you will move into converge. Finding patterns, building insights and eventually designing the problem. After you’re done in problem space, you will repeat the diverge-converge in solution space.

Another important factor in culture is leadership and as product managers we are leaders. We need to open up, listen to our stakeholders, customer, colleagues. Build empathy, understand what others need from us to be successful at their jobs. We need to help people grow and learn, so share our knowledge and insights.

Talking about Leadership and that we as human beings haven’t change that much the last couple of thousand years here is a quote from the “Art of War”:

"If the Leaders can be humane and just, sharing both the gains and the trouble of the people, then the troops will be loyal and naturally identify with the interests of the leadership."