Cover image of The Everyday Innovator Podcast for Product Managers
(37)

Rank #123 in Management category

Business
Education
Careers

The Everyday Innovator Podcast for Product Managers

Updated 2 months ago

Rank #123 in Management category

Business
Education
Careers
Read more

Where product leaders and managers make their move product master.

Read more

Where product leaders and managers make their move product master.

iTunes Ratings

37 Ratings
Average Ratings
36
1
0
0
0

Great podcast

By sgbowden - Jul 07 2017
Read more
Great information for innovation practitioners.

Valuable PM lessons !

By Gj83711 - Oct 21 2016
Read more
This is one of the best podcasts on Product Management. Thank you for doing this Chad!

iTunes Ratings

37 Ratings
Average Ratings
36
1
0
0
0

Great podcast

By sgbowden - Jul 07 2017
Read more
Great information for innovation practitioners.

Valuable PM lessons !

By Gj83711 - Oct 21 2016
Read more
This is one of the best podcasts on Product Management. Thank you for doing this Chad!
Cover image of The Everyday Innovator Podcast for Product Managers

The Everyday Innovator Podcast for Product Managers

Latest release on Aug 10, 2020

Read more

Where product leaders and managers make their move product master.

Rank #1: TEI 233: Everyone wants more agility in their product process and this is how to get it – with Colin Palombo

Podcast cover
Read more
How product managers should combine flexibility and rigor in an agile stage-gate process. Just about every organization I have worked with this year wants more agility in their product management processes. They want to get new products to market faster and release enhanced versions in less time. Product managers and leaders are feeling the pressure. […]

Jun 10 2019

39mins

Play

Rank #2: TEI 157: Big topics product managers encounter – with Suzanne Abate

Podcast cover
Read more
The right product begins with a validated user need and a market In this episode you’ll learn about some of the big ideas in product management to help you make the move to product master, specifically: The difference between building the product right vs. building the right product, Challenges of working with development teams, How […]

Jan 01 2018

39mins

Play

Rank #3: TEI 193: Mistakes new (and not so new) product managers should avoid – with Cole Mercer

Podcast cover
Read more
Insights for new product managers and people who want to be product managers. Being a good product manager requires a diverse set of skills, including communicating, influencing, design, technology, product process, and business acumen. New product managers and not-so new product managers have lots of opportunities to make mistakes. When you can, it is better […]

Sep 10 2018

1hr 3mins

Play

Rank #4: TEI 169: How to make product roadmaps not dangerous – with Bruce McCarthy

Podcast cover
Read more
Shifting focus from the how to the why by properly using a product roadmap. My 12-year old  son recently got a belt sander from his Opa. Opa is a German name for grandfather.  My son is making a bookshelf and has a lot of sanding to do. The belt sander will do the work quickly. […]

Mar 26 2018

40mins

Play

Rank #5: TEI 141: How product managers can better lead change – with Barbara Trautlein, PhD

Podcast cover
Read more
Which of the 7 Change Styles Do You Use as a Product Manager or Innovator? Our work is the work of innovation. A few years ago I heard the word innovation expressed as in-a-new-way. It’s a helpful phrase to remember that the very nature of innovation means doing something new — something we have not […]

Sep 11 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #6: TEI 152: The successful product manager is the self-aware product manager – with Tasha Eurich

Podcast cover
Read more
Improving your internal and external self-awareness is the real secret to success for product managers This may just be the most important interview yet. While it does not directly deal with product management concepts, it does deal with success concepts. The upcoming discussion is about a book The Muse called the number-one best career book […]

Nov 27 2017

38mins

Play

Rank #7: TEI 172: Apple’s product development process and secrets to success – with John Carter

Podcast cover
Read more
Sleek and simple: How Apple’s product process mirrors the products it creates. One of the things I enjoy doing is teaching product and innovation management university courses. My students often are in a leadership role in their organization and I’m helping them with product innovation. When we discuss examples of innovative organizations, Apple is a […]

Apr 16 2018

34mins

Play

Rank #8: TEI 232: Using product roadmaps correctly, Part 3 (Portfolio Management) – with Bruce McCarthy

Podcast cover
Read more
How product managers can extend product roadmaps to portfolio management. Product roadmaps are one of the best-known tools and also the most misused by product managers. We have talked twice before with Bruce McCarthy, co-author of the book, Product Roadmaps Relaunched: How to Set Direction while Embracing Uncertainty, to learn how to make roadmaps work […]

Jun 03 2019

43mins

Play

Rank #9: TEI 189: Building UX in product teams – with Sam Horodezky

Podcast cover
Read more
Breaking down myths and misconceptions about two popular — but sometimes opposing — roles. UX is a hot topic and for good reason. The right UX skills on a product team can make the product more successful. The wrong skills waste money and time. Many product managers and leaders make mistakes when adding UX roles […]

Aug 12 2018

32mins

Play

Rank #10: TEI 154: Pitfalls that can trap new product managers – with Aero Wong

Podcast cover
Read more
10 common mistakes or pitfalls new product managers should avoid A few months ago I was contacted by a product manager, Areo Wong, who works in Hong Kong. He described himself as a “newbie” with about one-year of experience. He has been struggling to learn what the role of product manager was really about. After trying […]

Dec 11 2017

37mins

Play

Rank #11: TEI 144: What product managers can learn from Amanda Brinkman and Robert Herjavec – The Small Business Revolution movement

Podcast cover
Read more
My favorite interview: Product managers can create a consumer research platform, re-energize a brand, and do good all at the same time What is coming up is my favorite interview I have done, at least until I have the opportunity to do an update next year. You’ll hear why in the interview, but it stems […]

Oct 02 2017

36mins

Play

Rank #12: TEI 209: Predictive analytics for product managers – with Brian Brinkmann

Podcast cover
Read more
Use data to predict customer behavior and design better products. Do you know which customers are most likely to stop using your product in the next month? Or, what actions your best customers take with your product when they start using it? With the right data, product managers not only know the answers to such […]

Dec 31 2018

39mins

Play

Rank #13: TEI 221: How product managers can determine the price of a new product – with Patrick Campbell

Podcast cover
Read more
Focus on customers, not competitors, to drive product success. Are your products not generating the revenue they should be just because you didn’t price them right? Pricing is a key concern of not only product managers and leaders but also the executives of organizations. Knowing the right price for a product is a challenge, especially […]

Mar 18 2019

29mins

Play

Rank #14: TEI 190: The 6 dimensions of top achievers- with Arthur Carmazzi

Podcast cover
Read more
Learn how product managers move from the middle of the pack to the front of the crowd. Product managers need to be high achievers and many are. They are the driving force that discover unmet needs customers have, creating value through their product work. The work is both demanding and fulfilling. To be a high […]

Aug 20 2018

37mins

Play

Rank #15: TEI 127: B2B product management – with Jeff Lash

Podcast cover
Read more
This is a listener suggested episode, which I love doing. I enjoy receiving requests from listeners asking for specific topics to explore. Several people have had questions about B2B product management. A B2B company sells its products to other organizations while a B2C company provides its products to consumers. To explore this topic, I […]

Jun 05 2017

44mins

Play

Rank #16: TEI 142: Platforms and innovation for product managers – with Larry Keeley

Podcast cover
Read more
Savvy product managers use platforms This episode focuses on platforms — a topic I haven’t discussed yet on this podcast. An effective platform strategy is important for growing organizations as well as those that are starting. There are different perspectives on platforms and this interview primarily explores digital platforms. My guest is Larry Keeley, a […]

Sep 18 2017

40mins

Play

Rank #17: TEI 180: Why and how APIs should be managed as a product – with Bryan Hicks

Podcast cover
Read more
A different type of product, but traditional product management still applies. Today’s topic is the product management of APIs — application program interfaces that enable software systems to share information and interact. In the past I have thought of APIs as a part of a software system. It’s another activity on a project schedule to […]

Jun 11 2018

30mins

Play

Rank #18: TEI 133: History as a tool for product managers & innovators – with Scott Bowden

Podcast cover
Read more
I am a student of approaches for innovation – how ideas are conceived and turned into valuable products and services. However, my guest introduced me to a new line of thinking — an approach to innovation I had not previously been exposed to and for that I’m thankful. I now have another tool in my innovation […]

Jul 17 2017

39mins

Play

Rank #19: TEI 131: Charting change for product managers-with Braden Kelley

Podcast cover
Read more
As product managers and innovators we are often at the center of change because our work involves creating something new, which itself is change. Further, we need to persuade and influence others to change their perspective and embrace our ideas for building better products. Sometimes the change is small, like a new feature to a […]

Jul 03 2017

42mins

Play

Rank #20: TEI 132: Integrating Lean Startup and Stage-Gate – with Mark Adkins

Podcast cover
Read more
Lean Startup or Stage-Gate? More often organizations are not choosing one or the other but taking the “and” option and integrating both into their product processes.  The challenge is how to get them to play nice with each other and gain the benefits of each without losing something in the process. To discuss this topic […]

Jul 10 2017

43mins

Play

TEI 295: Do you have what it takes to be a great product manager? Results of the Product Team Performance study – with Greg Geracie

Podcast cover
Read more

Five factors of successful product managers

Do you and your product teams have the characteristics required for success? The Product Team Performance study has been identifying the characteristics of high-performing teams since 2012. Of the 31 factors found through the studies, I discuss five of the most significant ones with Greg Geracie, principal researcher.

Greg is the CEO of Actuation Consulting, a global provider of product management training, consulting, and advisory services to some of the world’s most well-known organizations. I’ve known Greg for several years, through his work on the ProdBOK book, which is the
The Guide to the Product Management and Marketing Body of Knowledge, as well as our mutual involvement in PDMA and AIPMM professional associations for product managers.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[2:50] Tell us about the survey of product managers you’ve done since 2012.

It’s a performance study comparing factors of product teams that excel versus those that struggle. We use an independent statistician who conducts regression analysis on the survey data.

[3:15] What’s new this year, in your sixth study?

Approximately 40% of the questions are new, derived from our consulting, Q&A with live audiences, and our sponsor Planbox, who submitted five questions related to innovation. The rest are questions that we’ve been tracking on a longitudinal basis and demographic questions that help us better understand our respondents. Another important change is that when we started the study, it was very difficult to find hard data on the topics that our consultants were interested in; now, after years of research, anyone interested in answers to questions about product management and innovation topics can easily find information from our studies.

[7:37] Who are your survey respondents?

We’re interested in hearing from anyone actively involved in product development. Ninety-seven percent of survey respondents have an active role in creating or enhancing products or services in their organizations, so targeting has been very good. Some additional demographics about our respondents this year:

  • 54% are product managers or product owners (higher than the norm from past years)
  • other 46% are from a wide variety of roles including development managers, engineers, project managers, UX professionals, and more
  • slightly more than half report to a C-level executive or VP
  • 51% are in hardware software technology vertical
  • 45% are from companies with revenue $50 million to $2 billion, with a strong response in the two other segments we identified

[11:21] The study identified 31 significant factors that successful product teams exhibit, including five factors that are new this year. Let’s talk about one of those five new factors, connecting activities to business strategy.

The study shows that a product team’s ability to connect their daily activities back to the company’s overarching business strategy is highly correlated with financial success. However, only 27% of survey respondents indicated that their product team is able to connect their daily activities directly to the company’s business strategy. Most respondents indicate that their organizations either fail to effectively communicate the company strategy or don’t have an overarching business strategy at all. Sadly, the number of product teams that can connect their daily activities with their company’s business strategy has decreased from 37% seven years ago.

To improve their product and financial performance, companies need to shore up communication and transparency about their company strategy and how product teams connect to it. This will give product teams the context to make better short- and longterm decisions, and it will clarify the organization’s strategic priorities. This will also increase product team members’ commitment to their work efforts as they understand the value of their work.

[17:58] Tell us more about the next factor, accountability for customer satisfaction objectives.

Customer satisfaction is becoming increasingly important to product teams. In 2015, there was no dominant metric that teams were accountable to, but now customer satisfaction is the dominant metric, used by 51% of organizations. Being accountable to customer satisfaction is highly correlated with improved performance.

[21:28] Another factor is stories in the backlog. What did you discover?

Product teams that size the entire backlog of user stories demonstrate higher levels of performance. However, only 17% of respondents size the entire backlog.

[24:11] What did you find out about the next factor, time that product managers spend in the field with customers?

Product managers who spend at least 30% of their time in the field with customers improve the performance of their teams and organizations. Unfortunately, only 11% of organizations enable their product managers to spend that much time in the field with customers. One problem is lack of executive support—leaders must champion the concept and provide financial support. Another problem is that many product managers don’t feel comfortable spending time with customers. Fortunately, interacting with customers is a learned skill that we can train ourselves in.

[32:11] Tell us about one more new factor, using profitability when prioritizing requirements.

Emphasizing profitability as the primary criterion in requirements prioritization processes positively impacts performance. Only 39% of organizations use profitability as a requirements criterion. Profitability is the seventh most used prioritization metric, but it’s the one that’s most closely correlated with success.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.” – Joseph Campbell 

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison, inventor 

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Aug 10 2020

40mins

Play

TEI 294: Crafting Customer Experience and Innovation with The CEO’s Time Machine – with Geoff & Zoe Thatcher

Podcast cover
Read more

What product managers need to know to create powerful customer experiences

The experience that customers of our products encounter impacts the value they find in our products. The customer experience is intertwined with customers’ perceptions of value.

To explore customer experience, I talked with two people who design the customer experience for theme parks, zoos, museums, and other venues. Part of the conversation is about a recent book they wrote, The CEO’s Time Machine, which uses historical innovations and a story about careful listening to create new innovations for a fictional company.

We share useful insights to help innovators in a more personal context in this interview. That is because my guests include the Chief Creative Officer at Creative Principals, Geoff Thatcher, and Designer, Zoe Thatcher, who is his daughter. Consequently, it was fitting for my daughter, Kaitlin, to join me as co-host for this episode.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[1:55] What work do you do?

We have a design firm called Creative Principles, and we work on experiences including corporate brand experiences, museum exhibits, and theme parks. As designers, we get to visit a lot of fun places to do research, because you can’t innovate unless you have a stimulus.

[10:41] What makes a good customer experience?

All great innovation begins with a powerful story. To create an experience, you have to translate the story. We use this formula:

  1. Attract people with an iconic element
  2. Build trust
  3. Provide the information to move forward (e.g., a pre-show)
  4. Internalize the story (e.g., the main experience, like a theme park ride)
  5. Exit through retail—this isn’t just about making money; you’re challenging people to act and become part of the story

[18:27] Let’s talk about your book, The CEO’s Time Machine.

The premise of the book is that there is a CEO who is ahead of the game, making his company super successful, and nobody knows how he does it. He has a secret R&D garage, and it’s rumored there is a time machine inside. As the story begins, the CEO is about to retire, and he allows his young protege into the garage to show her the time machine. Part of being a leader is creating the branding and mystique that the CEO creates with his secret garage.

[22:01] What was Zoe’s work as illustrator like?

In October 2019, Zoe participated in an Instagram challenge to post an inked picture every day. Zoe drew a girl in a red scarf in a futuristic woodblock ink style, and we thought it would be perfect for the story, which we had already written. When our business slowed down during the pandemic, we decided to get the book out before the lockdown ended. Zoe did forty-three illustrations in three weeks, and we got the book published. The great thing about being young, when it comes to innovation, is that young people don’t know something isn’t possible. A more experienced illustrator might not have attempted all those illustrations, but Zoe thought, Why not?

[29:10] What lessons can product managers and innovators learn from the book?

History is important to innovation. As Bruce Weindruch says in our foreword, in innovation you have to start with the future and look back. You want to invent the future, but you have to look back to examples from history to inspire you.

[30:45] What are some innovation insights from history?

I am fascinated by the Wright brothers because they invented the airplane. However, within a decade or two, they were completely out of business. After their amazing innovation of flight, they spent all their time litigating and arguing. It’s an important lesson for innovators to not lose focus on innovation.

Charles Kettering, the head of R&D for General Motors, was trying to convince manufacturing that they could paint a car in an hour instead of several days. Kettering invited the head of manufacturing out to lunch. After lunch, the man couldn’t find his car because Kettering had his engineers paint it while they were at lunch. Having that personal experience convinced the head of manufacturing to embrace this new innovation.

Action Guide: Put the information Geoff and Zoe shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“Research is turning dollars into ideas. Innovation is turning ideas into dollars.”– Steve Hoover, CEO of Palo Alto Research Center

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Aug 03 2020

39mins

Play

TEI 293: FAST Goals for better aligned product projects- with Jeannine Siviy

Podcast cover
Read more

How three powerful questions can lead to better product management

I hosted a virtual summit in April this year (www.theeverydayinnovator.com/summit) and I met many wonderful people. One introduced me to her Slinky Dog metaphor for product management and a methodology called FAST goals.

She calls FAST goals a winning methodology as it enables you to win, solving problems and creating value for customers. It connects what you need to accomplish with how you will accomplish it along with the why for taking specific actions.

In the discussion, we role-play using FAST to solve problems I have had as a frequent traveler — something most of us are doing far less of now but will return to eventually.

Her name is Jeannine Siviy. She has been a software and systems engineer, contributing to and leading product development for several organizations, including Kodak and the Software Engineering Institute. She is currently the Director of Healthcare Solutions at SDLC Partners.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[2:48] What is the Slinky Dog metaphor for product management?

The Slinky Dog metaphor reminds people when they’re running ahead of everybody else. If you’re ahead, you need to pause and let your team, peers, clients, etc., catch up in an organized way. You don’t want them to catch up by slamming into you. If the Slinky Dog is stretched too far, it breaks.

[5:11] What problem does the FAST Goals methodology solve?

When you’re working on product management and innovation, there are a lot of perspectives and different voices in the room. FAST Goals unifies those voices to create a clear line of sight between top-level objectives and day-to-day work. It empowers people to make decisions in day-to-day work with confidence and know that their work is contributing to the big picture outcome.

[8:25] What are the key components of FAST Goals?

It’s a ladder of abstraction method. FAST indicates the rapidity of the method and is also an acronym for Function Analysis Systems Technique, a manufacturing technique that I modified into FAST Goals. FAST Goals uses a diagram to answer three questions: “What goals are you pursuing? How do you intend to achieve those goals? Why do these goals matter? Every goal is paired with a success metric so that you’ll know when you’ve achieved it, and each goal has strategies and tactics that are also measured.

[13:15] Let’s walk through an example of using FAST Goals to improve customer experience at an airport.

Our top goal is to improve customer experience at the airport. We brainstorm pain points and unsolved problems, like not knowing how much time it will take to get to your gate, food needing improvement, and difficulty navigating through the airport. Then we synthesize, looking for common themes and determining the meaning of each idea. Next we organize and simplify and write the ideas on the diagram, usually in a simple noun-verb format. Then we validate by asking how and why we’ll accomplish these goals. This process works best with a cross-functional team.

[20:13] Let’s take a closer look at a specific problem—not knowing how much time it will take to get to the gate.

At the top of the diagram, our main goal is to improve customer experience. We’ll write “Predict time to gate” as our sub-goal. Under that, we’ll write how we could do that, such as with an app on the phone or smart glasses. Then we’ll identify why we would implement a solution to this problem. One why is to predict the time to the gate, but we might identify other whys like optimizing the time to the gate, giving directions, or determining if there’s time to get a snack. Once we make sure our what, how, and why are all aligned, the people who launch the app or glasses have a good sense of why that product exists. After beginning development and research, the team may find another idea and change the diagram; that’s okay because the diagram still keeps everybody aligned. As we synthesize, we may reframe the problem and change the top goal. We can add other market segments to the diagram, like how we would solve problems for travelers with kids. We might expand our highest goal to improve the entire travel experience.

[31:17] What artifact do teams end up with after FAST Goals?

They end up with a diagram that becomes the North Star of the team doing the work. There’s usually a document behind the diagram further explaining the meaning of each goal, strategies, tactics, and measures.

Bonus Question

[35:58] What are some examples of when you’ve seen FAST Goals applied to make meaningful changes in organizations?

A software and system development organization was working on flight systems, which involve human safety, so their quality was outstanding. However, their cost and schedule variability was very high. We tried to improve cost and schedule, but couldn’t get any traction because their customers were very happy with the quality and didn’t care about cost and schedule. We realigned our initiative to focus on improving market share. When the company understood that getting new business depended on the ability to predict when they’d be available to do the work, they realized why improving cost and schedule predictability was important.

A military client was replacing an old system that was breaking. They were giving the general a one-inch thick manual of measures. They started using FAST Goals when they realized that was too much measurement. We created a diagram to fix the measurement, then realized that we could also improve strategy and alignment. The diagram helped the team be deliberate about how they spent their time and focus on key capabilities to maintain both systems during the transition.

A healthcare provider used FAST Goals to unify the voices of more than 30 executives. They used the diagram to work as one to accomplish their goal of delivering great healthcare. The care provided remained the same, but how they delivered it changed, doing it faster and better and improving patient experience.

I manage a healthcare service line, and we use FAST Goals. Whenever we’re thinking about adding something new to our portfolio, we run it against the same validation—Why are we doing this? How does it align? We use FAST Goals to validate whether our clients would value our service offering.

Action Guide: Put the information Jeannine shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

  • Connect with Jeannine on LinkedIn and ask her for FAST Goals resources

Innovation Quote

“We more frequently fail to face the right problem than fail to solve the problem we face.” – Unknown

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jul 27 2020

47mins

Play

TEI 292: The essential skills for product manager doers – with Karen Holst

Podcast cover
Read more

How product managers can break through the barriers that are keeping them from taking action

Product managers are doers. We make change happen. We are mini-CEOs after all, right? Here is the big difference between being a product manager and a CEO; CEOs actually can make change happen. They have the authority to do so. Us product managers, no so much, and yet we are doers and we still bring about change. We have to sell our ideas, overcome roadblocks, and get others to join our cause. It helps if we love the work we do.

Our guest is going to help us accomplish these things. She is a doer herself, with a history of helping organizations create technology products to solve problems, including being a Product Manager Director at IDEO, Senior Director of Innovation at Autodesk, and a Mentor at Stanford Latino Entrepreneur Leaders Program.

Most recently, she has codified the steps for being a doer in an organization in her book, Start Within: How to sell your idea, overcome roadblocks, and love your job. Her name is Karen Holst and she’ll share some of these steps in this discussion to help you excel as a product manager.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[3:32] What was a key takeaway from your time at IDEO?

The people there are humble and eager to learn, even though they have many accomplishments. IDEO intentionally hires people like this because they contribute to the culture.

[4:53] What was a key takeaway from your time at Autodesk?

Innovation doesn’t look the same in every company, and it’s important to allow time to figure out how things work, where you’ll fit in, and how you can effect change.

[6:17] What have you learned about dealing with barriers when you’re trying to create something new?

You may be the smartest person in the room, and you may know the right solution, but it’s not enough to just be right. You also have to sell your idea. If others don’t buy-in, it’s going to fall flat.

[8:31] Who is the audience of the book you wrote with Douglas Ferguson, Start Within: How to sell your idea, overcome roadblocks, and love your job?

I wrote the book for myself and people like me. It’s for doers—people who want to get started innovating within their organizations.

[10:36] How can we take action internally?

The more you fill your brain with new ideas and diverse thinking, the more value you’ll have later. Bringing naysayers into your conversation can help you think differently. If you’re feeling pessimistic, talking with optimistic, enthusiastic people can help you balance. If we don’t find edges where we allow uncomfortableness, we get stuck in a rut of the same way of doing and thinking.

[15:03] What is getting in the way of doers not taking action?

One reason is exclusivity around the terms we use to talk about innovation. Innovation can seem difficult to achieve. In reality, innovation is anytime we’re launching new ideas, whether revolutionary or incremental.

Another roadblock is not knowing where to start. Innovation can take the form of many different processes, and it’s not linear. Start Within is a playbook—innovation is about knowing the different plays or processes and knowing when to get stakeholder alignment.

[18:12] What are some skills that enable doers to be more effective?

Being a doer does not require a charismatic, extroverted personality. Doers’ skills can be learned and practiced.

Start with small ideas. Recognize small steps and experiments that can lead to your bigger goals.

Embrace the beginner’s mindset. It’s difficult to approach the work that you’re an expert in with this mindset, but it’s important to listen and allow others to learn. Also, explore areas where you are a beginner—new industries, new roles. This is where you can really grow and find purpose. If you know you’re too close to an idea, ask someone else to lead so that you can listen and learn as an outsider. After you pitch an idea, be quiet and listen instead of continuing to explain. If nothing else, you’ll learn how to improve your pitching skills.

Prototyping ourselves is part of prototyping innovation.

Recognize that you will hear “no” at every step. That doesn’t mean you have to pause. Maybe there’s a different approach. A useful tool is mapping out your nos on post-it notes. On the first post-it note, write, “I’m hearing no because…” and fill in the reason. On the next post-it note, write, “Maybe if…” and fill in a way you could think about it differently. On the last post-it note, write, “Then…” and fill in what you could do differently.

You could create the opportunity for people who normally say no, like the legal compliance team, to switch roles and imagine that they’re innovators. Try to bend your thinking and bring in different perspectives.

Bonus Question: What are some tips for product managers to craft a job that they love?

Start with self-reflection. Identify what you don’t love about your job. If it’s too mundane, find growth edges where you can go beyond. If it evolved into a new job you didn’t want it to become, consider how you can redirect it.

Think about parts of the day you do love and parts you don’t love. We’re wired to be excited about challenges that are just hard enough to be solvable. Being a little uncomfortable stretches us and keeps it exciting.

Each day, reflect on what felt good about your day and what didn’t. Consider how you can adjust your work.

Action Guide: Put the information Karen shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.” – Mark Twain 

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jul 20 2020

41mins

Play

TEI 291: Marketing timing and trends impact product management – with Jerry Abiog

Podcast cover
Read more

What product managers can do when you launch a product at the wrong time

Times change, trends start, and trends die. Remember those friendship bracelets made of rubber brands? They were so popular with students that many schools prohibited them because they became a source of distraction. A few months later the trend was dead.

Sometimes a smart product concept is created but the market is not ready for it — the timing is off. The trick is recognizing when market conditions change and the product concept should be dusted off and tried again. It is easy to miss the changes.

Our guest, Jerry Abiog, had a new opportunity for an old product because of how COVID-19 has impacted restaurants, but he almost missed it until a chance encounter with a restaurant owner while walking his dogs.

Jerry has led growth and strategy for various startups and co-founded Standard Insights where he also serves as CMO.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[2:31] How do you help companies improve their customer experience?

We look at data first because data drives everything. Our winning formula combines these three principles:

  1. Improving customer experience
  2. Preventing customer indecision
  3. Telling the customer what to do next.

Companies that can synthesize data and act on it are going to win.

[7:55] Let’s dive into your product story.

I’m the co-founder of Standard Insights. We help companies drive repeat buyers using AI. We’re a 2-year-old company, and our market was originally eCommerce, but we had the vision of expanding to other markets such as restaurants. Last year, we developed an AI-driven digital menu, because we saw the start of a trend as McDonald’s began to use digital menus that can make recommendations.

I took the idea to my buddy who owns a restaurant, and he thought it was a great idea, but just not the right time because to use it he would have to lay off 60% of his wait staff. We put the digital menu idea on the shelf and moved on.

When COVID came along, we tweaked the platform and launched it. Now we’re getting an average of a call a day from restaurants. It’s a lot more appealing in the current environment.

A lot of companies are racing into the market with digital menus, but we’re taking it a step further by making it AI-driven. In addition to the contactless menu and contactless pay options, our menu can make AI-driven recommendations about customers’ favorite foods, seasonal foods, or drink pairings. We also provide AI-driven customer outreach through texts, social media, or email to encourage customers to order again.

[19:35] What was the customer validation process like?

When we originally developed the AI-driven platform two years ago, we allowed our sales and marketing outreach and our current customers to dictate product development. Our current customers and others who didn’t become customers gave us insights on how to pitch. When we expanded to include restaurants, we didn’t do a validation because it all happened so quickly and we already had the main engine, but now we are tweaking our digital menu based on feedback from customers.

Life doesn’t go in a straight line. It’s all these turns and ups and downs. When the opportunity presents itself, you just have to go after it. Otherwise, someone else will.

Action Guide: Put the information Jerry shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.” – attributed to Winston Churchill

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jul 13 2020

32mins

Play

TEI 290: What product managers must know about Customer Development and Lean Startup – with Steve Blank

Podcast cover
Read more

How product managers can boost innovation in companies large and small

In 2012 I read a book titled, Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company. It’s a book that spoke to me. It tied together many of my experiences and I helped me put them into a framework. It shared the need to get out of the office and learn from actual customers – something I had found vital but that I did not always practice on projects.

Finding this book also made me aware of Steve Blank, its author. Later, like many of us, I learned about Lean Startup thinking from Eric Ries and found threads to adjacent thinking that was in the Startup Owner’s Manual. It made sense to me later when I read Steve Blank saying that Eric Ries is his best student. Consequently, I think of Eric Ries as the create of Lean Startup and Steve Blank as its father.

Steve is someone I have wanted to discuss innovation with for a long time and this interview fulfills that dream. I hope you enjoy it!

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[6:13] What is the purpose of your book The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company?

As I reflected on my life as an entrepreneur, I recognized a pattern in my experiences with eight startups that I had been a part of over 21 years. Investors told startups to act like smaller versions of large companies—coming up with a business plan on paper without talking to customers or testing prototypes. Successful startups ignored that advice. I wrote The Four Steps to the Epiphany, which kicked off the Lean Startup movement. I articulated Customer Development methodology, which says:

  1. There are no facts inside your building, so you need to get outside.
  2. While large companies execute business models, startups search for business model, so startups need their own tools.

My student Eric Ries became the first adopter of Customer Development and recognized that in the 21st century, people were starting to adopt Agile Engineering, where you build products incrementally and iteratively. Alex Osterwalder then popularized the Business Model Canvas, which describes on a single piece of paper the key things a founder needs to know. Customer Development, Agile Engineering, and the Business Model Canvas became the Lean Startup. After the startup world rapidly adopted the Lean methodologies, I wrote The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company as a handbook for how to use those methodologies.

[19:48] How have you seen the startup environment change since you published The Startup Owner’s Manual in 2012?

The Lean Startup and Customer Development came out of the rubble of the crash of the dot com bubble at the turn of the century. After the crash, investors became risk adverse and were looking for product market fit. It was a mass extinction of startups and investors. The Lean methodology emerged as a way to build startups iteratively and incrementally without wasting a lot of resources. With Lean, you can pivot quickly; incremental changes are much cheaper and faster than failures later. I think we’ll see a similar effect in 2020 as Lean is used and we develop new methodologies to take advantage of a changed environment.

[23:51] Why do larger, established organizations need to apply ideas from The Startup Owner’s Manual?

The last decade has been pretty tough on established organizations. They’ve seen a lot of disruption because everything is changing around them. Large companies started looking at startup tools to deal with high-speed changes and disruptions in their business models. In 2013, Harvard Business Review published my article “Why the Lean Startup Changes Everything.” Corporate CEOs realized that they could use the toolset that startups were using. In the 21st century, being an ambidextrous organization, able to execute and innovate simultaneously, is not optional.

[28:04] How are these large organizations doing?

A lot of corporations adopted innovation theater, not innovation. They copied the patterns of successful startups, but didn’t get the outcomes they desired. These companies were focused on demos, not delivery. They never really solved the hard problems like integrating the innovation pipeline into the organization and accepting failure as learning and discovery.

[30:20] How can established companies integrate innovation?

All companies have great passionate innovators, but in large corporations, they’re frustrated. Large organizations celebrate the stories of innovation heroics, entrepreneurs who fight the internal company system and get a product out against all odds. But this means the company doesn’t have a system for innovation. What they really need is an innovation doctrine, which is the heuristics and rules that allow innovation to thrive. This can’t be implemented by individual heroics; it must start at the board level. Large organizations need to have core processes that are risk-averse, but also have parallel procedures that allow innovation.

[34:06] What are the four pieces of the innovation doctrine?

  1. Context: What’s going on around the organization? You need to find the state of the world and figure out whether everyone agrees on the state of the world.
  2. Role of Leadership: The VP of Sales most often kills innovation. Innovation is fought continually by existing divisions and P&Ls, because it will eat into your most profitable products, but if you don’t put yourself out of business, your competitors will. Comp plans and existing processes sometimes get in the way of success. To build an innovation process, compensation and HR rules have to change. An innovation doctrine means that leadership has a checklist of all the things they need to do to take ownership.
  3. Process: You need an internal innovation process that’s more than theater. You need an innovation pipeline that gets products and services delivered.
  4. Resources: What are the resources you need to support innovation? People in the innovation pipeline should have the freedom to act like a startup inside their company.

These levels of formalizing innovation in large corporations will do what the Lean Startup did for early-stage companies. Large companies aren’t just bigger versions of startups, so they need their own processes. They need an innovation doctrine.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“There are no facts inside the building, so get the heck outside.” – Steve Blank

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jul 06 2020

47mins

Play

TEI 289: Become an agile leader of product management – with Roman Pichler

Podcast cover
Read more

Learn the qualities of a successful product manager and leader.

Part of the path to becoming a product master is developing as a leader. Leaders of product management need agility, influence, trust, empathy, and motivating vision.

And, those are the topics our guest, Roman Pichler, explores with us in this episode.

Roman is a product management expert specializing in digital products. He is the author of several books, including his latest, titled, How to Lead in Product Management. His popular blog is also available as a podcast and both are simply named Roman Pichler.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[2:00] What is agile product management?

Agile product management is product management infused or enriched by agile practices and principles. It’s interactive, iterative, incremental, and collaborative.

[6:15] You recently published How to Lead in Product Management: Practices to Align Stakeholders, Guide Development Teams, and Create Value Together. Why did you write this book to help product leaders?

Over the last 15 years, the product community has changed for the better, benefiting from tools like scrum and agile, but the soft skills have received less attention. Hard skills like market research or roadmapping are important, but they’re not enough. Product leaders can’t succeed if they neglect people skills and leadership skills. I wanted to offer practical help for product people and draw attention to the importance of soft skills in product management. As a product manager told me recently, product management is 80% people and 20% technology.

[10:18] As product managers, how do we approach having responsibility but no authority?

We don’t have any positional authority or transactional power. We can’t make people do things, but we rely on people’s work. To encourage stakeholders and development team members to move in the same direction, we have to influence them and get them to listen to us and follow our guidance. That’s only possible if people trust us.

[12:09] What are ways to facilitate trust?

Empathize—develop a kind and warm-hearted attitude; take a genuine, respectful interest in them; and be concerned for their well-being. Empathy is not about approval or agreement; it’s about accepting. By empathizing, we can discover their underlying needs, interests, and goals, and build trust. Listen deeply and actively. Don’t be overly critical or judgmental; be present for them. Speak and act with integrity. Saying what we believe and acting accordingly is easier said than done. Get to know people personally. This could be as simple as having coffee together, or it could be sharing failure stories, which shows vulnerability and builds trust. Strengthen product management expertise.

[17:30] Tell us about product vision.

Product vision is an inspirational goal that describes the positive change that the product will bring about. The vision is the foundation, and it’s important that stakeholders and the development team buy into it. A collaborative workshop with key stakeholders is a great way to kick off a new product development effort and create the initial vision. When you make a major change to an existing product, revisit the vision and adjust if necessary. The collaborative workshop gets people’s buy-in, leverages collective wisdom, and ensures there is a shared understanding. To avoid a few people dominating the workshop, it’s valuable to prepare the workshop and have a skilled facilitator.

[28:22] What are other important qualities that are key to being an effective product leader?

Again, empathy is important to train ourselves in.

Also, mindfulness is very helpful. Bring awareness to what is going on and increase your ability to stay present and be aware of yourself. This gives you more choices and makes you less likely to do something you’ll regret later.

[35:28] Bonus Question: What are your tips for better time management?

Focus on your core responsibilities. Instead of helping meet a need outside your job, investigate the real cause of that need. Don’t neglect less urgent but important work. Invest in building relationships. Take proper breaks to let your body and mind recover. Empower and coach others and delegate work. Avoid task-switching and timebox your activities.

Action Guide: Put the information Roman shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“A person’s true potential is unknown (and unknowable) … it’s impossible to foresee what can be accomplished with years of passion, toil, and training.” – Carol Dweck—Growth Mindsets

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jun 29 2020

42mins

Play

TEI 288: Design sprints for product managers – with John Zeratsky

Podcast cover
Read more

The recipe for rapid product design for product managers

A Design Sprint is how you can solve big problems and test new ideas in just five days. That is also the subtitle of the groundbreaking book called Sprint. The Design Sprint became popular at Google a few years ago, which is also when Sprint was published.

More recently, I am seeing product managers using Design Sprints in organizations to create new product concepts, resulting in realistic prototypes in five days.

One of the original contributors to the Design Sprint methodology is my guest, John Zeratksy, who co-authored the Sprint book. He was also a guest two years ago, sharing how product managers can make better use of their time, in episode 210.

Not just as a practitioner, but as an original creator of the Design Sprint, John takes us through the 5 phases of a sprint:

  1. Map,
  2. Sketch,
  3. Decide,
  4. Prototype, and
  5. Test.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[6:28] How did the Design Sprint come about?

While working as a designer at Google Ventures, I was looking for a systematic, structured process to help companies achieve their goals. Around this time I met Jake Knapp, who had been experimenting with a new process for team collaboration called a Design Sprint. We soon decided that the Design Sprint was the repeatable process we needed to bring a team together and help them focus on their problems and opportunities. Jake joined the team at Google Ventures in 2012, and we started running Design Sprints. After a year of tweaking, we arrived at a repeatable recipe based around the five-day structure that is still used today.

Like a startup incubator, we wanted to help startups prove the validity of their business model quickly. Like everyone else, startups struggle to focus their time. Design Sprints help them focus on the core work that makes the product valuable. The Design Sprint is a recipe that gives teams very clear, specific, proven steps to follow when they’re getting started.

[14:01] What is the result of a Design Sprint?

The Design Sprint is all about creating a realistic prototype and testing it with real customers at the end of the week. The prototype is not actually functional, but it looks real. If the prototype is realistic, reactions from customers are very high quality.

[15:42] Can you run a Design Sprint in less than five days?

You can run a great Sprint in four days, but don’t go shorter than that. You can run a similar collaborative working session in less than four days, but it’s not really a Design Sprint. If you’ve never done a Design Sprint before, start with the five-day process because it’s outlined in the book and includes a bit of buffer time. Many companies who are experienced with Design Sprints use the four-day option. If you do the four-day process, you can allow an extra day before the Sprint to allow people to clear their schedules so they can focus for the next four days.

[22:46] How do we prepare for the Design Sprint?

Most important, you must have a big problem or opportunity. Sprints work best when they’re focused on something really important. Gather a team that reflects the real team that’s responsible for solving the problem. Set aside time; in the five-day process, this is a five-day workweek with one big goal per day.

Let’s walk through the Design Sprint recipe:

[24:13] Monday: Map

This is all about problem framing. You create a shared map to get the team on the same page.

We start at the end by considering our longterm goal for the project. We also write down questions, unknowns, assumptions, and things that could trip us up. We interview members of the sprint team or extended team to bring as many perspectives as possible.

We use the pattern Note and Vote throughout the Sprint. On Monday, everyone individually writes down their mental map of how the customer interaction with the product looks. Each person highlights the parts they think are most important and share those parts with the group. We vote on the most important parts. Everyone feels involved in a meaningful way even if their ideas aren’t selected.

[24:48] Tuesday: Sketch

The goal is to generate ideas for what you might build or do to solve the problem or take advantage of the opportunity. Individuals work alone to think through ideas. This process tends to generate higher quality ideas than brainstorming.

[25:33] Wednesday: Decide

We decide which sketches are most likely to work. We use a structured critique to make decisions. This is done in a group because while individuals are great at coming up with ideas, groups are great at making decisions.

[26:23] Thursday: Prototype

We usually build multiple prototypes of different approaches to solving the problem. The key to getting the prototype done in one day is focusing only on the facade. The prototype that the customer sees looks real, but it’s not functional.

Exactly what to prototype depends on the questions you’re trying to answer. Physical prototypes are often modifications of existing experiences or products. An app or website may be a series of screens with no function. If you’re not sure what to prototype, prototype the marketing.

[27:23] Friday: Test

We test the prototypes through one-on-one customer interviews and structured note-taking. We get answers to the unknowns we wrote down on Monday.

[44:33] Bonus Question: How do you compare Design Thinking and Design Sprints?

Design Thinking is like the whole world of cooking. The Design Sprint is like a specific recipe that takes elements from the word of Design Thinking and packages them in a proven, repeatable, step-by-step guide. Design Thinking can be overwhelming. You can trust the process of the Design Sprint and focus on the work you’re doing. A Design Sprint has a narrower range of possible outcomes than Design Thinking. Design Thinking may produce a life-changing, spectacular outcome with the right facilitator, but may also not go well. A Design Sprint is reliably a good process.

Action Guide: Put the information John shared into action now. Click here to download the Action Guide.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“The pursuit of innovation starts with an idea about how to solve a problem and what that success might look like.” – Chuck Swoboda

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jun 22 2020

49mins

Play

TEI 287: How an insight became a lip balm for speakers – with Ginger King

Podcast cover
Read more

What product managers can learn from the story of a beauty product

There is much to learn from a good product story; how an insight leads to an idea, which becomes a product concept and grows into a business case resulting in developing a new product that is launched and grows through the product lifecycle.

Personally, I also enjoy learning from industries I’m unfamiliar with. So, when I discovered a new beauty brand that is in the formation process, I was excited to talk with its founder, Ginger King. She is a chemist with previous senior management roles at several large cosmetic companies. Her first product under her own brand, FanLoveBeauty, is a lip balm.

There is a lot you can learn from this interview beyond elements of the product journey. This includes how to speak with passion about your own product — something Ginger does well.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers 

[5:14] How did you create your first product for FanLoveBeauty?

My first product is a vegan lip balm designed for speakers or others who talk a lot. I got the idea because I wanted to create a healthier lip balm for my friend mentor Daymond John. My lip balm differentiates itself because it does not contain petrol or lanolin, two common but unhealthy lip balm ingredients.

[10:17] Once you had the idea, what happened next?

Almost all other natural lip balms use beeswax, but I wanted mine to protect bees and be vegan, so I decided to not use beeswax. Through competitive studies I found that most natural lip balms also don’t contain active ingredients. I added superfoods like flaxseed oil, mango, almond, and sea asparagus. The lip balm I now sell is my tenth formulation. A board of beauty experts and Daymond John gave me feedback on each formulation to help me arrive at the final product.

[20:07] What did you do to validate the need for the product?

 I did a pre-launch and received feedback from users. Some people bought the product during the pre-launch, and others I provided it to because I knew they were influencers who could give me valuable feedback and help with marketing.

[21:55] What is your target market?

I was originally inspired to make a lip balm for speakers, but my lip balm is for anyone who talks lot—podcasters, salespeople, teachers, and anyone else who uses their lips a lot. I know that if professional speakers like it, then a broader audience of aspiring speakers will also want it.

[25:07] How are you continuing to grow your marketplace?

My company is called FanLoveBeauty because I create products for people who inspire, educate, or entertain. Those people contribute a lot to society, but there aren’t any beauty products dedicated to them. I encourage people to work with me to give me product ideas. If you tell me about a specific artist or educator who has contributed to society, I will create a beauty product for them.

[27:06] How do you implement the brand concept of creating products for people with specific needs?

I call it FanLoveBeauty because fan love is very passionate—I want to create the very best products for celebrities whom people love. My social cause is donating to a suicide prevention foundation because some celebrities we love have committed suicide because of depression. Along the same line, I include mango butter in my products because mango helps people feel better.

Bonus Question: What is it like to have Daymond John as your mentor? What key insight has he shared with you?

I have followed Daymond John for ten years. Before asking him to be my mentor, I did my homework—reading all his books and watching his videos. We’re friends because I never asked him for an investment. We focus on relationships, not transactions. Don’t approach people asking what they can do for you.

A key insight I learned from Daymond John is, Don’t get investment too soon. Before FanLoveBeauty, I had another skincare brand, and I wish I had known this then. I got invested in very early, and the partnership fell through. It would have been far better if I had bootstrapped every single step.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“If you never quit, you never fail.” – Unknown

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jun 15 2020

38mins

Play

TEI 286: Get the 5-step process that is changing how innovation works in organizations across the world – with Pete Newell

Podcast cover
Read more

How product managers can lead innovation and help transform their organization

U.S. Air Force Photo/Richard Gonzales

My guest is changing how companies innovate and he is doing it with a 5-step process. You’ll hear the details in the discussion, but the five steps are called:

  1. sourcing,
  2. curation,
  3. discovery,
  4. incubation, and
  5. transition.

He created this process as an Army Colonel and former director of the Army’s Rapid Equipping Force, where he deployed a record 170 new products. He was leading innovation in the challenging environments of Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields. Now he is improving innovation effectiveness in companies. He is also working with Steve Blank on a book to capture and share the innovation process. But, you can get the key insights now, long before the book is published.

Summary of some concepts discussed for product managers

[2:59] How do you define innovation?

Innovation is the delivery of something that either changes people’s lives or significantly changes business. Nothing is an innovation until it delivers something to somebody that changes behavior or solves a problem. And innovation must be scalable.

[4:35] Can you walk us through your 5-stage innovation process outlined in the Harvard Business Review article you wrote with Steve Blank (see link below)?

The innovation process has five stages and an operating system that allows all the different methodologies, decision points, and data to connect to ensure an adequate throughput.

[5:40] Sourcing

This stage is about sourcing people, ideas, problems, and technologies—finding what’s out there. Hackathons are useful for sourcing people. My company created a problem-sourcing seminar where we trained teams to go into the organization and vigilantly discover problems. Tech scouting—visiting conventions and talking to people working on problems— is another great way to source problems.

[15:55] Curation

Dis-aggregate complex problems into smaller issues, then prioritize the issues and build teams around them. Begin to prioritize based on risk and impact and determine which team would be best for each problem. Prioritization tells you why you’re working on what. Look at the quality of the team and the problem, and the pathways that you have to follow to the next step. In order to ensure throughput in your innovation pipeline, make sure you have the best, most ready things moving to the next step. Those things might not necessarily be the highest priorities in the long-run, but they are what create the most value that you can accomplish right now.

[23:45] Discovery

Answer the questions, “Do we have the right problem? Can we define what success in solving it looks like? Do we know whom we’re solving it for?” Next prove that you have a viable solution and a way of deploying that solution to the customer. Finally, consider whether the cost ratio is feasible. We run multiple ideas at once in Discovery, but only about 1/4 of curated ideas make it to Discovery.

[9:10] Incubation

We determine readiness in three levels: Technology readiness—do we understand the technology involved in solving this problem? Investment readiness—do I have the right team or do I need to add someone to the team? Adoption readiness—have I identified the first customers, am I ready to scale, and do I have the team to get the innovation to users?

[10:30] Transition

Transition the innovation back into the business. It must scale appropriately with the right people. It must be sustainable, meaning that we can train people to work on it and can keep updating it. You don’t have an innovation until you’ve transitioned it into the real environment. Everything prior to that is learning about the problem.

Bonus Question

[35:35] How does the innovation process work in times of crisis?

I cut my teeth on this process on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq. The innovation process is built around the ability to speedily deliver life-saving solutions at scale for people when they need them. In order to do that, you must have a pipeline already in place that’s functioning and full. A delay in recognizing the problem and delivering a solution costs lives. Situational awareness is key. It allows you to take information from many different places and aggregate it to make decisions. A data-driven, decision-based model for innovation helps you sort that out and accelerate when you have to.

Useful links:

Innovation Quote

“Innovation is a full contact sport.  If you are comfortable, you aren’t doing it right.” – Pete Newell

Thanks!

Thank you for being an Everyday Innovator and learning with me from the successes and failures of product innovators, managers, and developers. If you enjoyed the discussion, help out a fellow product manager by sharing it using the social media buttons you see below.

Jun 08 2020

35mins

Play

TEI 285: What video storytelling can teach product managers – with Patrick Shelton

Podcast cover
Read more
How video directors think about creating effective videos can help product managers create better products Some of the best product management lessons come from unexpected places, and I enjoy finding them. This interview is a perfect example. Current Resident is the name of a creative video production group in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I think of them […]

Jun 01 2020

38mins

Play

TEI 284: The Disney way of innovation – with Duncan Wardle

Podcast cover
Read more
The strategies the Disney Head of Innovation used to bring products customers love to life Last year I was at a product management conference in Orlando and the keynote speaker discussed leadership at Disney. It got me interested in how Disney innovates. A few months later I found out about Duncan Wardle, who was the […]

May 25 2020

31mins

Play

TEI 283: 2020 Summit Lessons Learned – with Chad McAllister

Podcast cover
Read more
Lessons Learned from launching The Everyday Innovator Virtual Summit After hosting the 2020 virtual summit for product managers and product VPs, I’ve been asked many times for my lessons learned: what made it great, what would I do differently, what advice I have, what I learned about launching a product, etc. Consequently, after answering several […]

May 18 2020

33mins

Play

TEI 282: Do you have an innovator’s mindset to succeed as a product manager? – with Chuck Swoboda

Podcast cover
Read more
The beliefs that enable innovation for product managers Are you an innovator? Not every product manager is, but I think the good ones need to be. Innovation is most frequently described as a process that brings something new into existence, creating value for others, such as customers. Our guest shares that innovation is really about […]

May 11 2020

34mins

Play

TEI 281: The right way to use experiments to create better products more quickly – with Stefan Thomke

Podcast cover
Read more
How to make experimentation work for product managers If you work in a medium to large company, your CEO wants the organization to be more innovative. All the surveys about such things tell us this is the case. If you are in a smaller organization or on your own, you still care about innovation. But, […]

May 04 2020

39mins

Play

TEI 280: Learn how product managers should set product price – with Ben Malakoff

Podcast cover
Read more
Three phases of pricing for product managers This episode is about pricing. A lot of product managers are not very involved in pricing decisions. If you are one of them, you should change that. Our guest, Ben Malakoff, learned how to price products and in this interview he shares what you’ll need to know to […]

Apr 27 2020

38mins

Play

TEI 279: How product managers and leaders turn visionary thinking into breakthrough growth – with Mark Johnson

Podcast cover
Read more
The future back strategy for product managers Innosight is an innovation management consultancy founded by Clayton Christensen and Mark Johnson. Mark has a new toolkit for visionary thinking that leads to breakthrough growth, which he writes about in his book, Lead from the Future. The foundation of the toolkit is “future back” thinking, which we […]

Apr 20 2020

38mins

Play

TEI 278: Creating the courage to succeed at anything – with 4-decade Olympian Ruben Gonzalez

Podcast cover
Read more
How anyone can persevere and reach their goals even in difficult times The Everyday Innovator Online Summit recently ended. It was April 8-10, 2020. The speakers were absolutely incredible! Twenty-five top experts shared their strategies, practices, and tips to help product managers and product VPs gain higher performance and get more success. You can still […]

Apr 13 2020

41mins

Play

TEI 277: 24+ speakers share strategies for product managers and VPs to have higher success – with Chad McAllister, PhD

Podcast cover
Read more
Get the strategies, insights, tools, practices, and tips you need for success now and in the future. Instead of a normal weekly interview I’m sharing with you 24+ brand new video interviews with world-class experts. They will share their strategies, experience, and secrets to help you excel in product management. I’m calling it The Everyday […]

Apr 06 2020

4mins

Play

TEI 276: How to have more influence by designing conversations to maximize meaning – with Daniel Stillman

Podcast cover
Read more
Excellent communication gives product managers power, even superpowers. Listeners have heard me share the purpose of this podcast… this is where product leaders and managers make their move to product masters, learning practical knowledge that leads to more influence and confidence so you’ll create products customers love.   Our guest is helping us with the […]

Mar 30 2020

41mins

Play

iTunes Ratings

37 Ratings
Average Ratings
36
1
0
0
0

Great podcast

By sgbowden - Jul 07 2017
Read more
Great information for innovation practitioners.

Valuable PM lessons !

By Gj83711 - Oct 21 2016
Read more
This is one of the best podcasts on Product Management. Thank you for doing this Chad!