Level Up Your Career
Learn the best practices and latest trends directly from leaders in your field
All related (5)
Wade G. Morgan
Product Strategy & Operations at Airtable February 16

For us, product strategy stems from company strategy, so it's first important to have a firm grasp on where the company strategy is headed holistacally, and why. Additionally, we serve as a partner function for the entire ProdDev org, so rather than owning a specific segment of the product, we're responsible for helping the company zoom out a bit to identify key areas that could make sense to invest in. 

As a result, when working with our exec team it's critical to understand both the company strategy & priorities, functional strategy & priorities, as well as the audience we're communicating with. Similar to working with customers, no conversation is one size fits all. It's critical to understand how to communicate at the right altitude, align your recommendations to existing priorities, and understand how to listen / iterate on feedback to achieve the best outcomes. 

Some specific advice for influencing leadership, whether at the executive or other levels would be:

  1. Clearly define how your suggestions accelerate the achievement of goals you know they care about
  2. Proactively provide the appropriate framework / structure to assist their analysis of your recommendations
  3. Invite / proactively think through the devil's advocate perspective to your recommendations
  4. Possibly most important of all, be clear about what you're asking them to contribute to / decide on
Sandeep Rajan
Product Lead, Member Experience at Patreon February 22

I encourage my teams to start by understanding their objectives, plans, assumptions & approach to risk management. We listen carefully and figure out where the gaps and opportunities lie and how impact & success is defined & measured. 

Then, as we develop our strategies, we share early & often – at minimum at the key stages of defining what our product strategy might become:

  • Defining the customer problem & the opportunity size
  • Proposing the right solution & the necessary investment
  • Defining the go-to-market plan
  • Adjusting & iterating post-launch at our Mike Tyson Moment ("everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth")