I’m seeing this sentiment pop up with alarming frequency. Many product people are dealing with career uncertainty — and not just the “will my company make it through the pandemic?” variety. Without the usual distractions of life available, things that were easily overlooked are now front and center.
And what are many of these product people realizing without the distractions of normal life?
They’re set up to fail.
Their work environment and culture is not set up to create strong products. It is distinctly not set up to empower the collaboration of product, design, and engineering to build things that matter.
This has led many to realize it’s time for a job change.
As product people, we want to work in a product-led company. Note: this does not mean that the product org is “in charge,” giving orders and engineering/design have to get on board. It does mean a place that truly values the craft and contribution of product, and that empowers individuals and teams to work to their highest potential. A place that is built around creating amazing products that truly make life better for the people they’re trying to serve.
This is inherently and fundamentally a collaborative process that no single functional org rules by fiat. (The most common counterexample is a sales-led organization.)
We all know it’s possible. It’s what the best product companies are doing. Yet despite many attempts tried, there are many frustrated PMs that can’t seem to get their work environment to change. Why not?
Part of the reason is that transformation is extremely hard, even in the best case.
But the real reason is they joined the wrong company in the first place.
They took a role where good product work occurs in spite of the dominant practices and culture, not because of them.
Jobs like this waste precious years of your career. I’ve made this mistake too, and it hurts. I hope this article helps you avoid it in the future.CONTINUE READING