February 2

Executive Buy-In — What to Share and How to be Heard

A Product Manager’s guide to managing upwards. Product Managers are encouraged to think in a customer-centric, agile manner. So when faced with a meeting with the higher-ups we’re driven to include real feedback about products from real people. Unfortunately, as Paul J reminds us, most c-level executives in grown companies have little interest in anecdotal information like this. Instead, they favor data and diagrams that demonstrate how your work is affecting the bottom line.

Getting executive buy-in. On our most recent Product Lunch we spoke with Paul Young, VP of Product for Pragmatic Marketing, about how product managers can work better with executive teams. In this 30 minute conversation that you can view now, we answered questions like; how to deal with companies who have zero focus on modern product development principles and what kinds of tactics you can use to find marketing insights that will be of interest to the executive team.

Get the boss to buy in. In many companies, it may seem impossible for middle managers and below to have their voices heard. Even if they have in their possession a game-changing concept, it takes something special to convince the executive team to listen to you. Harvard Business School outline 7 tactics that you can use to be heard, including getting the timing right, approaching with empathy and involving others who will bolster your case.

Paul McAvinchey

About the author

For over 20 years, Paul has been building and collaborating on digital products with fast-growing startups and global brands, including AOL and WMS Gaming. Currently, he's a co-founder of Product Collective, a worldwide community of product people. Members collaborate on in the exclusive Member Hub, meet at INDUSTRY: The Product Conference, listen to Rocketship.fm, learn at Product Interviews and get a weekly newsletters that includes best practices in product management. In recent years he led business development at DXY, a leading product design firm in the Midwest, and product innovation at MedCity Media, a publishing startup acquired by Breaking Media in 2015.


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