September 27

How world-class product organizations innovate

As a product person, you have a big influence over how your organization approaches innovation. But what if you don’t have that much experience introducing innovation into an organization? Just because you’re trying to be innovative does not mean you have to find a cutting edge approach to innovation (that got a little meta).

What does innovation look like for successful product teams? In most technology-based companies, product managers are responsible for understanding the market and customers and using those insights to create product roadmaps. Unfortunately, there is often a disconnect between the work product managers do and an organization’s overall clarity on its strategic direction. Brian de Haaff explains how product managers can take initiative, get buy-in from stakeholders and be the ones to drive their organization’s strategy forward.

(via @bdehaaff)

Accelerating innovation is product management. In an episode of the This is Product Management podcast, Karen O’Leonard describes the innovation strategies that have helped her company grow and shares how she shifted her team to a testing and learning approach. When you listen to this podcast you’ll learn a lot about experimentation, agile approaches to market research, and how to build a culture of innovation.

(via @tipmpodcast)

Six lessons from corporations with the best innovation culture. “Are you trying to build a more creative culture within your company? Are you seeking to inspire your team to look at new ideas? Are you trying to build an innovation mindset within your organization? Managing a team can be hard, but it can be even more difficult to change the mindset and culture of an organization.” Bryan Brochu shares a few practical methods and examples for how you and others in your organization can inspire creativity and get into an innovation mindset.

(via @rocketspace)

At, innovation means constant failure. Past experience and intuition can be misleading when you attempt to launch an innovative new product, service, business model, or process. Stefan Thomke and Brian Kenney explore how and other innovative firms avoid being misled by embracing a culture where testing, experimentation, and even failure are at the heart of what they do.

(via @HarvardBiz)

Scout, juggle, and ignore technology to out-innovate the competition: Lessons from CSAA. There are few people who have been part of as many twists and turns in the rapid evolution of technology as Debbie Brackeen. She helps her organization ride the waves of multiple technology disruptions. Debbie’s views on what it takes to stay at the “bleeding edge” of technology innovation are grounded in decades of experience. Kaihan Krippendorff sat down with Debbie to understand her three keys for innovating as an organization.

(via @Kaihan)

Kent J McDonald

About the author

Kent J McDonald writes about and practices software product management. He has product development experience in a variety of industries including financial services, health insurance, nonprofit, and automotive. Kent practices his craft with a variety of product teams and provides just in time resources for product people at and Product Collective. When not writing or product managing, Kent is his family’s #ubersherpa, listens to jazz and podcasts (but not necessarily podcasts about jazz), and collects national parks.


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