Why Organizations Need Product Leaders

Innovation or customer-centricity are probably the most overused words in the business industry today. These things get you ahead in the game and that’s the reason, every organization is desperately trying to be innovative and customer-centric.
What could be the secret of the most successful companies or why do most successful businesses fail? How did Apple succeed in changing the music industry? Why did Blackberry fail? How come Kodak products became irrelevant? What made Amazon succeed when Barns and Noble was the market leader?

Some people believe that only visionary and innovative leaders can make companies successful. Yes, able leadership does make a lot of difference. However, businesses are about people. Companies which lack the mindset or culture of managing and harvesting good ideas and innovative thinking are the ones which go out of the game very soon.

Organizations today are focused too much on hiring people for the ‘positions’ of Product Managers, Project Leaders, Technology Architects, UI experts and so on. But what they really need is Product Leaders. Product Leaders are those who work towards delivering customer delight, they solve those pervasive problems that the market is willing to pay for, they meet and exceed customer expectations, they go beyond their role to create great customer experiences – irrespective of their roles and titles. Product Leadership is a mindset first and then a set of tools or processes.

Here is why organizations today need to focus on building strong product leaders –
Customer Context

A Product Leader is capable of understanding various aspects such as the value the product brings in, the needs and problems of the users, market problems, the available alternatives or options, what can create customer delight, how the business can make money and so on. With such thinking, an UX Designer, for example, think not only about the cosmetic UI but thinks about overall customer experience or a technology architect thinks about the future customer requirements and builds scalability in the product rather than focusing only on immediate feature requirements. . A team of such Product Leaders, can think through all such aspects at every stage of product development, management, user-experience design, marketing, support, and sales.

Innovation and Creativity
So far, innovation has been tightly linked to thinking of a great idea and building a great product around that idea. Innovation, in fact, is an ongoing process. Innovation is required in development, operations and processes, crafting of creative marketing, coming up with sales ideas, great technical support, excellent user experience, and so on. The innovation and creative mindset needs to be at every level and not limit to the ideation or conceptualization.

Understanding the market pulse and evolving preferences
Thanks to the evolution of social media, mobile devices, and the Internet, the consumer habits are changing very rapidly. There has been a phenomenal change in the way we use mobiles, computers, websites or any devices. The changing habits demand consistent user experiences in all interactions. Product Leaders understand this pulse of the market and adapt to it on an ongoing basis. They don’t rely on ‘product requirements’. They innovate. They tweak their user experiences, coding, marketing messages to resonate with the changing expectations of the consumers.

Realizing the power of deletion
More isn’t always better. Especially in the product context, the real innovation lies in deletion. Product Leaders understand the power of deletion – and therefore, the power of right choice. They are able to effectively prioritize things. Simple can be harder than complex. They understand the key factors to consider while making the deletion choices –choices based on customer needs, real value and the relevance, rather than options such as hard features or lack of resources that tend to be the usual suspects. Take an example of iPod – it achieved simplicity by shifting complicated tasks, such as organizing playlists, to iTunes on the computer instead of giving all the options on the iPod.
True to its core mission, PLF 2015 is focused on helping organizations create more product leaders! Come and be a part of this evolution and enjoy a sustainable competitive advantage by building experiences your customers will love.