Episode 120: Navigating Product Transformations and Developing High-Performance Product Teams: a Blueprint for Success in Large Organizations
May 24, 2023
In this episode of Product Thinking, Melissa Perri talks with Deba Sahoo, SVP and Head of Product at Fidelity Investments. They discuss all product transformations and how to develop a high-performance product team in large organizations.
Deba is an accomplished Chief Product Officer and product management executive with extensive experience in the Financial Services and FinTech industry. He is a passionate advocate, thought leader, and sought-after speaker on product leadership, digital transformation, and product management.
Deba's dedication and innovation in product leadership have earned him global recognition. Recently, he was recognized among the Top 20 most influential and innovative CPOs worldwide by Products that Count, the largest network of product managers in the world.
You’ll hear Melissa and Deba talk about:
- Leading a successful product transformation within your business requires product leaders to consider and work on three critical elements. The first one is bringing the right talent, grooming it the right way, and creating the appropriate structure and processes for a talent acquisition or attention and development perspective.
- The second one is stakeholder relationship management, which breaks down to ensuring that the broader ecosystem has trust and credibility with them, takes ownership of what people used to do before, and adopts a proactive way of thinking about the customer and business needs. And the third one is building agile processes and routines.
- Successful transformation requires trust and credibility as the foundation. Therefore, it's crucial to build strong relationships with stakeholders and leaders who hold the authority and influence to drive the change. Take the time to deliver wins that demonstrate your capabilities and build confidence and trust.
- In large organizations, it's important to recognize that individuals have a limited sphere of influence. Focus on the teams where you have direct influence and deliver impactful results that may positively affect other areas led by different leaders.
- Remember, transformation is a gradual process that requires patience and persistence. Avoid the temptation to rush and instead prioritize building momentum and gaining support from others. By showcasing the benefits of specific actions, you can win over skeptics and rally allies to support your transformation journey.
- During times of significant change in a company, having the right product managers with the appropriate expertise and knowledge is critical. Exceptional PM leaders possess certain common traits, whether you find them within or outside your organization.
- First and foremost, top-tier PM leaders thrive in ambiguous situations where multiple inputs and variables must be considered to solve complex problems. They are comfortable with uncertainty and able to navigate through it with ease.
- Secondly, they possess a deep understanding of how to execute and deliver on critical initiatives. These leaders have a bias towards action, a sense of urgency, and the ability to deliver results.
- Thirdly, exceptional PM leaders are adept at communication and stakeholder management. They can articulate a clear vision, establish trust, and effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams, customers, and other stakeholders to achieve their objectives.
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