Product Thinking
Navigating Mergers and Acquisitions with Justin Anovick
August 11, 2021
Melissa Perri’s guest on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast is Justin Anovick. Justin is the Chief Product Officer at Optimizely, a company providing digital platform software services. He is a creative thinker and provides great leadership for his team. Justin joins Melissa to discuss how to navigate through mergers and acquisitions with your organization and how to get all members to play on the same team. Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Justin talk about in this episode: Why Justin became a product officer. [1:01] Understanding the customer sales cycle allows the product team to know what their customers and prospects are looking for. [3:55] Designing a product takes specific processes; if you change something at the last minute that change will have a major impact. [7:23] The questions, challenges, and differences that Justin has to confront now with his new merger and acquisition. [9:09] It’s very important that everyone is on the same page and understands the vision for the company. “We have to build demos, we have to build the messaging, we have to agree and communicate with the other side to make sure that we're spot on,” he tells Melissa. The vision can’t be conceptualized in a tagline, slogan, or image. The vision has to be about what the product is going to be in the future. [12:15] The more legitimate you can make a product, the better off you will be. The product team also plays a critical role in this. [15:35] In ensuring that a merger can be successful, you have to do things to scale. This sometimes means being okay with processes not being as high quality or going as expected. It also means integrating teams and being people first. [18:52] Invest more in the processes that you're doing well, and come up to average in your weaker areas. [20:52] Justin uses StrengthFinders quizzes with his team to understand the skills that they have, and how those skills complement him and one another. Managers need to understand that it’s not about adapting our teams to think like we do, but letting their skills complement the skills that we have. [22:36] Justin’s key focus is making sure everybody in the company understands their role, the direction the company is headed, the mission, and staying in tune with collecting key feedback from key individuals across the organization. [28:47] Justin talks about the ways he sets goals for Optimizely. [29:36] Test for understanding by using the passive check. This is simply checking with multiple people and using direct communication. We get more value from this because we can ask follow-up questions, and we don’t have to consult surveys. [34:09] Resources Justin Anovick | LinkedIn | Twitter Optimizely
Melissa Perri’s guest on this week’s Product Thinking Podcast is Justin Anovick. Justin is the Chief Product Officer at Optimizely, a company providing digital platform software services. He is a creative thinker and provides great leadership for his team. Justin joins Melissa to discuss how to navigate through mergers and acquisitions with your organization and how to get all members to play on the same team. Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Justin talk about in this episode: Why Justin became a product officer. [1:01] Understanding the customer sales cycle allows the product team to know what their customers and prospects are looking for. [3:55] Designing a product takes specific processes; if you change something at the last minute that change will have a major impact. [7:23] The questions, challenges, and differences that Justin has to confront now with his new merger and acquisition. [9:09] It’s very important that everyone is on the same page and understands the vision for the company. “We have to build demos, we have to build the messaging, we have to agree and communicate with the other side to make sure that we're spot on,” he tells Melissa. The vision can’t be conceptualized in a tagline, slogan, or image. The vision has to be about what the product is going to be in the future. [12:15] The more legitimate you can make a product, the better off you will be. The product team also plays a critical role in this. [15:35] In ensuring that a merger can be successful, you have to do things to scale. This sometimes means being okay with processes not being as high quality or going as expected. It also means integrating teams and being people first. [18:52] Invest more in the processes that you're doing well, and come up to average in your weaker areas. [20:52] Justin uses StrengthFinders quizzes with his team to understand the skills that they have, and how those skills complement him and one another. Managers need to understand that it’s not about adapting our teams to think like we do, but letting their skills complement the skills that we have. [22:36] Justin’s key focus is making sure everybody in the company understands their role, the direction the company is headed, the mission, and staying in tune with collecting key feedback from key individuals across the organization. [28:47] Justin talks about the ways he sets goals for Optimizely. [29:36] Test for understanding by using the passive check. This is simply checking with multiple people and using direct communication. We get more value from this because we can ask follow-up questions, and we don’t have to consult surveys. [34:09] Resources Justin Anovick | LinkedIn | Twitter Optimizely

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