Product Thinking
Leading a Product Organization with Paul Adams
May 11, 2022
Melissa Perri welcomes Paul Adams, Chief Product Officer at Intercom, to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. At Intercom since the days when they only had only 13 employees, Paul has helped shape the Product department from the ground up. Paul joins Melissa to talk through his approach to product leadership, what his day to day is like as CPO and why he hasn’t been in a product review in years, how to build trust within your organization, and embracing the “messy middle” when it comes to product strategy.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Paul talk about: Paul talks about his introduction to the field of product management, and how he became the Chief Product Officer at Intercom. [1:55] To have a successful product organization, three teams – product management, product design and research and data science – must work together harmoniously. [4:55] Paul believes that the best way to oversee all the different groups within a product organization is by appointing a trustworthy leader to each group and allowing them to have autonomy over their decisions. [6:51]  Paul cautions that the downfall of most organizations is the lack of trust from team leaders. Paul suggests that the teams have open conversations about “Why are they here? What do they not trust?” in order to build trust in the team. [15:03]  When choosing a new team leader or product manager, you have to build a relationship with them so they can trust you and vice versa. [16:12] For your organization to work in unison, the strategy must be clearly, concisely and accurately translated to the execution level, acknowledging the ever-changing trends. [ 20:25] When the company is reviewing the strategy in Google Docs, they urge employees to label their comments “major, minor or curious” in order of urgency. This creates a smooth-running system that maintains discipline. [25:46] The lines between sales, support, marketing, product, and project management need to be blurred. These teams should deeply collaborate in order to achieve collective success for the company. [27:50] For a company like Intercom to work harmoniously, a feedback loop for each team should be set up, where the problems to be solved for each group are shared so that the service can run as smoothly as possible. This only works if there is a strong relationship in the company. [34:05] Paul believes that surveys would be most beneficial to project managers as they collect and track first-party data, which allows them to send targeted ads/messages. [38:31] Resources  Paul Adams on LinkedIn | Twitter
Melissa Perri welcomes Paul Adams, Chief Product Officer at Intercom, to this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast. At Intercom since the days when they only had only 13 employees, Paul has helped shape the Product department from the ground up. Paul joins Melissa to talk through his approach to product leadership, what his day to day is like as CPO and why he hasn’t been in a product review in years, how to build trust within your organization, and embracing the “messy middle” when it comes to product strategy.  Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Paul talk about: Paul talks about his introduction to the field of product management, and how he became the Chief Product Officer at Intercom. [1:55] To have a successful product organization, three teams – product management, product design and research and data science – must work together harmoniously. [4:55] Paul believes that the best way to oversee all the different groups within a product organization is by appointing a trustworthy leader to each group and allowing them to have autonomy over their decisions. [6:51]  Paul cautions that the downfall of most organizations is the lack of trust from team leaders. Paul suggests that the teams have open conversations about “Why are they here? What do they not trust?” in order to build trust in the team. [15:03]  When choosing a new team leader or product manager, you have to build a relationship with them so they can trust you and vice versa. [16:12] For your organization to work in unison, the strategy must be clearly, concisely and accurately translated to the execution level, acknowledging the ever-changing trends. [ 20:25] When the company is reviewing the strategy in Google Docs, they urge employees to label their comments “major, minor or curious” in order of urgency. This creates a smooth-running system that maintains discipline. [25:46] The lines between sales, support, marketing, product, and project management need to be blurred. These teams should deeply collaborate in order to achieve collective success for the company. [27:50] For a company like Intercom to work harmoniously, a feedback loop for each team should be set up, where the problems to be solved for each group are shared so that the service can run as smoothly as possible. This only works if there is a strong relationship in the company. [34:05] Paul believes that surveys would be most beneficial to project managers as they collect and track first-party data, which allows them to send targeted ads/messages. [38:31] Resources  Paul Adams on LinkedIn | Twitter

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