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Managing Innovation Infodeck

Managing Innovation Infodeck

Managing Innovation: Empower your team to take risks, think for themselves, and reach audacious goals.

From La Product Conference Madrid 2019

Stephen M. Walker II

May 09, 2019

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  1. Managing Innovation Stephen M. Walker II Head of Product &

    Design @ Freeletics
  2. SMWII 16 Years Building Digital Products 2003 – Present

  3. SMWII Personalized fitness and nutrition coaching Freeletics

  4. Managing Innovation Empower your team to take risks, think for

    themselves, and reach audacious goals.
  5. Or better said… The processes and tools I use to

    build, manage, and empower my teams to think for themselves, take risks, and reach audacious goals.
  6. Quentin Tarantino

  7. Inspired by Quentin… Before diving into the details, I will

    outline the three key pillars of managing innovation.
  8. Team The right people
 Environment Culture & structure

    & concise 01 02 03
  9. Team, environment, and strategy… The people that make up your

    team, the environment and culture you shape, and the clarity in your strategy are the most important factors to successfully managing innovation.
  10. Ditch quick fixes and focus on your team You can

    wrap amazing processes… what works at Amazon, the newest framework, what works at Google, buzzword of the week… but at the end of the day they won’t matter without carefully editing the team, setting up the right environment for their success, or pointing the team toward the star you believe is true north.
  11. Defining innovation

  12. “If you want to invent, do any innovation, anything new,

    you’re going to have failures because you need to experiment.” – Jeff Bezos
  13. A new application of an idea to solve a problem

  14. Palo Alto Research Center

  15. Xerox PARC The 20th century witnessed a shift from individual

    inventors like Thomas Edison to institutions. PARC is responsible for foundational inventions in modern computing, ranging from the desktop computer to ethernet to object-oriented programming.
  16. UberCab Pitch Deck

  17. UberCab An excellent example of market innovation is the first

    iteration of Uber, then known as UberCab. Uber leveraged existing technologies and cars, remixing them to bring an exciting new experience to the world.
  18. Apple iOS Contentful Facebook GetStream Google Android Spotify Stripe Transifex

  19. Freeletics At Freeletics we leverage a wide array of hardware

    and software innovations to bring our product to market. Without these, our market innovation would not be possible.
  20. Diffusion Market innovation Invention Foundational innovation Innovation Continuum

  21. What do innovative environments have in common?

  22. Countless hours of retrospectives and research on innovation surfaced these

    nine elements…
  23. Autonomy Common goal Complimentary skills Leadership support Passion for the

    mission Reward shipping Safety to fail Shared tools Small team
  24. Autonomy Teams have autonomy in designing and implementing the solution

    – but not always in selecting the problem to solve.
  25. Common Goal Alignment around a common goal is absolutely required.

    In large organizations, imagine what your team’s goal might look like as a small startup.
  26. Complimentary Skills A balance of skills from consumer empathy, data

    analysis, design, and engineering are required for successful innovation.
  27. Leadership Support Projects without support from senior leaders sometimes succeed

    – but chances are they will fail or be killed.
  28. Passion for the Mission People with a true passion for

    the mission behind their work will wake up early, stay late, and obsess over the details.
  29. Reward Shipping Drop recognition for personality or politics, and focus

    on outcomes and shipping.
  30. Safety to Fail A culture of experimentation is required to

    succeed. Many experiments will fail, but progress must be recognized.
  31. Shared Tools From shared languages and process (Design Sprints) to

    software (Github).
  32. Small Team Highly successful teams average at five people. Find

    the smallest unit possible for success.
  33. Shipping the team

  34. “The team with the best players wins.” 
 – Jack

  35. I don’t ship product — I ship the team that

    ships the product
  36. Unless you write code, you don’t ship the product either.

    You support the team that does.
  37. Challenge to all Product Managers Get involved in hiring and

    help shape your team.
  38. How to assemble your team Experience and education matter, but

    focus on soft skills and the conversation details with candidates. I focus on the following nine traits.
  39. Ambition Details Curiosity Impact Passion Polish Resilience Teamwork Values

  40. Shaping the environment

  41. “Robustness is when you care more about the few who

    like your work than the multitude that hate it (artists). Fragility is when you care more about the few who hate your work than the multitude who love it (politicians). ” – Nassim Taleb
  42. Shaping a product environment One of my goals as a

    product leader is to build autonomy in my team while aligning across development teams and departments.
  43. How to shape the product environment I use one tool

    (operating plan) and two processes (weekly product review and monthly roadmap review) to achieve this.
  44. Team Operating Plan The operating plan is similar to a

    business plan for the team. It’s designed to help each team reflect on past learnings and create their future.
  45. Elements of the Operating Plan Each plan details the team’s

    mission and customers, learnings, roadmap for the future, and measurements of success.
  46. Weekly Product Review A weekly forum to discuss upcoming releases

    – both customer facing and A/B tests – with cross- discipline leaders.
  47. Monthly Roadmap Review A monthly forum to discuss the rolling

    roadmap with engineering leaders and representatives from each department in the company.
  48. Clarifying the strategy

  49. “Luck is not a factor. Hope is not a strategy.”

    – James Cameron
  50. The Why Your team will move mountains for the mission.

    I use every opportunity possible to reiterate why I wake up every day and why I moved around the world to work on Freeletics.
  51. The Future To steal from IDEO: a picture is worth

    a thousand words, a prototype is worth a thousand meetings. Do everything possible, including sketches to illustrate your vision for the future.
  52. Principles Define and communicate your product principles. These inform decisions

    and assist in moving debates forward.
  53. When to communicate strategy Every day, everywhere. I use my

    personal communication, meetings, and all-hands as opportunities to reinforce the why, the vision, and principles.
  54. Embrace the journey

  55. Hard work is hard.

  56. It should be obvious, however Set expectations. Challenge ambitions. And

    communicate truths. But remember to recognize and celebrate accomplishments.
  57. “It's the doing of it. It's the process. It's the

    getting there. It's the journey. The journey is everything. It makes the destination worthwhile. You can only have a worthwhile destination after a worthwhile journey.”
  58. Don’t get lost It’s easy to forget about the journey

    when focused on outcomes, measurements, and goals. The journey matters just as much as achieving them.
  59. My challenge to you… Make the journey creating and shipping

    products enjoyable for you and your team.
  60. Thank you. @aethelyon