Lisa Schneider is the Chief Product Officer at Framework Homeownership. Previously, she was the Chief Digital Officer at Merriam-Webster, where she led digital strategy and execution and redefined the dictionary for the digital age. Lisa joins Melissa Perri on this episode of the Product Thinking Podcast to share her expertise on crafting great vision and mission statements, the role of the product leader, bridging the gap between sales and product, and why being an integrator is powerful.
Here are some key points you’ll hear Melissa and Lisa talk about:
How Lisa got started in product management. [1:55]
Asking yourself ‘Why?’ is part of the product mindset when developing a new vision and mission. Figure out why you want a new vision and mission, then develop a strategy to bridge them together. Lisa advises that you should not mix the strategy into the mission because it makes the mission become too specific instead of universal. She also cautions against aligning product teams and squads to strategy too much because strategy changes. [7:57]
The product vision is a reminder of the ultimate product goal so that teams remember what they're working towards. Product leaders need to create an environment of stability and empathy where their teams don't feel constant uncertainty when strategy changes. [11:36]
Product leaders need to propose solutions but also give their teams room to be creative. [13:35]
Lisa talks about how she became a Chief Product Officer. [15:44]
"The role of the product leader - the real opportunity for the product leader - is to be somebody that understands that entire ecosystem and understands how to integrate it," Lisa stresses. The product leader has to be the one to bridge the gap in organizations where sales and product operate in silos. They have to be the one to have conversations with both departments and gain insight on what they know about the product, and what they need. Asking those questions becomes part of your product research, and it also allows the teams in these departments to take ownership of the product and in turn, they become more invested in the product's outcome. [20:00]
Being an integrator within your organization is powerful and important. Asking questions about what people need and how you can help them get there will make you influential within the organization. [23:48]
The key to facilitating a problem-solving mindset is less talking about what needs to be done and actually doing it. "Get everyone in a room and start modeling," Lisa suggests. "Lead the conversation and show people how this works." [24:34]
Lisa shares her advice for future product leaders. [29:36]
To foster a product mindset in organizations that never had it, focus on the outcomes. See yourself as the “product” and think about how you can create an excellent user experience. Be the bridge between leadership and the teams that work with you. [33:46]
Lisa Schneider | LinkedIn | Twitter
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