How to Master and Coach Product Strategic Thinking
An interview with the renowned Product Leadership Coach and author of Strong Product People
This article is based on Episode #3 of 100 Product Strategies.
Many PMs receive the feedback “you need to think more strategically”. Many leaders want to help their teams “become more strategic”. Usually, none know where to go from there.
Petra Wille - loomista has been coaching teams and product leaders for a long time. In this interview, she shared not only her thoughts on strategic thinking, but also how to assess it, practice it and coach it to your teams.
You can listen to the episode, or jump to my takeaways!
- Petra mentioned how strategy is critical for empowered teams, but for feature teams having strategic skills and not being able to act on them can even be frustrating. One thought that comes to mind is also the importance of strong strategic thinking when trying to transform into an empowered teams setup. Showing stakeholders a solid strategy is a great way to build trust.
- Martin Eriksson’s decision stack can help you explain strategic thinking: strategy explains how to achieve your vision and you should be able to explain why you are working on certain initiatives by showing your strategy.
- Product leaders don’t usually share their strategic work. Forming small learning groups, in the same company or different ones to share, critique and debate can be an underutilized low-hanging fruit.
- Petra mentioned as a coaching tool asking people to tell their strategy, with different amounts of time allowed for the storytelling: 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 60 minutes. I think it’s brilliant because your coachee can detect simultaneously where are their weak spots.
- You need to practice strategy, and contrary to popular beliefs, it is not difficult. You can strategize even when daily life things, like your hobbies.
This content is related to my book Product Direction. In it, I describe in length, with tools and examples, all the steps to create a successful product strategy and how to connect it with OKRs.