The markets have been in upheaval for a while now as equities of technological companies have seen sharp price drops. There have been a lot of layoffs at high-tech firms, and many anticipate less growth and investment in 2019. For the first time in more than ten years, the technology sector is experiencing a more limited business cycle. As product leaders, it is our responsibility to adapt to this new business cycle and assist our businesses in navigating it.
Some leadership skills and approaches that we haven’t used in a while will need to be reviewed. In order to succeed in these difficult circumstances, you must manage the people resources on your product teams, manage messaging to the rest of the organisation, and acknowledge that you will be under more pressure as a business and product leader. Here are some specific actions product leaders may take to thrive in a challenging economic environment.
Acknowledge uncertaintyEveryone in the company is about to experience greater levels of uncertainty around future business opportunities. Hiring and keeping talent has been a difficulty for the previous ten years. People are now worried about keeping their employment and the company performing well in light of the high-tech layoffs. As leaders, we must accept the reality and assist teams in determining the value they add to the organisation and the characteristics of successful outcomes. Establish trust by sharing your knowledge from previous experiences and being open about both positive and bad news. As a leader, work to support teams in concentrating on and effectively completing mission-critical tasks. Assist teams in identifying important measurements and outcomes and in providing regular updates on their progress. This helps each team concentrate on what is doable while also keeping the team’s attention on what is vital.
Utilize metrics.As teams concentrate on metrics and results at the team level, it is your responsibility as a product leader to use those metrics to communicate to the rest of the business how successful product teams have been in terms of both metrics and business results, while also demonstrating that the team is moving closer to those results. These reports can be used internally to demonstrate how the product team is affecting the company as a whole, but they also function well when interacting with the rest of the business.
Always, Always, Always CommunicateIt is crucial for leaders to stay in touch with their teams and organisations during trying times. It will be necessary to persuade teams and staff members that the work they are doing matters. Everyone in the organisation benefits from more frequent communication in their sense of belonging to the job and mission. Building and retaining trust as well as aligning things with the company depend on communicating and resharing the business priorities, expected results, and status.
Recognize and invest in efficiency benefits.When growth is crucial, focus is frequently given to growth-related initiatives that will generate new sales, new clientele, or both. However, now is the moment to take a look at what has been constructed and strive to optimise, as free cash flow and other profitability measurements become bigger priority. Businesses should be optimistic about chances to boost productivity. Keep a rolling list and seek for chances to invest in areas that encourage cost savings, lessen physical work, and improve business efficiency. Putting money into automating laborious tasks or paying off technological debt today will position the company for future growth.
Analyze your personnel and organisation.As product leaders over the past ten years, we’ve all sought to build teams and hire new employees as quickly as we could as we developed new capabilities to spur development. Even if it’s difficult to consider, now is also the time to assess your team in order to determine where you have the best leadership, where you might have too much leadership, and where you have the most potential inside the company. What a gift
Now is the time to look for crucial talent that might not have been available in the past because the IT job market is cooling up. Should you replace underperforming staff with those who do better?
You need to be certain that your company is ready for success. You may get by with a mediocre or subpar performer when there weren’t enough people available. However, you must now assess your skill and take advantage of the chance to, if necessary, strengthen your organisational structure or talent.
For the first time in many years, shifting economic market conditions are giving product leaders new reasons to be concerned. Product leaders may successfully lead their firms through these challenging times by utilising the five tactics mentioned above.