I don’t believe that alignment is overrated but is absolutely true that alignment without understanding is counterproductive. You’d think you’re aligned, while in reality, everybody is pulling in a different direction.
That’s why I usually force the understanding and clarity part, by pushing a comparative/trade-off approach.
To take your example on aligning on a top priority, let’s say ‘monetization’ is one, it helps clarify ‘monetization vs user experience in the next quarter’. Is monetization still the priority? Then great, we can align … with the clarity of what it means and the understanding of what it entails
Aligning on vague objectives is non-aligning (at best)
This post originally appeared on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/posts/johnpcutler_alignment-is-overrated-understanding-and-activity-7053076405483409408-yzRF
My name is Salva, I am a Product executive, helping tech companies discover, shape, and sell better Products. My work and writing are mainly about subscription models, product pricing, e-commerce/marketplaces, and creating top product organizations.
My superpower is to move between ambiguity (as in creativity, innovation, opportunity, and ‘thinking out of the box’) and structure (as in ‘getting things done’ and getting real impact).
I am firmly convinced that you can help others only if you have lived the same challenges: I have been lucky enough to practice product leadership in companies of different sizes and with different product maturity. Doing product right is hard: I felt the pain myself and developed my own methods to get to efficient product teams that produce meaningful work.