A Neutral and Objective Focus in Your Business Can Help Drive your Growth Strategy
Developing a growth strategy is crucial for any business that is looking to scale. CEOs and founders of high potential product and service businesses want to:
- Achieve sustained growth
- Align the team to a shared vision and understanding of top priorities
- Outperform competitors
- Achieve market differentiation
- Grow revenue and reduce expenses
- Make customers happy
- Respond to the market
Scalability comes when you identify the ”right thing” to do to grow your business and you ensure the whole organisation is focused on the right thing. Coordinating the operational and cultural changes needed in order to deliver a scalable growth strategy through a clear product focused strategy can be challenging. Irrespective of your company’s stage of growth, you need to consider product and service management processes and methodologies that add value to your core business. In order to become truly product-focused you need to ensure that someone is ensuring you execute any organisational changes needed.
When adopting new strategies that focus on innovative product and service development you need to align the CEO and key leadership stakeholders from the start.
When Should You Consider Hiring an Interim Product Executive?
Managing disruption or change in an organisation can be very difficult if you rely solely on the expertise, capabilities and availability of your existing team.
For a period of time, it requires dedicated focus to help companies to transition to a new functional state.
Leveraging the skills of an interim product executive who has practical industry experience provides you with an unbiased view from outside the organisation and will help you to:
- Identify the skills needed to deliver growth – many companies are unclear about the organisational changes required to deliver their growth strategy and how disciplines such as product management could be applied to suit their stage of growth. Understanding the mindset, skillset and toolset required across your team is crucial.
- Perform a high quality candidate search – hiring the right long-term candidates to deliver your growth strategy is important – the interim product executive will help you to create relevant job specifications for roles such as product manager and product owner, work with recruitment agents, sift through CVs and manage the interview process – all of which take time and effort. It is so important that you can buy yourself time to define the positions correctly and hire the right people – making the wrong hire in any senior position can be very expensive.
- Drive the organisational changes needed – generally the skills needed to make an organisational change can be very different to those needed for day-to-day operations in a specific role (such as product management). The interim executive focuses on the internal changes needed to help the company transition to a new way of working and takes a cross-organisational approach.
- Support the adoption of new processes throughout the organisation – supports the leadership team to adopt product strategy methodologies, tools and techniques that benefit the entire organisation and support corporate objectives.
- Enable cross-team collaboration and communication – helps the organisation to adopt new methods of collaboration and communication that ensure effective articulation and execution of corporate objectives.
- Position new hire for success – mentor and guide the new hire, working with them on a 90-day plan to ensure they hit the ground running. Allowing them to focus on their core strategic role rather than change management.
What are the Benefits of using an Interim Product Executive?
There are many reasons why it can be really beneficial to look outside the organisation and hire an interim resource to support your change initiative:
- Focused on “getting things done” – they remove roadblocks and align stakeholders to support the change needed.
- Collaborate, coach and facilitate – they are there to help empower and mentor your team to deliver effective change. They seek out and promote talented people and they ensure those people work together to make the necessary changes.
- Help to identify problems – they figure out what is already working and only plan interventions to fix identified problems.
- No ‘personal agenda” – they are not there to force their views on those around them but rather work collaboratively with your existing team to help you progress your business objectives.
- Provide a neutral objective focus for the business – they provide a fresh perspective to support the thinking of leadership and other team members.
- Focused on driving key priorities – they help the company to stay focused and to drive the necessary changes needed to deliver your growth strategy, even when others in the organisation may be focused elsewhere.
How can IntegratedThinking Help?
Siobhan is the founder of IntegratedThinking and has over 20 years experience in the software industry. As Vice President of Product Management at Openet, Siobhan was responsible for the entire portfolio of Openet’s products. She was directly responsible for building a team to manage product strategic direction reflecting both external market needs and Openet’s corporate strategy. Siobhan has clearly demonstrated the ability and focus to drive and manage significant organisational change within a large, distributed software company and was key to the evolution of Product Management within Openet.
Since the establishment of her mentoring and coaching business in October 2013 Siobhan has been providing in-house support to scaling companies and was responsible for delivering the highly successful ISA Software Skillnet Scala CEO programme – exclusively for high potential CEOs/founders focussing on product management-driven approaches to scale and grow. She has also delivered workshops for Enterprise Ireland and is an approved consultant with their Lean Business Offer. Through targeted engagements she provides mentorship and guidance to leadership stakeholders and core team members on the organisational changes needed to drive an effective growth strategy and establish an effective product management discipline.
Contact Us for more details on how an Interim Executive hire might work for you.