Design Leadership

Moving from “System One” to “System Two” Thinking for Product Decisions

Every day people approach company leaders with problems in need of a quick fix. “The team is going to miss its deadline if we don’t do something about it” they’ll say, or “we just had some some really bad customer feedback and we need to make good. What do you think we should do?” Leaders want to feel helpful and decisive so they’ll often think about the problem for a few seconds before coming up with a solution. “Let’s bring in some freelancers to get the project over the finish line on time” they might say or “let’s give the client a free upgrade to keep them on side”. 

The Truth About Strategy

Most people massively over complicate the concept of “strategy”. Ultimately a strategy is the general approach you are going to take in order to deliver your company mission/goals. Having a clear strategy is important as it allows people to decide between competing approaches, markets, customer segments, activities and product features. As such your strategy is the thing that informs and connects what the company is trying to do and how it is trying to do it, with the people who are responsible for delivering it.

Dealing With Conflict Using the PLEASE Framework

In my previous post I shared the idea that high functioning teams are comfortable with high levels of conflict, as long as it’s the right type of conflict— namely constructive conflict around “things” rather than judgemental conflict around “people”. This idea is sometimes described as “task conflict” versus “personality conflict”.

Cultivating the Right Kind of Conflict

The ability to share conflicting views about a situation or problem and still get on is a vital component of any high functioning team. It allows us to broaden our range of possible solutions, spot weaknesses in our arguments, and test our assumptions—usually in the pursuit of a better outcome. As a result, productive conflict is generally focussed on things—be they ideas, features or solutions—rather than individuals. “I don’t agree with this” rather than “I don’t agree with you”.