It all starts with Awareness
Updated: Jun 3, 2022
Not every company wants to change. Not every company wants to lead its market or even be in 2nd place. Sometimes, they just want to "be". In these cases, you can bang your head against the wall, but things aren't likely to change.
Companies that want engaged, motivated, and empowered people, who can make decisions to reach agreed upon goals, need to go about achieving it. This is what Marty Cagan talks about in his book, "Inspired" , and even more so in "Empowered". If you're willing to listen (and it's not a majority of managers, seemingly) and learn, you can gain the tools necessary to build incredible product teams and culture, and engage all other parts of your company to try and go for 1st place. However, reading a book, such as Inspired, which is essentially a gathering of articles Marty wrote over the years, as part of Sillicon Valley Product Group, a very inspiring and influential consulting group (read their manifesto), is one thing.
Implementing it is quite another. Going from a "proxy" product manager, who fulfills the requirements of others without a second thought almost, to empowering product managers to take on more responsibility, is a hard process. This is something which Dave Logan talks about in his book, "Tribal Leadership". He talks of people who either realized that their individual accomplishments and abilities can only take them so far, or who've seen a better way, and are ready to move on to team work. To move from "I'm great, you're not" to "We're great, they're not" as a "tribe". Some tribes can even reach a higher level, such as SpaceX's vision of "multiplanetary humanity". What an inspiring and succinct vision! Another person who talks about ways of achieving the goal of a "best" company in their field is Jurgen Appelo, in his book "Management 3.0". He talks about managing the system, not the employees to motivate and empower (among other things) the individual employees. It's a fascinating challenge, to create a group of people working to achieve lofty goals and succeeding in it, even if you DO want to achieve it, and it starts with Awareness.
Frameworks such as ADKAR or ADAPT talk about Awareness (the first "A" in the acronym) as the pre-requisite to everything else. It leads to desire, and that leads to knowledge or ability, and onwards, to promotion and transfer, or to reinforcement. Want to hear more about awareness and what follows? Let me know in the comments.