The Future of Organizing and the Journey from Product Manager to Product Leader

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Sep 05, 2023

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The Future of Organizing and the Journey from Product Manager to Product Leader

Introduction:

In the ever-evolving world of technology and productivity, two distinct areas stand out: the future of organizing and the transition from being a product manager to becoming a product leader. While they may seem unrelated, there are common threads between these two areas that highlight the changing landscape of work and the role of artificial intelligence in shaping our productivity. This article explores these commonalities and provides actionable advice for individuals navigating these domains.

The End of Organizing:

In the past, organizing our notes and information was a manual task that required constant maintenance and reorganization. However, with the emergence of large language models (LLMs) like GPT-3, the future of organizing is set to change. These intelligent systems have the potential to automatically organize our notes, eliminating the need for manual effort. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to surface the right notes at the right time, LLMs can unlock the value in our old notes and ensure they are used most effectively.

AI-powered note organization offers several benefits. Firstly, LLMs can automatically tag and link notes together, eliminating the need for manual work. This streamlines the process and saves time for the user. Secondly, these intelligent systems can enrich notes as they are being written, synthesizing them into research reports. This reduces the need for extensive tagging and linking, making note-taking more efficient. Lastly, LLMs can resurface key information from previous notes, creating a CoPilot-like experience for note-taking. This ensures that important information is readily available and easily accessible.

Crossing the Canyon: Product Manager to Product Leader:

Transitioning from being a product manager to becoming a product leader is a significant milestone in one's career. As a product leader, the focus shifts from individual tasks to maximizing the overall return on investment (ROI) between different types of product work. This requires a deep understanding of various product problems and the ability to prioritize and sequence them effectively.

Product leadership involves making decisions on what work to prioritize and when. While a senior product manager (SPM) focuses on maximizing the return of individual types of work, a product leader (PL) must consider the overall ROI across different types of product problems. The PL's value is evaluated based on the total output of their team, rather than their personal output.

To excel as a product leader, one must move beyond solving problems within their direct span of control and start influencing others in the organization to tackle broader issues. This requires developing the skills of allocation and influence. Allocating resources effectively involves identifying the full set of obstacles blocking a problem area and influencing others in the organization to address them.

Influence is a crucial skill for product leaders, as they must convince individuals outside their function and problem area to take action. This requires effective communication and the ability to articulate the importance and urgency of certain tasks. Additionally, product leaders must learn to create more scope and opportunities for their organization, striking a balance between making decisions and empowering their team to grow.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace AI-powered note organization: Start leveraging the capabilities of LLMs and other AI technologies to automate the organization of your notes. Explore tools and platforms that offer intelligent note-taking and synthesis features.
  • 2. Develop influence and allocation skills: Invest in developing your ability to influence others and allocate resources effectively. This can be achieved through communication training, building relationships across the organization, and learning from experienced product leaders.
  • 3. Foster a growth mindset: As you transition from a product manager to a product leader, adopt a growth mindset and focus on developing the skills of your team. Encourage continuous learning and empower your team members to take ownership of their work.

Conclusion:

The future of organizing is shifting towards AI-powered note organization, which has the potential to revolutionize productivity. Simultaneously, the journey from product manager to product leader involves developing a broader perspective and honing skills in allocation and influence. By embracing AI technologies, developing influence skills, and fostering a growth mindset, individuals can navigate these changing landscapes and excel in their respective roles. The ultimate goal is to leverage the tools that think and maximize the overall impact of our work in an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

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