Unleashing Creativity in Strategy and Product Development

Aviral Vaid

Hatched by Aviral Vaid

Feb 28, 2024

4 min read


Unleashing Creativity in Strategy and Product Development


In the ever-evolving business landscape, strategy and product development play vital roles in shaping the future of organizations. However, it is essential to view strategy as an act of creativity rather than a mere prediction tool. By fostering creativity and incorporating a well-defined product discovery process, companies can unlock innovation and drive success. This article explores the connection between strategy and creativity, the importance of codifying the product discovery process, and actionable advice to implement these concepts effectively.

Strategy as an Act of Creativity:

To truly create the future, strategy should not be limited to predicting and preparing for possible changes. Instead, it should focus on crafting a future in which team members thrive. While past figures and data provide insights into the past, they do not guarantee future success. A creative strategy involves testing hypotheses quickly, inexpensively, and safely, while remaining adaptable to the knowledge gained through experimentation. This approach gives strategies a chance to shape the future and drive organizational growth.

Codifying the Product Discovery Process:

Product development encompasses two crucial elements: Discovery and Delivery. Unfortunately, many companies lack a system that defines the Discovery process, leading to its frequent omission. This issue often arises when stakeholders assume someone else has already done the necessary research and jump straight into building features. Moreover, some organizations inadvertently discourage product managers from conducting Discovery by prioritizing Delivery-focused goals and performance evaluations.

To overcome these challenges and establish a robust Discovery process, organizations must undergo a mindset shift to embrace innovation and experimentation. This transformation can be achieved by codifying Discovery into the company's fabric through four essential pillars: Training, Templates, Touchpoints, and Targets.

1. Training:

To foster effective Discovery, companies should invest in training their product managers to excel in this crucial phase. By providing them with the necessary skills and knowledge, organizations can empower their product managers to navigate the Discovery process confidently. Training programs can include workshops, courses, or mentorship opportunities that enhance problem-solving, critical thinking, and research abilities.

2. Templates:

Creating templates is an effective way to ensure consistency and structure within the Discovery process. While companies often have templates for Product Specs documents, two additional templates are recommended: Problem Brief and Problem Definition. The Problem Brief outlines the initial thinking around the problem, incorporating problem symptoms, business requirements, and external landscape analysis. On the other hand, the Problem Definition template delves deeper into the problem, addressing its importance, potential impact, consequences of inaction, and criteria for a viable solution. These templates provide a solid foundation for product managers to refine their understanding of the problem before exploring potential solutions.

3. Touchpoints:

Regular touchpoints or review processes are essential to maintain alignment and prioritize the most critical problem areas. These touchpoints involve product squads sharing insights, learnings, and progress updates. By fostering open communication and collaboration, organizations can ensure that all efforts align with the overall strategy while avoiding redundancy or misalignment.

4. Targets:

To solidify the importance of Discovery, organizations should integrate it into performance reviews, progression frameworks, and quarterly goals for product managers. By making Discovery an explicit expectation, companies emphasize its value and encourage product managers to prioritize this crucial phase. This approach establishes a culture that values innovation, experimentation, and continuous improvement.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Foster a culture of creativity and experimentation: Encourage team members to think outside the box, take calculated risks, and embrace a growth mindset. Provide opportunities for brainstorming sessions, ideation workshops, and cross-functional collaboration to drive innovation within the organization.
  • 2. Establish clear goals and metrics for Discovery: Define key performance indicators (KPIs) and success metrics specific to the Discovery phase. This ensures that product managers have measurable targets and helps prioritize efforts based on impact and alignment with the overall strategy.
  • 3. Encourage cross-functional collaboration: Break down silos and foster collaboration between product managers, engineers, designers, marketers, and other relevant stakeholders. This cross-functional synergy can enhance the product discovery process by incorporating diverse perspectives and expertise.


By recognizing strategy as an act of creativity and codifying the product discovery process, organizations can unleash innovation and drive success. The integration of training programs, templates, touchpoints, and targets enables companies to establish a robust foundation for effective product development. By fostering a culture of creativity, setting clear goals, and encouraging collaboration, organizations can harness their full potential and create a future where teams thrive and succeed.

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