As readers know, I write from time to time about why product teams spiral into strategic misalignment or get fixated on metrics over outcomes, but I think I’ve been missing one angle on why it’s so hard to change once you set a course: emotions.
Listening to a podcast recently with a leadership coach, it dawned on me that so much “digging in” around strategy and metrics from execs and teams comes down to the inability to let go of a narrative they had constructed on when, how, and to what degree they would be successful.
“I work with a lot of teams on grief - startups have this idea that they will have X users or Y revenue by a certain amount of time, and it’s a grieving process to let that go”
Multiple times in my career I’ve had to execute a shift, either at the top-level strategy, or around the tactical KPIs being tracked, and there’s always a change management cost that I’d attributed to communication / coordination tax, but the reality is there is grief in letting go of a particular path you’d envisoned for your product, and as change agents we have to be cognizant of and empathetic to that.
I’d love to hear from readers about their strategy spirals - please chime in via comments👇. And if you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing.
further reading / references
childish drawing / interpretation