The 50th Edition - On Trashing McKinsey Slides, Politics vs. Product Management, an Effective Learning Framework & Describing Jobs-To-Be-Done
Did you know that when people find out that other people like real talk, they make better connections?
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Did you know that there are 7 studies that show that the key to making deep connections is to stop assuming that the people you're talking to don't want to talk about deep things?
People think that deep conversations will be too awkward and avoid them. When they find out that other people like real talk, they make better connections. (source)
📚 Lean On It (Before It Breaks)
First, I thought I’d share this post titled “When Everything is Important But Nothing is Getting Done“. But I decided against it.
Looking at the TOC of that post (below), I knew one thing.
I’ve seen it before. I’ve done it myself.
You can still read it here if you want. It’s good. It’s also lengthy (35 min read).
We do this little dance of pretending to turn chaos into order when we face darkness.
It feels amazing if/when you manage to wrangle folks towards a common goal, find a way to get alignment, saddle the horses and ride out.
Only it doesn’t last. (See Step 7 in the above image.)
We’re lucky to see it work for a while.
But extend that window a little wider… Entropy ensues. Things start to fall apart.
12-18 months down the line (or sooner), you have to start over.
But I don’t want to be a downer…
😎 This is a Sunday newsletter, meant to make you excited for the week ahead!
If we accept this premise - that even if we set things straight, soon they’ll start to fall apart again - we should then over-reach once we have a plan.
In “How to Position Yourself for Promotion As a Senior Leader”, Dave Kline talks about how once you plan your path to advancement ahead of time, you then go above and beyond that.
It’s not enough to identify the crux, not enough to just untangle the mess and set a new framework.
You then have to pour enough water on that flywheel you’ve designed.
So much so that it works through the muck of the inertia, the sludge of the unknown, the treacherous change in the shifting landscape.
You don’t just find a good lever. You put all your weight on it, before it stops working.
Hope this helps. Let me know below if you have a moment.
👀 How I Redesigned 3 McKinsey Slides (And Made Them Better!)
Making slides is either fun or a chore, but if you’re a professional in any enterprise, you’ve made at least one slide deck.
One of my new favourite channels on YouTube now is the Analyst Academy, and in this video, they redesign 3 McKinsey slides really well. (We assume McKinsey are the Gods of slide decks, but maybe they are not!)
Key things I took away:
Communicating data effectively evades even the best of us. If you’ve ever created a Tableau or Excel dashboard, you know. (My best tip from an ex-analyst: use horizontal bar charts more. Never use donut charts.)
You design the slides. After all, it’s not that different from designing a landing page, a web app, or anything else that requires the interplay of colour, layout, font, font size, spacing and composition to communicate.
Designing the slides should come last, after you’ve designed your story.
“If you spend more time selling ideas than talking to your customers you’re doing politics, not product management.”
“The product is only as good as the questions being asked, the risks considered, the clarity of thought, of trade offs.”
The Anatomy of a Decision/Consequence Scanning:
Step 1: Immediately start playing
Step 2: Total Immersion
Step 3: Iterate & tighten your feedback loops
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