building shared vision

  • The Five Qualities of Good Visions

    Because everything derives from the high-level vision, the team’s overall leader should invest more energy in it than any other early planning material. The five most important characteristics are: simplifying, intentional (goal-driven), consolidated, inspirational, and memorable.

    — Making Things Happen: Mastering Project Management by Scott Berkun

  • One of the things I have come to believe strongly is that culture is real; it’s also incredibly important, and it’s something that many people don’t understand at all. It’s both an easy, natural consequence of your company’s evolution and something that can quickly become a problem if you don’t tend to it.

    Consciously guiding the culture of your team is part of a leader’s job, and to do this well, you need to understand what it means in the first place. So what is culture? Culture is the generally unspoken shared rules of a community.

    — The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier

  • The role of a leader is not to come up with all the great ideas. The role of a leader is to create an environment in which great ideas can happen. It is the people inside the company, those on the front lines, who are best qualified to find new ways of doing things.

    — Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

  • According to Kurzweil, “the Singularity is near,” it’s inevitable, and all we have to do is prepare ourselves to accept it.

    But no matter how many trends can be traced, the future won’t happen on its own. What the Singularity would look like matters less than the stark choice we face today between the two most likely scenarios: nothing or something. It’s up to us. We cannot take for granted that the future will be better, and that means we need to work to create it today.

    Whether we achieve the Singularity on a cosmic scale is perhaps less important than whether we seize the unique opportunities we have to do new things in our own working lives. Everything important to us — the universe, the planet, the country, your company, your life, and this very moment — is singular. Our task today is to find singular ways to create the new things that will make the future not just different, but better — to go from 0 to 1.

    The essential first step is to think for yourself. Only by seeing our world anew, as fresh and strange as it was to the ancients who saw it first, can we both re-create it and preserve it for the future.

    — Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters

  • If a company wants to raise the bar for the product organization, they need to think differently about product. Instead of looking at product as just a part of the technology organization (or worse, the IT organization), they need to think about product as the organization. I am not talking about power structure or even org structure. I am talking about how product needs to be the value driver of the organization as opposed to just a feature factory for the rest of the organization.

    As I engage with these types of organizations, another lesson I’ve learned is that, if the executive team isn’t on board with this product operating model, the chances of successful transformation are slim.

    — EMPOWERED: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Products (Silicon Valley Product Group) by Marty Cagan

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