Mar 04, 2021 | by Budi Tanrim
Product design leadership — Establish urgency
“Budi, can you email the stakeholders in my team, so they follow our design process?” A manager asked me.
My answer is a firm “no.”
The design manager felt it’s unfair if his design team has to make extra effort to influence and convince other stakeholders to work collaboratively, unlike some other teams using our co-creation practice. His team is still new, many stakeholders are new to the company and reluctant to even come to a one-hour workshop. He needed to change the team’s culture.
Everyone who is trying to change a situation is a leader by heart.
A leader is a change agent. It’s hard. It’s tough. It’s unfair.
It’s unfair because you can’t just tell people what to do. But you need to influence them, convince them, and show them why. If I send the email, I doubt it has any positive impact on the team. We can’t lead with authority. We should lead with context instead. In the end, I suggested him to start thinking about a way to convince the stakeholders. To influence.
This where urgency is needed. You need to communicate the risk of the status quo. Basically, what is the damage if we keep doing what we have been doing? Show the risk if your team is unable to align quickly during the product discovery.
What’s the risk?
If your team doesn’t have data to track the outcome. What’s the risk? If your team working on a solution without a concrete user problem. What’s the risk?
To lead a change, you need to establish the urgency, show the potential risk if we don’t change. That’s one way to influence a change.