Richard Banfield on How to Build High Performing Product Teams

This is the second episode of Build in its brand new dedicated feed (subscribe here to stay up to date when new episodes drop).

On today’s episode of Build, host Maggie Crowley sits down with Richard Banfield, CEO and co-founder of Fresh Tilled Soil, a leading user interface design and experience agency, and co-author of Product Leadership, the manual Maggie lives her life by.

On this episode, Richard dives deep into how to build high performing product teams. Be sure to tune in for actionable insights you can apply to your own team today.

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Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the pod with your friends! You can connect with Maggie and Richard on Twitter @maggiecrowley and @RMBanfield

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In This Episode

0:10 – An introduction to Richard Banfield
0:40 – How to create a high-performance team?  Focus first on vision and mission.
2:54 – Having people aligned around the same thing, and working on helpful language
4:30 – A question about practice
5:52 – The importance of a different mindset
6:15 – An infinite game
7:29 – Are we creating safe psychological spaces for people to be who they are?
8:57 – How can we create trust as non-executives?
10:39 – Getting to trust by vulnerability
11:31 – Richard didn’t talk about skill set, but about context.
12:33 – On vulnerability across team lines
14:23 – The structure of a cross-functional environment
15:10 – Organizing around the customer
16:57 – There were no patterns/consistent traits among the product leaders interviewed.
18:46 – What to work on first
20:59 – A couple of practical takeaways
23:08 – On knowing each other well to work better together
25:21 – Richard’s book is a worthwhile buy!

Books mentioned in this episode: Product Leadership: How Top Product Managers Launch Awesome Products and Build Successful Teams by Richard Banfield, Martin Eriksson, and Nate Walkingshaw

Full Transcript

Maggie Crowley: Welcome to Bill, this is Maggie and I’m really excited today we have a special guest in the house, Richard Banfield.

He is the CEO and co-founder of Fresh Tilled Soil, a leading user interface design and experience agency. As we’ve heard from a couple of other of the authors before, he is the final co-author of the Product Leadership Book, the manual that I live my life by. My mentor, tech star, is an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Stripes School and many more, so welcome Richard.

Richard Banfield: Thank you so much Maggie.

Maggie: Richard actually just gave an amazing talk here at Drift on high performance teams and what makes high performance teams. What I would love to hear is sort of your quick overview on those four pieces that help create high performance teams, and then we can kind of go from there.

Richard: I’ll do them in reverse order. They are definitely organized around something that’s very motivating, so a vision or a mission that’s worth while, that gets you out of bed, that motivating but it’s also somewhat ambiguous and probably somewhat unattainable as well.

I often use the example of JFK’s speech going to the moon because that’s a good one. They had no idea of how they were going to get there but it seemed like a big, crazy idea that would get people motivated and, that’s really what it does, it aligns the skills of the people that are potentially going to be working on that project around that and then it also serves to organize who’s going to be involved and, who’s going to not.

So, when you put out a big idea, what you get immediately is people say, “That sounds awesome” and, “You’re a nutcase” and, that immediately helps you figure out which are the people that you would need to continue to work with and, which of the people you can ignore.

And it’s important because, you need that divisiveness to help you find out who’s going to be the group that’s going to be part of your success and, you also need to know who you need to ignore.

Maggie: So you mean by, who you need to ignore, which customer’s you need to ignore, which potential candidates you need to ignore for hiring, the whole thing?

Richard: And the number one is that you need a big mission. Within that you need product vision that’s very specific to each product so, if you’re Tesla and your big mission is to accelerate the transformation to renewable energy, then it was sustainable energy, that’s very different from, we’re going to make an electric car for this particular group of people.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: So, even within the car manufacturing scope of what they do, they have different products for different audiences and, that’s important.

So, the mission, even though it’s crazy, doesn’t mean that the product vision has to be crazy. The product vision has to be very consumer or customer centric and, still aligned with that goal.

Maggie: Basically, someone is setting the mission but then, as a product team you have to start to translate it out into reality and that’s part of what the vision helps you do.

Richard: Right.

Maggie: Okay.

Richard: And, the product team is normally the one that’s initiating the conversation around what that product vision should be because, the other one’s talking to the customer.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: So, it might be ceded by the founders or the executives and say, hey we think this is an area of opportunity but, it’s really once you start interacting with the customer that you can then say, “Oh yeah, that’s a good idea” or, “That was an awful idea, let’s not do that” or, “We can change this” or, “We can [inaudible 00:02:51].”

Maggie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Richard: The next thing is to have all of the people in your organization aligned around things like we’re talking the same language, we have the same values like jargon and stuff like that.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: Jargon can be just as bad as racism, it’s a way of getting people out of the conversation as much as it is bringing people closer to the conversation.

So you’ve got to have a language that speaks to what’s relevant to the customer but also how are you going to align the team and that language is normally built on the values of the team is going to be organizing around.

Again, start with the executive, they come up with the original values but then, the team, itself, is going to say, “Well, actually at our product level those values aren’t as relevant, we’re going to craft things that work better for us and, there’s a language that goes along with that.”

So, might use the example of the Sky cycling team that uses marginal gains as their signaling language. What’s important to us? What do we care about? Again, not a mathematically correct idea, this marginal gains thing but, it works well as a moniker for, how am I going to treat you? How I’m going to treat my fellow teammates? How I’m going to treat the public? How are we going to respond to crisis?

So, all of those language elements or signaling elements are an important part of high performing teams. And, again, you start to see it when you saw the video of the Formula One team where they are so well aligned and signaling each other in such a non-verbal way that they can continue to do their job even though they have a full on bio proof overall and helmet on and they can’t actually see or hear each other but, they can still actually do their job.

Maggie: Yeah. I had a question about that. So, I love that video, it’s really cool to see them perfectly working together as a team but, you also, in the talk you had a couple of examples of athletes and athletic teams working together. Both of those two things have an element of practice built into what they do. And, the thing I’ve been thinking about a lot is, when you look at a high performing team, especially in a work context, how do you bring that element of practice? Because, I think it’s really easy, as a former athlete myself to say, “Okay, this is practice, I’m practicing, it’s fine, I can break all the movements down really slowly and work on each one of them” but then I have race day.

But at work, every day is race day so like, how have you seen teams handle that?

Richard: So I would disagree, I don’t think every day is race day.

I think race day equivalent in a business is when you have crisis, something horrible happens. I think every other day is more attuned to that idea of practice day and, I think building a practice the way that you do in athletics is exactly the way you would do it here, its just not familiar to how organizations tend to work.

They’ll gie you onboarding, they’ll give you a little bit of training and then you’re off to the races and everything else is learned on the job. We’ve discovered that these teams work really well when they keep going back to practice mindset or to learning mindset and saying, we actually don’t know whether we’re doing it the right way, we need to practice that.

So they take time, just like you at Drift take time to read books and listen to podcasts and actually teach yourself, these high performing teams take time to become masters of their own domain by practicing, whether it’s within a guild or a functional area or as a team, those teams are actually calendaring time saying, look, on Monday’s we’re going to do this and we’re actually going to drop the work schedule and focus on being practiced so that we can be better when crisis happens or when ship day happens.

Maggie: So then what’s part three?

Richard: Part three is, one of the things that we noticed is that the mindset is going to be quite different from between a high performing team and a regular team.

The high performing teams have, firstly this idea that they’re not playing in a finite way, like a sport would be played where you’re just trying to get through the first or second half of a match and you’re trying to get points on the board but rather, that it’s this infinite game, we’re always trying to get better, that there’s mastery beyond where you are at every step of the way.

And that, the game that should be played means that you’re always going to beat your competition because, your competition is going to be seeking for that quarterly result or for that event. Maybe it’s an IPO, maybe it’s an acquisition whereas, you’re not seeking that event, you’re seeking for what is the best possible outcome for this brand? What’s the best possible outcome for this experience, for this customer? James Carse who wrote, “The Difference Between Finite and Infinite Games” talks about how the Vietnam War is actually one of those where the Vietcong were fighting the infinite game. This is our home, we’ve got nowhere else to go, we have to just keep fighting until we’re dead. Whereas, the U.S. were fighting a finite game which is like, we have to occupy this particular space.

So that’s the difference and the mentality changes the nature of how you show up every day. And along with that, I think, is also just the open versus closed mindset which Carol Dwight talks a lot about in her books which is, Are we going to be open to new learning or, are we going to just assume that we know everything?

Maggie: Right.

Richard: And that open mindset, the idea that you’re not perfect, that you could fail, you may not have the answer, you can say to your subordinates, I don’t know the answer to that even when they expect you to do it, that’s an important set of issues that you have to tackle.

And then the fourth thing, are we creating safe psychological places for people to be who they need to be? I mean, this is currently a gender issue, it’s a race issue, it’s not just a business issue but, I think within business and context of what we’re talking about today, safe psychological space isn’t like a room where you can go talk to a therapist about whose irritating you at work, like they have on that show, Billions but rather, do I feel lik I can express my opinion or, I can share what I think without feeling like I’m going to be repressed by a manager’s opinion or by some loudmouth in the room?

Like, is there a place for us to share our opinions with the caveat that, even that I can share my opinion, it doesn’t mean that everybody has to listen to my opinion in that kind of consensus driven way.

We’re not looking for consensus. Collaboration is not consensus, we can disagree, Maggie, you can tell me your opinion and I can tell you mine and we can have a big disagreement about that but, we need to have the opportunity to share that.

And, I think the problem with current situations is, people go to work and they don’t feel like they can express those opinions because, they’ve got a structure or a manager or a situation that doesn’t allow for that to happen.

So, safe psychological space is something that managers and leaders of high performing teams work a lot on and, it’s never done because, you’re always bringing new people in. So, every time you bring a new person, you’ve got a change in dynamic, a new person with new opinions and new relatable’s to bring into the conversation. How do you make sure that those people feel safe and, that the people that were interacting in a safe way don’t feel like they’re being adjusted in some way that’s negative?

Maggie: Right.

I mean, that’s exactly my question. How do you do that especially in an environment where maybe you’re not the leader, you’re not the executive, you don’t see yourself as a person who has the power, whatever that means?

What’s your advice for people from what you’ve seen and your research to how to start to influence and create that trust?

Richard: So, you guys are doing it without probably even realizing. Some of it is social. Taking time to share a coffee or a beer or, actually go offsite and do these things, those are different quantum’s of the same thing. When you’re having a coffee with the one-on-one team mate, that’s important, make time for that. Having a beer with the five people in your team, that’s important. Doing an offsite once a month or quarter, whatever it is that’s relevant to your cadence, that’s important as well.

So you deliberately create a cadence of socialization and then, the manager needs to insert themselves in ways that just cedes the conversation in a more vulnerable, organized way than a social conversation would be.

So, you and I talking over a cup of coffee, we talk about [inaudible 00:09:55] and kids and stuff like that well, maybe if the manager was in the room they’d say, I want you guys to share maybe an embarrassing moment, showing you that I’m actually a human being because I can express the fact that I’m not perfect and that I’ve got all these weaknesses and then, you share the same thing and you say, actually, I’m not perfect either and, now that we’ve got all that shit out the way, like okay, well now we’re much better people because, we don’t have to worry about you finding out about my weakness, I’m telling you what my weakness is, I’m telling you what I’m good at and, what I’m not good at and, in doing so, I’m also building trust. Vulnerability is the gateway drug to trust.

Trust is the outcome you’re seeking in any relationship, especially in these kinds of high performing teams so, vulnerability is just the way to peel back the layers until you expose trust.

Maggie: So it’s sort of like the fastest way to get to trust is by opening yourself up and being vulnerable.

Richard: I’m not sure, I think so. I think if Brene Brown was here she’d probably say that that’s true, I’m not sure that that’s true of every single group. I think that maybe the fastest way to trust is in other ways. I think big challenge is very often a way to find trust.

Like, you know, these reality TV shows where you put a bunch of strangers together under a very challenging situation, you start to find out where people’s weaknesses are and where the chinks in the armor are.

So, I think a combination of having a big challenge, as we discussed in the beginning which is going to have the right kind of people participate anyway and then, giving those people opportunity to be vulnerable sets the stage for that trust to develop.

Maggie: I think what’s really interesting is, over the four things that you mentioned, having big, scary, motivating mission alignment, that mindset of mastery and this idea of psychological safety, we’re talking about teams but you didn’t talk at all about the skill set of the people. It’s really interesting that it’s all about the context of these people and not about, oh, you need, you know, if we’re talking about product teams, you need someone who’s amazing at this specific heart skill.

Richard: It’s never actually the case. We never heard from anybody that we interviewed and, we interviewed several hundred over the course of the books but, specifically for product leadership, there were 100 product leaders.

We never ever heard somebody say well, you need a good UX person or, you need a great engineer. They hire for contribution, they hire for culture. They very rarely worry about skills specifically and how that, again, is contextual.

If you’re building a rocket ship you want a great astrophysicist, you want to make sure you have those skills in the team but, you also want the right astrophysicist, you want that person who’s going to culturally fit with what you’re trying to do, he believes in that crazy goal of yours and also, he’s going to be a good team member. They’re going to show up thinking team first, thinking how do I have a relationship with the people on my team that they can trust me? And, when things do go wrong, do I have their back and, will they have my back or, are they going to turn on me?

Maggie: Have you seen any of the people over the course of your career, people that you never talk about, how they have been vulnerable to outside the high performance team to another team that maybe they don’t work with as well?

I think, as a product person on our product team, you know, we’re okay, maybe good at building that within our individual teams but, maybe when it comes to working with some else’s team or, with sales or with marketing who has a set of expectations that we may or may not meet for whatever reason, how have you seen people bridge that gap?

Richard: Yeah so, the structural level that looks like cross functionality. Instead of having a product team that’s representing say UX design engineering development data, you would also actually include sales, during a regulated industry you might include legal in that.

We saw with the teams at John Hancock, they actually put a regulator on the ream.

Maggie: On the product team?

Richard: On the product team because, the highly regulated industry that actually makes the difference. Who would have thought to put a lawyer on a product team but, it actually makes sense in certain industries.

And I think in a high growth environment like Drift is in, sales should be on the product team. I mean, DC and I had this conversation as we walked in this morning, we were like, I don’t see any reason why sales should be sitting by themselves, I think sales should be embedded with the product teams because, that’s where they offer the most value and, that’s where they were going to be able to come back to the product team and say, look, this is what we see at the cold face.

Product doesn’t have to listen to every single thing and, by that I mean, implement everything that sales comes up with but, if they’re hearing those things, they can start seeking patterns, they can start hearing for the obvious opportunities and obvious risks as well.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: It’s probably not happening as often as we would like to see but we are starting to see some pretty bold organizations having cross functionality mean every aspect of the business, not just every aspect or product.

Maggie: Right, that’s really interesting, I hadn’t thought about that.

I think when you do that you still maintain the connections of all the sales people with each other and their discipline so, you have some …

Richard: They just don’t sit with each other.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: So, the structure for those who are listening and wondering how do you actually do this. So, sales doesn’t sit with each other, they sit in the cross functional product environment where you would have one UX person or two engineers or, one researcher, et cetera.

They are all sitting in those product teams structurally, physically, that’s where they live. When it comes to organizing themselves every week or, on the slack channel, they are talking to sales as well.

So every week sales gets together and has an all hands sales meeting. They have their sales channels on slack which they are communicating on. So, it doesn’t mean that sales has stopped talking to each other, it just means that they’re much more embedded in the product experience which, if you were a customer, think about it for a second, you don’t care where sales sits as long as they’re delivering value to you.

So that’s where this all comes around to. You know, we talked a little bit about it in the talk this morning which is, when you start organizing around the customer, or the customer problems specifically, you stop thinking about functional organizations, you start to only think about where is value delivered and, how do we deliver that?

Maggie: Right.

It’s also making me think about, I was having a conversation yesterday with one of our customer success team and, she was asking how can I be better about giving feedback and, how can I find the right people and, how do we maintain that as we’re growing as a company?

And, what this makes me think of is, cutting down the length of time and the burden of communication because, we’re all just together. You know, you get rid of that game of telephone that you have to play with, you know, why is product building what they’re building when this is what I’m hearing on the phone?

Richard: Yeah because the tensions in an organization are always going to be between functional groups or between product groups that have overlapping interests with the same customer.

Maggie: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Richard: So, that’s the job of the product leader ultimately is, identifying where those gaps are and then making sure that they’re destroyed or smashed by poking holes in them.

For instance, let’s say you’ve got a data group, do you have a data group?

Maggie: [inaudible 00:16:07].

Richard: [inaudible 00:16:07] data group which is generally what’s happening in tech, most companies are starting to think about like, well, we need a group of people to think about what’s going to happen with data.

Those people should be embedded but then, those people should also be talking to each other. Well, how do you do that? Well you get together that group as a guild or a community of practice and you let them have a conversation on a regular basis about what that technology does and how it could be useful to the customer while at the same time doing their job, their day-to-day how do we deliver value to the customer using this particular data insight?

Maggie: That’s a great Segway because, as someone who’s new to this product leader role, I have a lot of questions and I’m reading that book again.

And the thing I was curious about is, so you did interview so many, I think you said 100, more than 100?

Richard: Yeah, I think we actually list 75 in the book but, the reality was we interviewed a lot more, most of the interviews didn’t make it.

Maggie: So, when talking to those people, what were the consistent like, were there any patterns and consistent sort of traits between them?

So, not just like what they’re doing as product leaders but, who they are and what makes them good at their jobs.

Richard: None.

Maggie: Really?

Richard: For me it’s quite refreshing because, I was in the same mindset as you are, I was hoping that there was a set of characteristics that, and we do list them in the book like, these are the things we see regularly like, these are the buckets of things in terms of behavior or characteristics that we see across those leaders, never mind product leaders, leaders in general.

Maggie: Right.

Richard: However, in terms of style and personality, I think it’s kind of freeing to realize that it takes all types.

A good way to think about this is, I think of statesmanship as a quietly spoken man called Nelson Mandela, thoughtful, poetic, philosophical, gentle. That’s not the leader that everybody would think about when they think of statesmanship. Maybe they think of like a hard nosed person like a Churchill. There’s lots of different ways to get to this leadership role. It takes all types so, if you’re thinking about that stuff its kind of nice to know that your personality is almost perfect because it’s not about personality, its more about, are you empathetic? Are you able to return trust to people that work with you in a way that allows them to make good decisions?

Those are the characteristics and those are sometimes learned thing. You know, we’re all humans and we could all potentially be good athletes in some sport, we don’t know until we try, we don’t know until we practice that skill, until we throw that ball 100 times or pull back that bow 1,000 times. We really wouldn’t know until we had practiced those things.

So, practicing leadership is not a genetic personality thing, it’s, oh, I need to be those things regardless of my personality, how do I go and develop them?

Maggie: Right. Interesting.

So, if you had to pick from all of the stuff that you learned while you were writing that book and doing that research, the first thing a new person in product leadership role should work on. Like, what’s the first thing that you see people struggling with that they should just figure out how to do?

Richard: So I think decision making is probably more of a symptom of trust than something that precedes it but, what are your thoughts around how you make decisions? Do you think that now that you’re in a leadership position you have to make all the decisions or that decision making is the role of leader?

We see well matured leaders giving up decision making powers almost entirely. They’re just into building a team of trusting individuals that trust each other and work with each other to make really good decisions. Because decisions are the velocity of an organization. Things get stuck in the decision making process, things don’t get done. The currency that we live by is, decisions.

What are we going to do tomorrow? What are we going to do first? How are we going to prioritize these things? Which of these things has the biggest value to the customer or, to the organization? All of those decisions, however big or small they are, need to be made at some point and so, learning how to be a good decision maker is really important and, teaching people and yourself to be a good decision maker is important.

And I think one of the aspects of that is, we like to believe that we can make perfect decisions all the time and, the answer is, no, you can’t. You probably make good decisions maybe 10% of the time, if that and so, relying on the idea that you’re going to be perfect every time is heartbreaking because, it never really ends up that way.

Maggie: Right. And, I would imagine that slows down your decision making anyway if you’re the burden that you’re putting on yourself as someone who makes decisions is to make a perfect decision, you’re never going to make them because, you’re going to agonize over them constantly.

Richard: Yeah, I mean, a good example is, I’ve just launched a new coworking business and I know nothing about coworking and, I’m making terrible decisions all along the way and, I know that getting the business up and running and, experiencing those mistakes first hand is it going to teach me way faster and get me traction way quicker than if I try and read all the research papers and do all the data analysis before I take the first step. It can be years before I do the first thing then and, that’s really not going to help me.

Richard: Learning a little, yeah, it will cost me a little bit of time and money making mistakes but, it will cost me more time to delay a decision.

Maggie: Yeah. That makes sense.

So, how would you sort of package up like the high performance teams piece and being a high performance product team leader? Like, what are your advice for people who are listening or watching for what they can like, one or two things they should just go back to their teams and try out?

So I know you mentioned better ways to break the ice and build vulnerability but, what are some tips that people can use just today? Even if they’re not the leader on their team.

Richard: Something that’s really simple to do is, how well do you know each other?

I think we probably superficially know each other, we know each other, where we live and maybe that we are in this relationship or we have this many kids or a dog, whatever. What else do you know about that person? What do you know about the things that really bother them or the things that have been their trials over the year?

Do you know that they’ve got a sick friend or partner that they’re dealing with at home? That they recently lost a loved one? Those kinds of things we never really take time to deal with and, I think there’s probably a little bit of that old fashioned mentality of like, well, it’s got nothing to do with you.

Maggie: Right because I’m at work and …

Richard: Yeah, I just never found that to be the case. I think people working together, there’s no difference than people doing anything together. People are people, humans are humans and they want to make connections, like, we’re social animal and we really benefit from being social with each other.

And so, the opportunities for us to share those things, given any environment are just as valuable as say, doing it over a beer. Create that opportunity. Say, look, I want you to go and discover something about your team mate that wouldn’t ordinarily come up in conversation and, spend as much time as you want and then, come back to me and let’s talk about what we found out and how we relate to each other and, what we disagree on and, what we don’t like about each other and, let’s talk about that stuff. That’s how we’re going to build trust.

Maggie: Right. Yeah, we use a tool called, Predictive Index to do sort of personality typing and, I find that we have, one of the teams I’m on, there’s a person who will know who he is if he ever listens to this, who we have both are extremely dominant and once when we looked at our patterns we were like, oh this is why we’re always arguing even when we’re having a nice chat and we’re agreeing with each other, it just sounds like arguing and, it stresses our team out. So, we had to figure out how he could uncover that and work around it and that’s one of the tools that we’ve used.

Richard: Yeah.

And I think that’s really the core of what we’re talking about is, do we know each other well enough that we can talk about that openly or, are we just making a whole bunch of assumptions about each other?

Like, I think you might be dominant, I think I might be dominant and that’s why we’re arguing but, I’m not going to say that because I don’t know that. But, things like the Predictive Index or DISC tools or anything, really they’re just a conversation starter.

I wrote a book about design sprints. Design sprints are just a trick, a parlor trick to get people talking to each other. So, all of the exercises in the design sprint are actually exercises that we would use in this context breaking the ice and connecting people and having them overcome certain things.

So, for instance, doing assumption storming, have people do an assumption storming test and find out who is using those assumptions to drive their decision making and, which of those assumptions are potentially dangerous. Because, they may think that those assumptions are perfectly acceptable, that they’re pat of the normal culture of the organization or that they did it at their previous company so why shouldn’t they do it here? And they’re not maliciously assuming things, they’re just walking into it with any other bias they might have.

So, all of the exercises in design sprint are really just parlor tricks to get people to talk to each other and, once you’ve done that kind of thing, you go, “Oh my God, I actually don’t really know what we were working on but, I know all the people that I work with much better now and I feel like we could actually do anything together.”

Maggie: Yeah, I agree.

One of the small things that we started doing as a team as well was, we had a couple of instances where we weren’t all on, we realized, probably too late, that we weren’t exactly on the same page and so we’ve now started this new little cultural thing on this one team where all right, you draw it and I will draw it and then we’re going to show each other the drawings of it and we’re going to see if it’s the same because, if it’s not then we haven’t actually communicated whatever it is that we’re working on.

So that’s something, another little trick that we’ve been using to try to suss out the differences.

Richard: That’s right, there’s actually one of the design sprint exercises is, everybody has to draw a pink elephant.

Maggie: Yeah, right and you would think that that would be relatively consistent.

Richard: Should be easy.

Maggie: But, yeah.

Richard: Some people draw a child’s toy and, other people will draw an actual elephant that’s pink. You’re like, well, that’s not the same thing.

Maggie: Yeah. We did it for an excel file like, we were building an export and we literally sat down and we drew out what this excel file would look like because, we wanted to make sure we knew exactly what we were doing.

Again, Richard, thank you so much for coming, I really appreciate you coming on the podcast. The talk was amazing. Everyone should buy the Product Leadership book. And you have a new book coming out?

Richard: I’m working on a book more specifically about high performing teams because that’s a part of the book that resonated with a lot of folks and, what I’ve realized is that, as I spread my research a little bit wider than product, I started to see like the Formula One teams, I spent my time with them in Barcelona and some of the other weird little retail organizations that I have had an opportunity to work with, just because they were in tech doesn’t mean they’re doing things differently, they’re all actually very similar.

I will tell you this one example is, an organization or a company that has three stores in a small town, they all do different things but they’re owned by the same people. And, the people that work at one store sometimes work in the other store and they kind of go between. And, these very, very high performing team that does this work. And, we’re having an event at this coffee shop, essentially that they own and, the guys from the other store who have got nothing to do with the coffee shop just walked over and started helping. And that’s a non-verbal signal to say, I’ve got your back, I can see that you’re overwhelmed with this even that you’re doing and I’m going to start folding and organizing chairs and cleaning up stuff without being asked.

That’s the kind of high performing team, stuff that you start to see in non-tech things is, people are just signaling to each other what’s important and what’s not and, how to then create a better outcome. And that’s what I want to write about, I want to write about what does it look like for everybody, not just for products or digital or tech, what does it look like if you’re a high performing team in any industry or any capacity?

Maggie: Mm-hmm (affirmative) cool so, when that’s out we’ll plug it on the podcast.

Thanks so much, again, really appreciate you coming.

Everyone who’s listening, I need new reviews just for me now that I’m on my own podcast so, hit me up with the, I’ll take five stars, I’m not even going to pull the six star game on this one but, please leave a review and we’ll put Richard’s information in the show notes.

Richard: Cool, thanks Maggie.

Maggie: Yeah, thanks.