I was working with a future mentee last week and we noticed a recurring theme to some of our discussions — that a large part of good Product Management results from limiting the number of choices that our teams and our executives have to choose from, so that they make decisions that reflect the actual priorities that should be driving our next moves. In most organizations, there is an almost unlimited number of ideas, concepts, directions, and motivations from which to choose — and trying to manage all of them at once is certain to drive any Product Manager insane in very short order. Rather, in order to ensure that we’re doing the right things at the right times, we need to be constantly limiting the possible permutations upon which we drive decisions so that we can be sure that we’re moving in the right direction while being open to new ideas and concepts!
How often do we as Product Managers complain that we’re constantly bombarded with all sorts of distractions as we try to do our jobs on a daily basis? What if I told you that there’s one clever trick that you can use to minimize those disruptions and secure more time to focus on doing your job how you want, when you want?
It’s called “operant conditioning”, and the fact is you’re already doing it — though you’re probably doing it wrong and actually increasing the distractions you’re exposed to, rather than minimizing them.