Dec 9, 2019
What does it mean to be organization that embodies agility and
uses it to their advantage?
Jeff Gothelf is a coach, consultant, speaker and author. He
helps organizations build better products, and executives build the
cultures that build better products. He is the co-author of the
Lean UX and the Harvard Business Review Press book Sense &
Jeff works with companies to help them bridge the gaps between
business agility, digital transformation, product management and
human-centered design. Most recently Jeff co-founded Sense & Respond
Press, a publishing house for practical business books for busy
In today’s conversation with us, Jeff emphasizes the importance
of creating an agile culture and how it relates to solo
entrepreneurs, large enterprises, and every business in between. He
explains the difference between traditional output-centric
industries and those that focus on outcomes, and why doing things
the way it’s always been done may just put you out of business. On
the flipside, what can you learn from Amazon and how can you make
the pace of change your competitive advantage? Listen and find out.
- Agility transcends departments.
- We are fighting 100 years of manufacturing management,
processes, theories and methods.
- It’s time to stop telling your teams exactly what to do and how
to do it.
- With knowledge-work, we’re not building static units, we’re
building systems that can continuously evolve and have to react to
changing customer expectations.
- We have to start thinking like a software company, which does
not base their success on the deployment of a feature, but rather
on outcomes and changes in customer behavior.
- Everything hinges on leadership letting go, setting strategic
direction, setting goals, and then letting the teams make decisions
on an ongoing basis.
- You may know a lot about your customer and have an opinion
about what they want but rather than make it a requirement, see it
as a hypothesis to be validated or invalidated by the market.
- Humility is not the abdication of vision, leadership or
direction. Humility is being willing to change your mind if the
evidence from the market contradicts your strong opinion.
- The sooner we can get ideas into the hands of our customers the
- The culture that you’re trying to create as a leader of a
continuously learning organization is a culture where people feel
safe standing up and saying in front of their team, “I was wrong.”
If we’re not comfortable with that, then we’re never going to build
a feedback loop.
- Being agile is responding to change based on evidence from the
- The pace of change is a competitive threat to you and it’s a
- Amazon pushes code to production every 11.6 seconds. That means
that a real Amazon customer gets a change to the way Amazon works
five times a minute. Amazon is continuously testing, learning and
improving the way that Amazon works.
- The same technology that the big players use is available to
you. You can test your ideas on social media, through your blog,
mailing list and sales pages.
- Today customers are expecting to be able to give you feedback.
They will forgive you for less than perfect experiences that
deliver value and that ultimately continuously improve based on
- Even if it is an experiment it doesn’t have to look like one.
You can still present it with quality. Use your brand assets to
make it look legitimate.
Connect With Jeff Gothelf