33 - On Product Management in HR & Employee Experience
Updated: Sep 13
a conversation with Jonathon Hensley, CEO of Emerge Interactive
In this episode, Benoit Hardy-Vallee talks with Jonathon Hensley, the Co-founder, and CEO of Emerge. Emerge is a digital product consultant firm that works with companies to improve operational agility and customer experience. During COVID, many companies have been forced out of necessity to accelerate their plans to modernize, to leverage technology in new and innovative ways to really help them stay viable and relevant in the market, says Jonathan.
Team alignment is about how do you integrate the unique disciplines and life experiences of all the people that make up the team in order to effectively solve problems in a viable, scalable and relevant way to your target customer.
"Alignment is one of the most critical elements to bridging the execution gap. But I think that before some of that alignment can be made or created in an organization, there are fundamentals that often are skipped that have to be addressed." - Jonathan
Companies are not just investing and building the products and services that they are providing to their customers, but also the products and services they are building internally to drive engagement, empower and modernize their workforce.
Somewhere between 70 to 90% of all digital product initiatives and transformation initiatives fail or underperform. So, when you have such an extreme failure rate, it really begs the question of what are those folks that are succeeding doing differently, and how they are doing that, says Jonathan.
The challenge is that sometimes tools become so robust and monolithic in nature that the actual experience or the ability of a team or an individual to focus on their contribution becomes overly complex.
The tools are taking a different shape as we shift from an old ideology around the industrial era of how we structure the organization to more of a service-based model.
Emerge was working with one organization which had a cross-functional team across multiple divisions and every group in the organization had a different definition of who the customer was.
We had to focus on building a shared understanding so the organization as a whole knows when we talk about the customer.
The amazing thing today is that every function of a business has the potential to own their products as they serve the organization.
As an organization owning a product, you have to start to embrace expertise.
When you look at great product managers, they are multifaceted. They have really worked diligently to educate themselves and understand business design and technology.
The most important trait of a great product manager is that they never fall in love with solutions. They only fall in love with the problem.
With web 3.0, there is an incredible opportunity through things like blockchain and democratization of information, says Jonathan.