Part V. The Product-Led Organization

The product-led organization is characterized by a culture that understands and organizes around outcomes over outputs, including a company cadence that revolves around evaluating its strategy in accordance to meeting outcomes. In product-led organizations, people are rewarded for learning and achieving goals. Management encourages product teams to get close to their customers, and product management is seen as a critical function that furthers the business.

“We think the iPhone is going to be big—way bigger than it is now. You should really be looking at how to integrate your camera technology into phones.” All nine of our heads bobbed eagerly, as we made our case to the Kodak team. It was 2008, and a big shift in digital photography was in motion. Many of you know what came next for Kodak—it’s a well-documented tale of disruption. Well, I was actually there for it and witnessed firsthand what happens when an organization does not plan for innovation.

One year earlier, I had been chosen to participate on an innovation team at Cornell University that was partnering with Kodak Research Laboratories to create a new product that would appeal to people in their early 20s. Kodak Research Laboratories was responsible for researching breakthrough innovations in the area of imaging. Our fearless leaders at Cornell were experimenting with a new way ...

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