It’s People. Our Product is People.

A common saying in the internet-era is

If you aren’t paying for it, you are the product

Increasingly though I’ve started realising that in my world

If you are getting paid for it, you are the product

As someone who identifies as a product management professional I rarely actual manage any products anymore. As a consultant (am I a consultant? I don’t really know…) it is my knowledge, network and experience (and that of my colleagues) that my company sells. We are the product…and increasingly for me I am a product with a built in expiry date – the successful outcome is to be successfully replaced.

This is probably why I have become so fixated on ‘people operations’ – being better at hiring, developing, retaining, mentoring and just managing people seems the most important and useful place to spend my time educating myself. There is so much information out there about what both good and bad looks like and yet so little seems to actually change.

I’ve been circling this for years – since I started my newsletter at a minimum – but I’ve decided to use my new ‘day off’ in my four day week to get more serious about it.

The start is my job ads/description research which has started with the survey and will be followed up with some interviews and collected in a blogpost or two at some point.

I’m also looking to crowd-source recommendations for a reading list – especially on fairer, more diverse hiring, interviewing, ‘onboarding’ (hate that term so a replacement word would be good as well) and developing healthy cultures that reinforces everything. Blogposts, books, papers whatever. I’ve read a lot on the topic(s) but want to broaden my perspective.

Oh and any recommendations for online Futurelearn (or whoever) courses about ‘people’ stuff as well.

I have no clear end game in sight for any of this but for the next few months it seems like a rabbit hole worth diving down.

We’ll see.

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