Product Development Leadership Training

Leaders in Learning: As this is the second time I joined Ericsson’s Product Development Leadership training session, I had a number of expectations as to what I would take away from this learning session. From new ways of working to fresh approaches to everyday problems, I was excited to not only learn from my European colleagues, but share my experiences.

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Why Now?

In 2007, I joined Ericsson's Product Development Leadership training for the first time. At that time, I had just begun my leader position and I had an insatiable hunger to learn. Over the years, Ericsson employees have numerous learning opportunities, but now I was excited to join the leadership training again from product and service development angle. I was looking forward to new information I could learn and how could I share this experience with others in my group. No matter how experienced you are there's always room for new learnings, too.

Learn from the Past to Prepare for the Future

Our instructors focused on the importance of looking not only at the present and future, but also into the past. When discussing how to lead a team and grow your thought leadership, you need to understand how you got to where you are today so you can avoid continuing down the same path, or worse: fall into worthless practices. For myself, this part was a walk in the park since I had experienced various different kinds of product development processes over the years.

One example of using the same thinking, but refreshing it for the current market was how the training session shifted from 2007 to 2016. At the core, the session content was the same, but the definition of the topics was adjusted to meet the new ways of working. You don't always have to make big changes, but instead think about how you can tweak your current strategies to meet the needs of the current landscape. For example, in 2007, agile was key takeaway for me, and today the same might be said for the system-thinking model. In this changing world and transforming our company to new business, it is vital to challenge all leaders to focus on different ways of learning.

The Power of Interactions and Sharing

Good old truth: Sharing is caring! When you have enough diversity (and in our case people from different product and service development areas, competence background, gender, age, culture and even from acquired companies) the more viewpoints you got to listen. One of the most used words in our daily reflection was trust. It is easier to build an innovative team on top of a foundation of trust and safety. The more you care, the more you tend to share. The natural step towards success. For us at Ericsson, success and finding new areas to concur is an ongoing journey. In this journey we also need some opposites, too. That we faced latest in our final exercise when we got to use all the learnings. Suddenly our interaction changed towards stronger opinions on how to go forward to the solution. Leaders should also be able to read hidden signals and message the co-workers are sending. When to listen, when to give room, when to act, and when to make the final decision.

My Main Takeaway and Sharing

Leadership is something you can learn over the years from various sources and in day-to-day situations. But, how you lead depends very much on your character and how you sense and respond to the needs of your team. Instead of implementing processes and ensuring people follow them, why not to start by thinking about what kind of behaviors you want to emphasize and build up your processes from there.

To reflect my expectations from day one: I stayed open to both learning and sharing with my colleagues throughout the training. One key for energetic days is how you start and end them. Try out run in the park in the morning if you haven't tried it yet. It also means it's better go to bed early enough, too.

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