Lyft Product Lead on How To Ship During A Company Pivot (Part 3)
It helps to practice what you are going to say when you announce a company pivot. You can role-play different scenarios about what might happen when you have to communicate change. Remember to rehearse potential extreme or angry reactions and figure out how you will deal with them.
What happens after you deliver the message is critical as well, maybe even more than the message itself. Do you go and huddle with a small group of leaders and look tense, or do you have a loose relaxed attitude? Remember, people are closely watching your tone and body language during any period of change. What message are you transmitting nonverbally?
When managing a company pivot, you want to empower people with tools to deal with change. You can even establish a learning plan and discussion for your team about these situations. Udemy offers a whole series of courses about change management. It might be a good idea to offer these tools even before any transitions occur. That way, teams are better prepared to handle unexpected news and move forward faster.
As I think about change, I always return to the saying, “The plan is the plan until it isn’t.” This allows you to stay focused on real tasks. Sure, you might have another re-org in three months, but for now, let’s build and ship stuff. That’s more fun than worrying all the time about a company pivot.
During times of increased uncertainty, maybe the best thing you can say is, “We’ll figure it out.” This provides you with optimism and flexibility. Another useful line to use is, “Do you like everything about your current job?” This enables a conversation about potential positive aspects of change.
When you incorporate these strategies, the goal is that your team moves through company changes in a more unified and even fun way.
About the speaker
Archie Abrams currently leads growth product for riders and drivers at Lyft. Previously, he was SVP of Product at Udemy where he led a 45+ person team across Product Management, Product Design, User Research and Analytics. Before building the product team, he led the growth team at Udemy. He joined Udemy as employee #10, helped scale Udemy marketplace to over 25 million students and 100,000 courses across 185 countries. Archie is a graduate of Bowdoin College and currently lives in the Bay Area.