Building a good team is not just the individual leaders but the team as a whole. CPOs should manage through efficient delegation but also give their product managers the freedom to execute. What are some best practices to hire and retain the best product teams? Box CPO and 2022 Global CPO 20 winner Diego Dugatkin shares his insights into creating the best product teams, embracing the vision, and building the next generation of product leaders.

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On Embracing The Company Vision and Making It Your Own

Diego began talking about his introduction to product management and how that eventually led him to Box. From there, the company has a clear vision and Diego had to embrace it and then make it his own to take the product to new heights. 

“In my case, the vision was already in place from the founding CEO, Aaron, who basically has been not only communicating but truly leading the transformation of the company to become the content cloud. Box is the content cloud. What does that mean for product? What do we need to do in product to realize that vision, that meta-vision?

There is a virtuous life cycle of actions that you can take to ingest content or generate it, modify that content, share it, collaborate, sign or do approvals on that content, archive it, or run analytics on it. There are many things you can do on that content.

That vision is basically accelerating the adoption, increasing the retention of our customer base, and increasing engagement. We already saw that in the seven months I’ve been with Box and we expect that to continue to accelerate. So I’m pretty excited about it.”

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On Building Great Product Teams

Diego shares how the role of a good CPO is building and retaining a good team. The work isn’t just for him, but his whole team to maintain a good workplace atmosphere, in order to elevate the next generation of product leaders.

“I would say being a good CPO is not an individual’s task. It requires that you work with a good team because you’re the tip of the iceberg. So in this one aspect of the effectiveness of the CPO that relates to vision to basically communicating that vision.. At the same time, it’s another leg of that. It’s about building a good team, especially in a larger company, it’s not an individual’s job, it’s a team’s job.

It’s a difficult time for most companies where there is a lot of mobility now. Product managers are curious folks that want to learn things and typically interact with many, and they also get to sometimes try interesting things in different places. So it’s somewhat expected, practically more than other functions, that people in product management would be interested in learning things and sometimes also tapped into by other companies and so on. It’s also understood more recently, not only that the role of CPO but in general, product management is so important.”

On Best Practices for Product Teams

Diego gives listeners specific examples of what he does to keep teams connected, engaged, and also learning. This includes off-site events, celebrations among the team, mentoring, feedback, and giving space to let others shine.

“To me, the way you do it is part of the craft so it’s something important to do. I also spend time with my direct reports ideating but also sharing with them things I’ve tried before because someday they will be CPOs, as well. This is part of my mission, to keep elevating my VPs to CPOs somewhere. Part of that requires basically having good techniques to do their own team-building in the teams now and also in the future. 

There are other things to do, as well. Don’t waste an opportunity to celebrate. Any awesomeness should be celebrated. So we tend to celebrate when we do a great release, any event that is personal or work-related, that is worth celebrating. For me, it’s important to have the budget for all-hands, for off-sites, the budget for the celebrations.”

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About the speaker
Diego Dugatkin Box, Chief Product Officer Member
About the host
Renee Niemi CPO
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