How can leaders effectively motivate cross-functional teams in the post-pandemic era to achieve escape velocity and drive business success? In this episode, Product Talk Host & Willow Innovations, Inc VP of Product, Melissa Pickering, meets with Fractional Executive and CPO Eleanor Morgan. They discuss her transition from consultancy to e-commerce, the importance of cross-functional teams, and the challenge of motivating individuals and teams. Then, the conversation touches on topics such as work-life balance, psychological safety, diversity and inclusion, and effective leadership.

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Show Notes

  1. Eleanor reflects on the transition from IDEO to Casper and how it helped her quantify her impact as a product leader.
  2. Further, working in e-commerce provided her with an immediate feedback loop and enabled her to calibrate her impact in a way that was not possible in a consultancy.
  3. She embraces her role as a hybrid product manager and design leader and believes that it enables her to make a higher impact at the companies she works for.
  4. The concept of “escape velocity” can be applied to teams, and product leaders need cross-functional teams to achieve this velocity.
  5. There is a trend of “quiet quitting” or the great resignation as people re-evaluate their jobs during the post-pandemic era.
  6. Additionally, The pandemic has made it clear that our time on Earth is limited.
  7. Leaders are grappling with the challenge of motivating individuals and teams.
  8. It’s important for leaders to understand their team members’ motivations and align them with the company’s mission and values.
  9. Creating a culture of psychological safety is crucial for team members to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions in the post-pandemic era.
  10. In addition, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of work-life balance and flexibility in the workplace.
  11. Leaders should encourage employees to take time off and prioritize self-care.
  12. Setting clear goals and expectations can help motivate team members and provide a sense of direction.
  13. Additionally, celebrating small wins and recognizing team members’ contributions can boost morale and motivation.
  14. Providing opportunities for growth and development is important for retaining top talent.
  15. Diversity and inclusion should be a priority for leaders and organizations.
  16. Encouraging open communication and feedback can help improve team performance and morale.
  17. What’s more, building trust and rapport with team members is crucial for effective leadership.
  18. Leaders should lead by example and embody the values and behaviors they want to see in their team members.
  19. Likewise, it’s important to create a sense of purpose and meaning for team members beyond just the bottom line.
  20. Finally, effective leadership requires continuous learning and self-improvement.
About the speaker
Eleanor Morgan Independent Consultant, Chief Product Officer Member

Eleanor Morgan is an executive leader with a track record of building category-defining products and experiences across seed stage to large scale public companies. She has led the development of both consumer and enterprise products as the Chief Product Officer at InVision, as Chief Experience Officer at Casper, and as a Co-Lead of IDEO New York. Over the past 15 years she has been recognized for the products as well as the organizations she has built -- including Fast Company’s Most Innovative, CNBC Disruptor 50, a Webby, a Stevie, e-tail Innovator of the Year, and Comparably’s Best Product & Design Team awards. Eleanor holds a Bachelor of Science in Product Design and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

About the host
Melissa Pickering Willow Innovations, VP of Product Management

I'm a purpose-driven change agent with a track record of building & leading cross-functional teams to develop & launch products for kids. From Disney Imagineering, to EdTech startup founder, to product innovation at The LEGO Group, I have spent over a decade building and leading product teams to innovate kids' play and learning experiences. Most recently, I have joined another purpose-driven mission at Willow Innovations to bring more joy to motherhood, building products to make moms' lives easier.

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