Creative Thinking is Product Management

Jon Kolko, Author of Creative Clarity: A Practical Guide for Bringing Creative Thinking Into Your Company, shares how to foster creative thinking and build products that emotionally resonate with users.

Design is a critical, yet commonly overlooked aspect of product management. Many product managers focus on building practical solutions to measurable user problems. However, this week’s guest, Jon Kolko, encourages listeners to also understand users’ emotional needs and build features that fulfill those needs.

He provides three pillars of effective product design:

  • Making - creating something new
  • Criticism - accepting feedback from teammates and users
  • Iteration - continually improving the design and user experience

Many companies lack the ability to attract and retain creative talent and foster creativity across the organization. Jon says corporations need to take a bottom-up approach to fostering creativity. This means forming small teams, building trust, and formalizing critique.

You’ll learn a lot from this episode about creativity and product management and giving and receiving feedback.

Here are the highlights:

  • Jon describes the role of creativity in product management (4:25)
  • How Jon incorporates user research into his design work (7:15)
  • The approach Jon takes to designing products that emotionally resonate with users (10:10)
  • How product managers can match creativity to user and business needs (13:15)
  • Best practices for fostering creative across an organization (15:25)
  • Jon’s advice on taking feedback and rallying teammates behind ideas (19:31)

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