Feedback and Flexibility is Product Management

Rob Holland, CEO of Feedback Loop, talks about the role of feedback as a fundamental building block of products and businesses, and as a core element of all learning and growth. Rob has built and led product teams at large organizations like Nielsen, and has been at the helm of high-growth startups, taking them through to successful exits.

Over the course of his career, Rob Holland has seen the evolution of how feedback is gathered and deployed in business processes. In today’s environment of accelerated change and technological advancement, being able to collect and action on feedback is more crucial than ever. Every company must seize the opportunity to use feedback to become more flexible so they can quickly respond to change. Quote image (2)

Feedback comes from numerous sources: from the market, from customers, as well as from leaders and teammates. Both team members and leaders alike must be receptive to the feedback they collect and they must be able to take action from it. This requires a behavior shift for many organizations, but it is one that will ultimately create flexibility and allow them to react quickly to changes in opinion and behavior.

Connect with Rob-1

Rob talks about his tenure at Clorox, a company that had historically relied on a lengthy development process. After the failure of a new product line, the company reconsidered how it developed and launched its products. “We went from one massive product launch every 18 months to launching 12 products in a year,” Rob explains. “That was a change in the whole DNA of the company.” Now, a couple of decades after this shift, companies like Clorox are able to seamlessly adapt to rapidly changing consumer attitudes around personal health and hygiene in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

But companies shouldn’t expect the process of iterative development to be a direct one. “It’s not always a straight line,” Rob explains, “and that’s OK as long as you know when you’re veering off, and you have a plan to course-correct within a reasonable amount of time.”

From the space race to today’s climate of constant change, you’ll learn about the transformative nature of feedback in this episode of This Is Product Management.

Here are the highlights: 

  • How businesses can make getting feedback easier (5:06)
  • Overcome massive transformation initiatives by taking small steps (7:19)
  • How leadership can create a feedback culture (12:40)
  • The different sources of feedback during product development (16:01)

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