The Universal Constant – Change

CHANGE is the only universal constant.

For decades, scientists held fast to the idea that the decay rate of radioactive elements was a constant.  Based on that assumption, we created things like Carbon-14 dating.  But given enough time, even the decay rate of radioactive elements isn’t constant – which leads me to the following conclusion:

CHANGE is the only universal constant.
Today marks the last day of one chapter of my life and Monday marks the first day of the next chapter in my life – more change.

Change is good though – it is the foundation of our existence.  Without it, we would be doomed to repeating everything  over and over again without progress – much like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Over the past twelve years I have served as a product manager for three very different organizations in two very different industries.  Each organization conducted the business of product management in wildly different ways and during my time with each, we made at least one major shift in approach with the arrival of new senior leadership.  So given the aforementioned premise, that should be a good thing, but its not.

CHANGE is good but CONSTANT FUNDAMENTAL CHANGE is disruptive and counter-productive.  So how do we keep the effective change and get rid of the ineffective change in product management?

To get started, we first have to understand the fundamental structure of product management which in turn begs the question, what is product management and why is it so different everywhere you go?

Unlike our counterparts in PROJECT management, product managers don’t have a universally accepted body of knowledge and accreditation – or do we? 

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA) offers a standard body of knowledge and a wonderful accreditation process in the form of the New Product Development Professional (NPDP) certification.  I would encourage product management practitioners and leaders alike to engage with the PDMA.  The best opportuntity get get exposure to the group, the certification and practitioners and leaders from around the world is the Product Innovation Management conference in Orlando, FL October 20-24.  I will be in attendance and look forward to seeing you there!

Secondly, last year, there was a new book published entitled Managing Product Management.

This is the first book I’ve read that actually talks more about how to attract and develop quality product talent than about the ideation funnel, product management framework etc. 

So in closing, life is a balance – I think we all agree with that statement.  Business is also a balance, there are no absolutes.  So in your day-to-day product lives, take a step back and categorize change as effective or ineffective and work to maximize effective change while accepting that ineffective change, to some degree, will always be present.  If you take that approach, good things will happen to you – I promise.


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