Sense and Respond – Jeff Gothelf on The Product Experience "Product people - Product managers, product designers, UX designers, UX researchers, Business analysts, developers, makers & entrepreneurs 10 September 2019 True podcast, Product Management, product management skillls, The Product Experience, Mind the Product Mind the Product Ltd 549 Jeff Gothelf Product Management 2.196
· 2 minute read

Sense and Respond – Jeff Gothelf on The Product Experience

Jeff Gothelf

After starting his career on the road with a circus (yes, really), no business setting should ever be a challenge for Jeff Gothelf – after all, he’s worked with real clowns.  Jeff sat down with our hosts for a rare in-person conversation during Scotland’s Turing Festival to chat about effecting change, focusing on outcomes, using lean and agile principles in his own life, and the value of training.

Quote of the Episode

The school of thought for leaders who have been in place for 15 to 20 years is based in manufacturing, where we tell our people what to do, and their job is to execute on that as efficiently as possible.

In a technology or software-driven organisation, we’re building systems. And the production of the system is not the definition of success any more. It’s the optimisation of that system to create better customer outcomes. And the people closest to the system have the most amount of information, and can make the best decisions. But [for leaders], giving them the power to make the decisions is terrifying.

Listen if you’d like to learn more about

  • How to talk to the leaders in your organisation
  • Why changing organisations is so hard
  • The lean development of a publishing company, and why short books are good
  • The value of training

Links mentioned in this episode


The Product Experience is hosted by Lily Smith and Randy Silver.

Lily enjoys working as a consultant product manager with early stage and growing startups and as a mentor to other product managers. Lily has spent 13 years in the tech industry working mainly with startups in the SaaS and mobile space. She has worked on a diverse range of products – leading the product teams through discovery, prototyping, testing and delivery. Lily also founded ProductTank in Bristol, the Product Managers’ meetup with regular events and talks on Product now with 800+ members and growing. Now the Product Director at Symec, Lily also runs ProductCamp in Bristol & Bath.

A recovering music journalist and editor, Randy has been working as an interactive producer and product manager across the US and UK for nearly 20 years. After launching Amazon’s music stores in the US and UK, Randy has worked with museums and arts groups, online education, media & entertainment, retail and financial services. He’s held Head of Product roles at HSBC and Sainsbury’s, where he also directed their 100+-person product community. Now a trainer, Discovery and Leadership consultant, he’s spoken at Mind the Product Engage (Hamburg and Manchester), the Business of Software, Turing Festival, a number of ProductTanks (London, Zurich, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, and Brighton… so far!) and at conferences across the US and Europe.

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Our theme music is from Hamburg-based Pau, featuring ProductTank Hamburg’s own Arne Kittler on bass. Listen to more on their Facebook page

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