The Engineering Leadership Podcast · Episode 90

Alignment is the key to delivering great products & outcomes

with Jonathon Hensley

Jun 28, 2022
We discuss why alignment is key to delivering great digital products & team outcomes, how to recognize & navigate misalignment, and create better alignment with Jonathon Hensley (CEO @ EMERGE, Author of "Alignment"). We cover a couple of community case studies exploring dilemmas like navigating misaligned product vision & executive conflict, transforming grand product visions into clear execution, AND shifting toward a customer-centric engineering culture!
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Jonathon Hensley (@jonathonhensley) is co-founder and CEO of Emerge, a digital product consulting firm that works with companies to improve operational agility and customer experience. For more than two decades, Jonathon has helped startups, Fortune 100 brands, technology leaders, large regional health networks, non-profit organizations, and more, transform their businesses by turning strategy, user needs, and new technologies into valuable digital products and services. Jonathon writes and speaks about his experiences and insights from his career, and regularly hosts in-depth interviews with business leaders and industry insiders. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two boys.

Originally from Silicon Valley, Jonathon got into the digital product space inspired by the incredible people developing new technologies all around him and the possibilities they unlocked. This fueled his curiosity to understand how technology transforms the ways in which people live and work.

Today that curiosity continues to drive him, as he works to help businesses harness technology. His work focuses on alignment, helping leaders define the value they want to create in a succinct and tangible way; where to focus, why, and what it will take to achieve that outcome. His favorite part is going beyond the idea but reimagining how you bring together people, data, and processes so that a client can succeed.

"We hear a lot of times about the execution gap - This gap that, you know, we have this idea, or we have this outcome we want to achieve… We start building something and then it doesn't have the outcome we intended.

And that execution gap is because no bridge was ever built. You're making a leap of faith that somehow if we do this, that this will happen. And it's not grounded, most often, in its execution and process.

And so, without a clear direction how do you know what resources, or people, or process, are even needed to achieve the intended outcome that you're working towards?"

- Jonathon Hensley   

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  • Why alignment is the key to deliver great products & outcomes (2:22)
  • What does alignment actually mean? (4:10)
  • How do you recognize when you're misaligned? (7:51)
  • How do you create alignment? (10:48)
  • Navigating misaligned product vision & executive conflict (15:09)
  • Transforming your grand product vision into clear actions (18:58)
  • Making a shift to a more customer-centric engineering culture (23:27)
  • Operationalizing customer empathy within your engineering org (28:05)
  • How to gain clarity on the right intended outcomes (30:32)
  • Measuring alignment (36:04)
  • Rapid Fire Questions
  • Takeaways


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