Guest post from Semir Chouaibi, ClipDuell

In a popular blog post on LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner says: “[…] if you don’t take the time to think proactively you will increasingly find yourself reacting to your environment rather than influencing it.” I have been in that situation as a PO and I can tell you: I will never go back. In his blog post Weiner states that he blocks time in his calendar every day with no meetings and only time for himself to recharge or reflect. Although I am not going so far as to block ‘buffer time’, there are two things that I have made a habit in my daily routine:

1. Push the keyboard away and sort my thoughts, whenever I think I need a step back (I don’t care if my co-workers think I might be daydreaming) and
2. Schedule time for reading, workshops or conversation regularly.

Scheduling is important, because you will always try to tick another box from your To Do-List instead of taking the time to think. If you don’t take the time to think about your product in broad terms every once in a while (yes, it’s that simple) you will end up implementing one useless feature after another.

Becoming part of a community

So, when I arrived at Betahaus in Berlin this March to join day three of the #PoDojo again, I was both thrilled and stressed out, because I was missing a whole day of Startup madness at my own company ClipDuell. Nevertheless, it was more than a good idea to come back. First of all, just like the first time I participated, it was a great opportunity to reflect on the ideas, concepts and techniques of creative Product Management, with respect of the daily work that I do as a PO. Am I missing out on the opportunities that some of the tools could provide me? Of course I do. So this was a good time to plan using those for some current challenges in my work.

But one of the great features of #PoDojo happens apart from the training: it is becoming part of a community of likeminded product people. So this was also an opportunity to meet some of those great people in person. And I was blown away by the creativity, enthusiasm and fun that the teams were showing while on their third training day. Seeing this pushed my own motivation. I could also help challenge the teams while getting some advice from Catherine and Stefan.

It was great fun joining the Launchpad and I hope I will see some more familiar faces on one of the next Meetups.