Os Benari 0:00
I’m on a mission to teach people to start from scratch. And also have organizations adopt what starting from scratch talks about which is a learning mindset, and creating, you know, learning groups and clubs within the organization.
Anne Bibb 0:16
Welcome to unexpected journey, the show where each week top professionals share work wisdom, and life lessons about their careers and what they have learned about human experience in the workplace. I’m your host, Anne Bibb. This week, we have Osnap Inari. She is a product and leadership coach for companies and professionals. She’s been named one of the top product lead growth influencers. os serves on the advisory board for audio burst and computer science at Hunter College and advocates for the resilience and mental health in the workplace. And her books starting from scratch. manage change, like your career depends on it is an Amazon Best Seller.
Anne Bibb 1:03
Before we begin, don’t forget to subscribe and leave your comments below. Now let’s get started.
Anne Bibb 1:11
Welcome Os, I’m so glad that we’re finally getting to talk. Yeah, same. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while.
Anne Bibb 1:20
So let’s go back a little bit, let’s start from the beginning. Because everybody has like this pivotal moment in their life that
Anne Bibb 1:30
helps them pick where their journey is and where it’s gonna go. Because I’m sure that you didn’t like think that you were going to write this when you were younger. And this is where you’re going to be. And this is where your focus was going to be. And you didn’t you didn’t grow up in the United States. So can you walk us through kind of like what your background is? What that pivotal moment is how you got here?
Os Benari 1:58
Yeah, definitely. So it’s true. I wasn’t. I’m not from the states originally. And also never thought that I’m going to write about this, the only thing that I did know is that I’m going to write a book one day, it was actually a childhood dream. And something that I did, as a young teenager, I worked as a teen journalist at a teen magazine, the largest one, but still, it was in the little I would have been so jealous of you. I always wanted to be that. I wanted to be that girl, you know that girl? Yeah, no, it was amazing. And also I worked. So I worked in two competing magazines, because the largest one didn’t care if I would work at the second largest one. You know, writing the book, I did find that I started from scratch many, many times. But I do credit, I want to say the biggest leap that I’ve done. When I moved here when I moved to the States, because I not only started from scratch on my career, but also in my kind of life and my family’s life and my family’s can trajectory on or where I thought, you know, we would build this. So this was like the most kind of changing moment and one that by the way, my book starts in that with that story of, you know, coming to a workplace thinking that I know everything thinking that I have a job that I know what it is all about. It’s the job that brought me here. And then being affected by the usual you know, org changes made me need to start from scratch under very, I want to say weird circumstances because everything was new to me, the country, the laws, the norms, the how it’s being done here is very different than where I come from. So it was more, I think it had a largest effect on me, and also one that kind of put the ground, the ground basement, the basement for this building of starting from scratch.
Anne Bibb 4:16
We recently a few months ago hadAmy Jones Vauterlaus on. And one of the conversations that we had was around product experience and how that impacted customer experience and user experience and employee experience. And I’m curious what your thoughts are with regard to how product impacts customer experience and user experience. Are those two different are they the same? How do they interact? Yeah.
Os Benari 4:51
Well, I think so first of all, customer experience is basically everything that your customer experiences from you. It’s not, Not just your product, it’s your marketing, it’s your sales, it’s your customer support. It’s so many other aspects that we communicate with, with our customers. And sometimes it’s possible that our customers love our product. But the overall experience of working with us is terrible. So they’ll move on and find a replacement where they feel better. And maybe the product is a little bit lacking. But the overall experience is just better. It’s interesting to see how organizations will invest and put so much money into product.
Anne Bibb 5:41
But when it comes to investing in customer experience, they’re like, but where’s the return on investment?
Os Benari 5:49
Hmm, yeah. And and you mentioned my bragging moment, which is to be a product led growth influencer. And one of the things that product lead growth stands for is to actually see the not the product as the product team as leading the company, or the product is the only thing that matter. The product, lead growth means that all the all the organization functions that work with customers will have a product manifestation. That’s, that’s what it means.
Anne Bibb 6:25
Oh, that you talk more about that. Like, what does that mean? All the organization has product manifestation? What is that?
Os Benari 6:32
Yeah, so.So for example, customers, customer success, or customer onboarding, can happen by humans, over the phone over email, over whatever. But once it’s inside your product, that’s product lead growth. So any onboarding videos or messages or, you know, today, we can use tools for personalized messages of saying, you know, welcome back and you haven’t been here for a while, we are happy to see you versus the first time you know, that we see you we explain to the product in a different way. Or if you haven’t seen a certain feature that we just released, and now it’s the first time you are seeing it versus someone else that has used it many times, we need to tailor that experience to the user, but put it inside the product does not belong outside an example yesterday, I was looking at a new AI tool. And I use many of them today to basically run my experience with AI and exactly kind of know what’s happening around me.
Os Benari 7:46
And there is a tool that there’s, they have an app, and you download the app, it’s very self explanatory. And then I used it I did the function it’s supposed to do. And then it’s created errors for me. And that end experience for me was okay, use the product, it was affordable, it was easy to use, it did not need too much, too much knowledge to use it, although it’s an AI product. And then, but the results were mediocre.
Os Benari 8:23
But I also the only thing I could do is open a ticket and complain.
Os Benari 8:29
And then I tested a similar product. It’s actually exactly the same products, a different company, they didn’t have an app, they had a website. Okay, so whatever choice you you do, but before I even started, there was a video there from the founder explaining to me how to use the product. And also what is the product limitations, so that I don’t make certain mistakes, which by the way, I would have done them on their platform, because this is how I behaved on the other on their competitor. Oh, interesting. Yeah, so to avoid doing certain things. And then it allowed me to do the same thing as I did with the original app. And then at the end, I had a way to provide feedback in the process.
Os Benari 9:18
That’s the difference. If the difference is between a complain versus me providing feedback so that they are getting better and I feel I have control over my experience control over the bad feelings your product gives me the good feelings your product Give Me Everything is inside the product.That the difference between the two.
Anne Bibb 9:41
That is incredibly interesting. And now that you say that, I can think of so many different situations where I had an experience with one provider and it was mediocre. And then I went to a different one. And they did have weather It was a video or different instructions or something, but it was they had learned the lesson and they guided the customer through the experience to make it a better customer experience.
Os Benari 10:12
Absolutely. And I can tell you, you know, our friend Denise today posted on LinkedIn that she was at a five star hotel that doesn’t clean the room every day. And it happened to me several times, the differences is between the hotel that will do that, and the hotel that will do the same, but will say, but if you let us know, until noon, we can still clean up. Now the other hotel probably is the same probably I’ll call and I’ll ask for cleanup, they will do the same. The difference is being proactive and really putting inside your product inside the experience, the ability to fix and, you know, do better and fit your customer’s needs and obviously exceed them.
Anne Bibb 11:00
That is a term that I’m sure is very familiar in the product world. That is just something I’d never heard. And that’s that product lead experience. So that’s that’s, that’s interesting. Yeah. So there are a lot of organizations today that are proud of themselves being product LED grow, being product led, and doing product led growth methodologies. I think that I don’t know, it’s it’s a matter of time until everybody behaves this way and learns the method and the other, the others that don’t, will not be as successful.
Os Benari 11:37
It seems to me that by being a product lead or an organization that is in fact investing in customer experience, absolutely.
Anne B 11:48
I can be because you’re seeing the return on investment then. Whereas if you’re a an an organization that is just trying to embrace customer experience, and not being a product lead, then you’re not understanding the way that the two go together. Yeah, very minute. It’s a very, I mean, it’s nomenclature. And it’s, it’s just a small tweak. But it’s an important one.
Os Benari 12:20
Yeah. And I will say I just consulted a company there. They were ecstatic. Initially, they heard me talk at an event. And then they said, Listen, I just had an epiphany. Yesterday, I had a conversation with my head of customer success. And he said that he needed five more people. So I can tell him we’re becoming product lead growth, and we don’t need five more people. And I said, Oh, hold on. Whoa, that is not what this means. I don’t think this means what you think this means? Yeah. So it’s not really not using the people who know the profession. Like I don’t expect product people to know better than customer success or customer support on how to do that work. I expect that instead of them doing the work the customer success customer support them doing the work, they will actually consult on how to put it inside the product, what is the language to be used, how to address the customers? What are the difference permutation of communication they’re doing today? Like we need as product managers, we need their expertise to bring it into the product. But it definitely does not mean that we can do their job better, it just means that their same job will be done in a different way.
Os Benari 13:40
It’s it’s almost and sounds like this is an official change management way of breaking down silos. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. That it’s bringing everyone together into solving the problems that we have in one place. And basically everybody rooting for this group that needs to execute into a specific to, to the to solve the same problem to solve the same, you know, to invest in the same place versus each one trying to solve their own. What they think the problem is, it is really putting the whole organization rally around one solution.
Anne Bibb 14:24
Do you have an example that we could share of where product lead management really kind of took an organization to the next level, where it kind of took broke down those silos brought everybody together and the ROI was really apparent.
Os Benari 14:47
Yes, Slack is a product lead growth company. And it’s so everything happens within slack. You don’t need a salesperson you upgrade within the product. Um, you don’t onboard outside you onboard within slack. You know, there’s certain channels, there’s automated messages within slack that happen when you onboard. Everything happens there.
Os Benari 15:15
And it’s a super no one can argue about their success and their adoption, the product adoption, and the engagement that you see on the platform. And slack came after many, you know, other companies that, you know, that tried to do it in various ways and chat and groups and whatever, but never acted as product in with product lead strategies supporting their growth.
Anne Bibb 15:40
Yeah. Do you think that it’s possible to do a product lead strategy? With a services Organization?
Os Benari 15:54
Yes, absolutely. Because there’s so many. So the whole idea is really to, to is to scale. Right? And, and so if you want to scale, you know, your work, it’s really to put everything into one place of experience. And you need to identify what is that experience that you provide your customer? And then and then focus all the efforts there. So as a service provider, although you do meet people, how do you communicate with your customer? Is there one place that you do it? Is there a one place where the customers can see you know, what happened? What’s going to happen? Is the communication cohesive in one place? Or do they need to look for different places to remember what you send them what you gave them? Where’s the information? It’s really to put everything in one experience. And there are many tools that can support service providers in consolidating the communication, the storage, the, you know, everything in one place, and the onboarding and implementation, and the follow ups. And you know, when something does that questions, everything? Yeah, exactly. That’s, I think that’s going to be eye opening for a lot of people, as well, that whenever we say product lead,
Anne Bibb 17:20
you don’t have a product. I’m not a product organization, I’m not a SASS company. You don’t have to be a SASS company to have a product lead strategy, you the service is the product
Os Benari 17:34
is the product, exactly, it’s really important not to confuse product lead with being led by the product. As well, even in tech organizations, there are some, you know, organizations that are very, they have a very robust sales team. And that team is kind of hearing Wait, we’re going to implement product lead growth strategies. And that means that my job is not as important and they start pushing back on it, it’s the contrary, it’s a lot of work that the product team needs to do with a sales organization in order to implement whatever they’re doing with customers one on one at scale, so that you can, you can grow faster.
Os Benari 18:20
It does require, you know, to change the structure of commission, and like it’s not seamless, like you still need to work in it. That’s why there are people that know how to do it and you know, come to organizations and, and do that for you. But once this is kind of an ongoing and you have one problem that the whole organization is focused on and all the roles understand that they have a way to implement it into the product, then it goes it goes faster and scale comes with it, which is extremely rewarding.
Anne Bibb 18:55
Do you think it’s easier to get a consultant like yourself to come in and help build this product lead strategy versus versus having somebody internal do it? And I know that I’m asking somebody that is a consultant, this question. However, if you’ve got an internal PMO Product Management Office, that could lead this effort.
Anne Bibb 19:16
You know, I’m just curious if it is something that they could do, or is there a benefit to having that outside? I? Yeah. Well, like many things, it really depends depends on the customer and how ready they are. It is changing everything in the organization. So it does require, you know, no, like the CEO to be involved in the decision. To do this. It is possible I’ve implemented product lead growth strategies in a 20 year old company, as an internal person. It sounds like you had a great time. It sounds like that was fun.
Os Benari 20:01
You know, it was actually it was fun because you see the transformation, you see a lot of people that were very skeptical, all of a sudden seeing the results, that’s extremely rewarding. That is extremely rewarding. I’ve seen that myself, and that is probably one of the most rewarding things in this in this kind of business. Absolutely. So to your question of who knew who can do this, it can be someone external, or it can be someone internal that knows the pillars of that work and know how to push for it and not be afraid of pushback and knows where to you know, it’s like a spaghetti before. So where do you kind of which side? Do you pull first? And how do you accumulate wins, in order to start this kind of change and transformation in your organization?
Anne Bibb 20:53
I would like to talk to you about starting from scratch. Now, we mentioned earlier that this is while it looks like a book feels like a book, I would say tastes like a book, but I’m not gonna put it in my mouth.
Anne Bibb 21:09
It’s not a book, because what you said to me was that the long vision is that this tying back into what we were talking about earlier, the long was vision is this is a product, not a book. So I would love for you to kind of explain what you mean by that.
Os Benari 21:27
Yeah, so I will say that I’m not it I, you know, people say, Oh, congratulation. You’re a published author. And I always like, okay, because technically yes, but I never wrote a book, I created a product that someone would consume, and enjoy. If you take the book, one of the things that I constantly wanted to convey is that we’re working in progress. And it’s okay, as long as you make one. So the book is full of doodles. Because it mattered to me, the experience mattered to me. And the book has a workbook inside because I wanted it to be to have a higher return on investment than just a book that it will be a book and a workbook.
Os Benari 22:13
And so I made a lot of choices to bring it to as much as possible, a product within, you know, still 200 and something pages. The next thing is that like starting from scratch does not finish there. There’s a course I’m working on right now that focuses on one of the chapters. And hopefully I’ll make more as I, as I grow the people who want to learn more about starting from scratch. And there’s a talk that I DO IT organizations because I do believe that organizations need to not only teach us about, you know, compliance and security, but they also need to teach us how to handle change, and how to
Os Benari 22:54
invoke change, like how do you change my organization? Or how do you not become so devastated when I’ve just done a reorg that will support our growth and our smooth moving forward? And how do you make people feel comfortable and change and not get scared or push back on change, because, you know, companies change, organizations change, markets change, and we need to adapt. And so if more people are like, Oh, change fun versus Oh, change, oh, my God, then it will be a better workplace, we’ll all probably be more successful, but really will be more help healthy in this situation versus worried and concerned and frightened. So. So I’m on a mission, to teach people to start from scratch. And also have organizations adopt what starting from scratch talks about, which is a learning mindset, and creating, you know, learning groups and clubs within the organization.
Anne Bibb 24:01
There are a couple of things that I want to point out here. So the chapter titles of the book, adopt a learning mindset, grow your resilience, build your personal board of directors, the spark, who, what or who is the new you, bringing your vision to life and check your baggage. One of my favorite chapters was the spark.
Anne Bibb 24:24
And it talks about recognizing and spotting the signs, that change is coming. And I think that that is so important in today’s world, because change is one evitable it’s one it’s inevitable. But to you look at all of the layoffs that has happened, and all of these organizations, literally 100 over 100,000 people have been laid off in the last 12 months, and especially in tech organizations and
Anne Bibb 25:01
If people could see the signs, would things be different? I don’t know. Would they have done things different? I don’t know. But there are always signs. This is such a good thing to know what to look for and be cognizant of. So this, can you talk about the spark for just a minute?
Os Benari 25:26
Yeah. So in the book, I talk about two sparks. One that is internal, like when you want to create change, either because you feel that you’ve completed what you came here to do. And now it’s boring. And you like the your workplace, you’d like your pivot. Yeah. So it’s, it can be a pivot, but it can also be things that I did within my company, where I, I was like, Okay, I came here to do to build this. And I’ve done it. And I’ve done even more than that. But now it’s like, I feel that continuing to just maintain this is not as interesting or exciting. And I felt I’m getting bored. So what do you do, when that happens to you? I loved my workplace. I loved my manager, I loved my peers, I loved my team.
Os Benari 26:20
But now what do I need to leave this because I feel that I’m done. So that spark that comes inside you can lead to a promotion can lead to you being responsible for another activity can lead to, you know, growing your team, it can if you know how to manage that spark, then opportunity can come your way.
Anne Bibb 26:47
The other reason that we are airing in May is that this is Mental Health Awareness Month, and you are a huge mental health in the workplace advocate. Yes, yes. And wanted to kind of hear some of the things that you have done and why why is this so important to you?
Os Benari 27:10
So it’s important to me, because, you know, we started the conversation around what happened to people who change that did well under change, and other people that didn’t. So when I did a research to really understand what’s happening, I came across the term that’s called post traumatic growth. And there is a difference between people who experienced trauma that grow from a trauma or stay with it. And the whole term of resilience is like this term in the middle, like, it’s not someone that stays with trauma or grows from trauma, which is possible, but people will just bounce back to whatever they were.
Os Benari 27:50
The Post Traumatic Growth is actuallyan experience that after an event that wasn’t pleasant, you actually bounce back bigger than you were before. And the bigger manifests itself in things that in addition to your work you’re now believing in so people start nonprofits, people, all of a sudden expand their network, they start believing in things that they didn’t believe before. They write books.
Os Benari 28:24
They start companies, they have a pivot in their career. They start teaching volunteering, it’s this amazing growth spurts that happens to us after after something that wasn’t that pleasant.
Os Benari 28:39
I was looking for this in my workplace, I’m looking for ways to teach more people 25% of the population actually experienced post traumatic growth. It’s a big number, but not enough for me, what I want is that more people will actually grow from an unpleasant situation. And that growth is something that we can learn.
Anne Bibb 29:03
We’ve spent a lot of time talking about managing change, and your book is very much about change.
Anne Bibb 29:12
A lot of people that are listening today are in that arena. If you were talking, in fact, I’d like for you to to directly talk to that individual right now. What is your advice to that person right now who is struggling with managing change?
Os Benari 29:31
Yeah. First thing is to know that you’re not alone. And I do although it’s chapter three in my book, it’s not the last thing or the third thing you need to do. I think the first thing we need to do is really lean on our network. And the best network in this situation is actually network that knows us in a work setting. And you know, my family is a great resource for me, but the people who know me in a work setting are
Os Benari 30:00
My coworkers and to have someone that you know knows you in the work setting is, is, is extremely valuable and a relationship that I would urge you to continue to maintain. Even if you’re not laid off. Even after you get your next job. That network, we’ll come to your advice and support whenever you need it when you want to grow when you want to change or when something happens to you. So the first thing is really to address people around you. And really also be aware of who you pull in. I actually, yesterday, I put a video on my social because I wasn’t I didn’t feel strong, I woke up a little bit overwhelmed. It was it was a big day, it was a big day for me yesterday, I contacted a friend of mine, which I knew, by the way that might not be able to address what I was feeling. But we had to talk that day anyways, I was like, Okay, let me start with her. And the first thing she told me, it’s like what you’re overwhelmed, it’s not possible, you can do anything. That’s not what I needed to hear, I did not need to hear in that moment that I’m like, I can do everything because I did not feel it, I needed her to just distract me, I needed to do something else. So really pull in the people that you know what they’ll bring to the table. You know, if it’s advice, if it’s connection, if it’s some resource, whatever it is, but really start connecting to yourself and know what you need, and then pull the right resource. So after I spoke to her and knew that it’s not going to help, I knew what was going to help is not being in front of my desk and continuing to work on something that was overwhelming for me. But actually to take a walk, I bought myself an SAE ball. So I felt like I’m doing also something good for myself versus scarfing on cookies here in the kitchen, I did something that helped me get out of it. So it’s the first thing is really to rely on whatever it is the resource that can help you work on it. And then the second thing is really to start learning something that gets you excited
Os Benari 32:12
to grow to start growing. And it can be something that you always wanted to know it can be something that’s relevant to your to your career, or it can be kind of like if you have a role model, what would be something that that role model knows and how you can start feeling that you’re growing towards the the next new version of you.
Unknown Speaker 32:34
Perfect. So as Why would anyone get in touch with you? And how would somebody get in touch with you?
Os Benari 32:43
Well, my websites, you can talk to me there, I’m on chat, and there’s a way to contact me. I’m also you can read my book, obviously. And so and I keep I have a newsletter, there’s a club of change starters, I call them, people that can hear more from me and from the content that I consume around managing change through harder times. And so I would love to, you know, for more people to know about it and join this learning of how to change properly.
Anne Bibb 33:19
Thank you so much for joining us it. I am so grateful that you are in my network. And that you joined us today and I can’t wait to see what happens with starting from scratch. Thanks again.
Anne Bibb 33:37
Thank you everybody else for joining us. And we will see you again next week. As we wrap the episode up, we would like to take this time to thank you for joining us this week on unexpected journey. Our guest information will be linked in the episode description along with a link to our company website, remote evolution.com and our hosts website and bibb.com. Please don’t forget to like subscribe and share on your favorite podcast app and on our YouTube channel so that you never miss an episode and we can continue to bring them to you. Let us know your thoughts on what we discussed in the comment section. And once again, thank you for joining us. We hope to see you again next week for another episode of unexpected journey.