55 / Encouraging Great Ideas


Great ideas can come from anywhere. It is the job of product leaders to seek out these ideas by taking educated risks, thinking (and working) outside the box. In this episode Aaron Cooper, the Enterprise User Experience Leader for Navigation and Sensors at Honeywell, shares key strategies for ideation, workshopping, and working across disciplines.

Aaron believes that “excellent facilitation helps you scale your ideation.” In fact, great ideas and great leadership go hand in hand. An idea can lay dormant for years waiting for just the right moment to be applied; the quietest team members often contribute the deepest insights. The key is creating a space for everyone’s contributions, then recognizing which can be applied to build better products.

Listen in to learn some strategies that improve your facilitation skills, and be sure to catch Aaron’s thoughts on:

  • Persona speed dating to keep customers’ needs front-of-mind across the organization
  • Gleaning deep insights by asking the right questions and asking them often
  • Challenging the status quo and choosing people who are “willing to be a little crazy”
  • The impact of AI on the future of product, especially for designers

Aaron’s Recommended Reading:

Frank Lloyd Wright, by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer.

On Fairy-Stories (essay), by J.R.R. Tolkien.

About Aaron

Aaron Cooper is the Enterprise User Experience Leader for Navigation and Sensors at Honeywell. He leads end-to-end design, from researching customer needs through ideation and into implementation and iteration of products and services.

Aaron collaborates and leads, leveraging more than 20 years of growth as a designer in domains ranging from product design and architecture to marketing and interaction design. Every day, he works with cross-functional teams, driving ideation and prioritization to deliver new value for customers and businesses. Aaron is a certified Design Thinking and User Experience instructor, is certified in Scrum, and is a Six Sigma Green Belt. On the side, he does stained glass, which can be viewed at prairiehomeglass.com.

His motto is, “There is always a person I can help to be successful, more efficiently, and with greater joy.”



54 / Navigating Complexity and Uncertainty


As a product leader, it can be hard to work within a multitude of constraints: profits, product-market fit, time, customers’ needs; the list goes on. Giff tackles the tough questions and elaborates on the product leader’s job as “chief synthesizer.”

In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul welcome Giff Constable, a self-proclaimed “healer” within the product community. He has a vast breadth and depth of knowledge pertaining to testing new ideas, innovation, and teamwork.

Giff’s experience in many roles such as chief product officer, CEO, and consultant in “messy situations” has given him unique insight into the role of product within organizations and how product leaders can advocate for their products in ever-changing markets. All in all, he stresses the importance of “looking uncertainty in the eye” in everything you do.

Listen to hear Giff’s thoughts on:

  • Sacrificing short-term gains for long-term success in business models, research, and continuous improvement.
  • Asking the hard questions and challenging your assumptions as a product leader.
  • Experimentation and user research strategies for both new and seasoned product managers.

Giff’s Recommended Reading:

Talking to Humans: Success starts with understanding your customers, by Giff Constable with Frank Rimalovski.

Testing with Humans: How to use experiments to drive faster, more informed decision making, by Giff Constable with Frank Rimalovski.

Gibson Biddle’s writings

About Giff

Giff Constable is a product leader, entrepreneur, and author. He was most recently the Chief Product Officer at Meetup, and earlier was the CEO of Neo, a global innovation consulting company acquired by Pivotal. He is the author of two books on how to test new business ideas, which are used as core curriculum in top university entrepreneurship programs and accelerators around the world. He has two headstrong children, an extraordinarily lazy dog, and publishes science fiction when life permits under the pen name GW Constable. To hear more from Giff, check out his blog, giffconstable.com.

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