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The Humble Mensch

Someone once said to me “you’re a mensch” as a compliment for a small favour. It didn’t mean anything to me right away, but I learned from the WSJ it’s a term of endearment for someone who is kind and considerate, who can be called on for help without expectation of payment in return—usually a humble person. Now that’s a lot live up to—I certainly fall short—yet it’s a lovely aspiration, and it’s who I aim to be as a consultant. Mensch Ventures doesn’t really roll off the tongue, does it? So, Humble Ventures it is.

Humble experience

I’ve honed my product leadership edge working with software product development teams since 2004. For ten years I’ve jammed with teams as a staffer, serving in a variety of roles ranging product management, customer research, interaction design, and delivery management. I’ve worked end-to-end from business case to public launch, on new digital products and services with brands like Amazon, Telstra, National Australia Bank, and Mazda.

As a Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks and AWS, I advised executives and coached product teams at organisations like British Airways, Origin Energy, Morrisons Supermarkets, Astra Zeneca, and Porsche. I love helping teams do their best work, and I’ve often achieved that as a player-coach, frequently rolling my sleeves up and getting in the trenches with teams.

I’ve led consulting practices of 35 product and design practitioners inside global professional services organisations, and directly managed Individual Contributors both as a Director and as a Head of Product.

I’m also the author of Understanding Design Thinking, Lean, and Agile (O’Reilly, 2017), and speak internationally about product leadership, customer innovation, and software delivery.

The Humble Plan

There is no master plan, and that’s how I like it. I’m operating a simple business with no employees, and I have no plans to light the fuse on a 10x rocket ship to hyper scale. My priorities are simple—I want to do good work with good people, make a difference, and live well.

I’ve got a long track record of building lasting relationships with colleagues and clients, delivering great outcomes, and collaborating with many of the brightest minds in product leadership. I’m looking forward to doing more of the same on tomorrow’s humble ventures.

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I write about product management, customer innovation, and software delivery.