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Tech Lead Journal

125 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#78 - Alignment: Overcoming Internal Sabotage and Digital Product Failure - Jonathon Hensley

“Oftentimes it’s not about what’s being said. It’s the fact that there’s not a shared understanding of what’s being said. It’s important that organizations proactively think about how they build a common language and manage that."

Jonathon Hensley is the co-founder and CEO of EMERGE, a digital product consulting firm, and the author of “Alignment: Overcoming internal sabotage and digital product failure”. In this episode, Jonathon shared the main motivation for him writing “Alignment”, which is to understand why digital products and services fail so commonly. He shared the concept of alignment, how it aligns with our biological need, and why it is so important for leaders to get right in order to deliver successful great products and services. Jonathon then explained the danger of when organization is at war with itself and what are the common reasons that cause internal misalignments. Jonathon shared how leaders can work towards creating alignment, and why it is important to move away from monolithic product thinking and move more towards platform thinking. Finally, Jonathon also shared some team alignment recipes that can transform one team to become a high-performing product team.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:58]
  • Silicon Valley - [00:08:19]
  • “Alignment” Book - [00:10:06]
  • Why Digital Products Fail - [00:12:17]
  • Importance of Alignment - [00:17:28]
  • Internal Misalignment - [00:20:49]
  • Alignment and Biology - [00:25:15]
  • Common Misalignment Reasons - [00:28:39]
  • Leaders Role in Alignment - [00:33:46]
  • Platform Thinking - [00:38:41]
  • Team Alignment - [00:41:06]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:44:04]


Jonathon Hensley’s Bio
Jonathon Hensley is the 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, and technology leaders transform their businesses by turning strategy, user needs and new technologies into valuable digital products and services. 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. Jonathon writes and speaks about his experiences and insights from his career, and regularly hosts in-depth interviews with business leaders and industry insiders.

Follow Jonathon:

Our Sponsor

Today’s episode is proudly sponsored by Skills Matter, the global community and events platform for software professionals.
Skills Matter is an easier way for technologists to grow their careers by connecting you and your peers with the best-in-class tech industry experts and communities. You get on-demand access to their latest content, thought leadership insights as well as the exciting schedule of tech events running across all time zones.
Head on over to to become part of the tech community that matters most to you - it’s free to join and easy to keep up with the latest tech trends.

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