Lateral Leadership

with Tim Herbig (Iridion)
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15 Nov

Lateral Leadership

15. November 2019 @ 9:00 - 16:30

Organizations are shifting from top-down hierarchies to autonomous and loosely connected agile teams. Although these teams act mostly self-organized, the responsibility for their outcomes usually falls into the hands of one person. The most prominent example is the role of a Product Manager/Product Owner. To lead highly skilled domain experts as a generalist, one has to master the art of influencing others without formal authority. That‘s what’s called lateral leadership.

This training will help you master the challenges of being a lateral leader. It will guide you through strategic alignment with your organization, process alignment within your team, and proper alignment with other team members. By also recognizing empathy and escalation as helpful tools, you’ll be able to maintain and strengthen your leadership role.

This training is not a dissection of theoretical leadership principles or psychological frameworks you get taught in traditional ‘leadership trainings.’ Instead, Tim will share first perspective stories from his eight years of experience in product management and provide hands-on advice for your daily work with agile teams. Learn from the best practices to lead without formal authority.



Who is it for?

Professionals who are tasked with leading self-organized and cross-functional teams without hierarchical power. This mostly applies to Product Managers due to the nature of their job description and the origins of agile methodologies in software development.
However, due to the spread of agile team constellations outside of the IT context, lateral leadership is also applicable to, e.g., UX Designers, Marketing Managers, and ’Heads of’ or VPs.


Key Takeaways

  • Why leading without hierarchical power is the skill of the future for agile organizations
  • Understanding the three levels of alignment needed for leading agile teams
  • How to develop empathy for peers from other domains of expertise
  • How to use the Agile Peer Canvas for a holistic perspective on team collaboration
  • What to do when lateral leadership tools fail

What we will achieve

  • Embracing the challenges of lateral leadership instead of blaming them on the organizational environment
  • Clarity about your lateral leadership environment and responsibilities
  • A sense for which of the critical pillars of successful lateral leadership to utilize when: Empathy and Alignment
  • First practical experiences with frameworks which help you strengthen your lateral leadership position

Hands-on exercises

  • Creating your personal lateral leadership relationship matrix
  • Crafting an effective mission briefing to support strategic alignment
  • Utilizing the Agile Peer Canvas
  • Leveraging an effective escalation process using the clarification manifesto


Individual Follow-up Coaching Option

To maximize the value of this course for your organization, we offer an additional follow-up coaching (60 minutes, remote) just for you or your team a couple of weeks after the course. That way, you get to ask all the questions that might have popped up once you tried implementing what you learned in this course. We are going to contact you to set the specific date for your individual follow-up.

The follow-up coaching is available for CHF 350 and includes 30 minutes of preparation for your specific questions or documents (sent upfront) and 60 minutes of remote coaching via video call for you or your entire product team.

You can book the Follow-up Coaching Option in our booking form before proceeding to the checkout.



All participants will receive a Product Academy Certificate for this course.  



CHF 790

For team discounts and in-house options, feel free to get in touch. 



German. As soon as there’s one participant enrolled who is not speaking German, the entire workshop will be held in English. All the slides and materials are in English anyway.


Here’s what attendees are saying about the training:

“The training provided both theories and tools that are essential for teams to align on product management. We have implemented the mission briefing template right after the training – our tech and non-tech teams have achieved a new level of understanding of each other.”

“It always feels very nice to discuss and share experiences with fellow product people. Thank you for facilitating a great workshop on lateral leadership. Learned great tips and new tools to lead without hierarchical authority “



There will be a 30 minute lunch break with sandwiches and coffee breaks. Water and syrup will be provided throughout the course.


Class Trainer

Tim Herbig

Director at Iridion in Erfurt

Tim is a passionate product leader, speaker, and author of the book ‘Lateral Leadership: A Practical Guide for Agile Product Managers.’ He previously held product roles in companies such as XING, Gruner+Jahr, and multiple startups. In addition to his devotion to enabling companies to build better teams and products, he’s also the co-organizer of the Product Tank Hamburg meetup series.



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Event Details

Date: 15. November 2019 @ 9:00 - 16:30
Time: 9:00 - 16:30
Venue Zurich
Address: Grütlistrasse 18, Zurich-Enge
Organizer Name: Product Academy