The Wall Street Journal recently displays excellent articles, “Does technicians make good leaders?” By Robert M. Fulmer and Byron Hanson both from Duke Corporate Education, an affiliate business school Duke University’s Fugua. According to the article, several reasons inherent, technology companies failed to develop effective leaders including the speed of industrial growth along with talent drawn, eg. Young technicians with background in science and engineering. Even though there are obstacles, smart technology companies can build an effective management team. The following is a summary of the author’s tips added by me:
1. Formive Management Development Process: If the technology company in startup mode, maybe prematurely to establish a structured training process to develop managers. However, it is difficult to recognize when inevitable comes when the development of formal leadership needs to be installed. The author’s article urges the company to pay attention to the needs of future structures in this field. The risk of losing magic moments, according to Fulmer and Hanson, is that employee retention takes a hit without skilled management. I will add that projectivity and alignment of projects with the company’s aim is also at risk with unskilled leaders.
2) What is measured: The authors show that the techie population enjoys data, so use it to get the results of the desire. Measuring management activities as a way to convey the importance of the work aspects of this technology manager. Examples of Fulmer and Hanson provide including collecting information such as how many performance reviews, managers have completed and added the management category to the manager’s performance review. It always gets attention!
I also like the approach to measuring changes in post-training behavior. If a company trains managers to provide regular feedback to their direct reports about their performance, can conduct post-training surveys employees to find out how often the trained managers provide positive feedback – the easiest type of feedback to deliver and report. Knowing that the measurement program exists on it tends to produce results.
3) Place the value on leadership and assistance: Not surprisingly, technicians tend to find satisfaction in the technical aspects of their work. After being promoted, withdrawing from technical activities and focusing on management activities such as planning, direction and coaching is not useful. Therefore technology companies need to be careful to strengthen and appreciate the management and behavior of mentoring as much as they protect talent and technical achievement.
As we know from enough research on gifts, this must be adapted per individual. Mary may like flour standing at a staff meeting while John can irritate public attention and prefer sincere praise from his boss. Apart from this approach, the commitment to recognize and appreciate management and assistance starts at the top and needs to penetrate to all levels of the organization.
4) Match training methods for Techies: This does not mean conducting exclusive online training for technical managers. That means making it fast, varied and relevant – including the best practices of experienced managers. Competition and real-world problems make participants remain involved in training.
5) Select with management in mind: One item that is not mentioned in the article is a role played by initial talent screening in management development. One of my most successful technology clients made his job develop technology managers easier from the start; Above and beyond meet the technical criteria for the position that everyone in the company is played for interpersonal communication skills.