The Wall Street Journal recently published an excellent piece, “Do Techies Make Good Leaders? Robert M. Fulmer, Byron Hanson and Duke Corporate Education are all from Duke University’s Fugua School of Business. The article states that tech firms aren’t able to produce effective leaders because of the industry’s rapid growth and the talent it draws, including. young techies with backgrounds in science and engineering. The savvy tech company can overcome any obstacle and develop strong management teams. Here are my top tips and the author’s suggestions:
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1. Formalize Management Processes of Development If a technology company is just beginning its journey it might be premature to create a well-structured program of training to help managers develop. However, it’s an extremely difficult time to determine when formalized leadership development is necessary. The article authors urge companies to keep an watch on the upcoming need for structure in this area. Fulmer and Hanson warn that employees may be lost if there is no skilled management. I’d suggest that productivity and alignment with company goals can also be at risk with leaders who aren’t skilled.
2) Measurability is the key to the successThe writers point out that the tech crowd loves information, so make use of it to obtain desired outcomes. In order to convey the importance of tech managers’ jobs, measure management activities. Some examples Fulmer and Hanson provide include collecting information including the number of management reviews the manager has completed, and adding a management category to the performance review of the manager. This always draws attention!
The post-training evaluation of behavior change is something I enjoy. If a business trains its managers to provide regular feedback to their direct subordinates about their performance, it can conduct a post-training survey of employees in order to discover how often managers are trained to provide positive feedback. This is the simplest form of feedback to provide and report on. Knowing that a measurement program is in place is likely to result in outcomes.
3) Value Leadership and MentoringIt’s not surprising that techies are inclined to be satisfied with their technical aspect of work. It isn’t easy to move away from technical tasks and focus on managerial activities like planning, directing, and coaching after you’ve been promoted. Tech companies must be more vigilant in rewarding and reinforcing leadership and mentoring behaviors and technical achievements and talents.
The research on rewards has proven that they must be customized to each individual. Mary might love standing ovation that she receives at a gathering, while John may cringe at the attention of others and would prefer honest compliments from his boss. Whichever strategy you decide to adopt, recognition and reward for management and coaching must begin at the highest levels of the organization and should reach every level.
4.) Matching Training Methods to Techies:This doesn’t mean you have to conduct solely online training sessions for technical managers. This doesn’t mean it has to be dull, boring and uninteresting. It also means that you need to include excellent practices of experienced managers. Training is more fun when there’s competition and actual-world issues.
5) Choose with Management in Mind:Another aspect that was not mentioned in the article was the importance that initial talent screening plays in management development. My most successful client makes it easier to develop tech managers. Apart from being able to meet the technical requirements of the job, every candidate is evaluated for interpersonal communication abilities. People who aren’t tech-savvy are not allowed to go through the process of interviewing. It sounds easy, but most tech companies don’t view this to be a crucial interviewing criteria. If this is your company and you’re looking to make a shift consider the following steps:
- Examine your job descriptions. Make sure to update your credentials.
- Your current managers may have a high level of tech proficiency but are not skilled in communicating or skilled in communication, and they may be recruiting people similar to them, further restricting your potential talent pool. If that’s the case, ensure that someone from Human Resources or an external resource perform a preliminary screening for tech positions to make sure your company is being fed the best candidates for future management post.
- Your current management team could be taught interpersonal abilities. Not only will they be more effective in addressing their team and your clients (external and internal,) they’ll be modeling skills for their direct reports. Consider communication skills training for current tech employees as well in order to build up bench strength.