5 Tips for Growing Tech Managers

The Wall Street Journal recently published an excellent article, “Are High Tech Leaders?” by Robert M. Fulmer and Byron Hanson, both from Duke Corporate Education, a branch of the Fugua School of Business at Duke University. According to the article, some of the inalienable reasons why technology companies are unable to grow effective leaders are the speed of growth of the industry and the talents it attracts, for example, young technicians with experience in science and technology. Despite the obstacles, an intelligent technology company can create effective management teams. Here is a rundown of the author’s tips, supplemented by my own:

  1. Formalize management development processes: when a technology company is in startup mode, it may be premature to create a structured learning process for the development of managers. Yet inevitably, there comes a difficult time to determine where the formalized development of leadership should take place. The authors of the article urge companies to closely monitor the impending structure in this area. According to Fulmer and Hanson, the risk of missing out on the magic point is that employee retention suffers from a lack of qualified leadership. I would add that unqualified managers are also threatened by the productivity and consistency of projects with business objectives.

2) What is measured is ready. Editors emphasize that technicians value data, so use it to get the results you want. Measure management as a means of conveying the importance of this aspect of the technical director’s work. Examples provided by Fulmer and Hanson include gathering information, such as the number of performance checks completed by the manager, and adding a management category to the manager’s performance review. Always attracts attention!

I also like the approach to measuring behavior change after exercise. If a company trains managers to provide regular feedback to their direct supervisors about their work, it can survey employees after training to find out how often trained managers provide positive feedback – a form of feedback that is easiest to give and report. . Knowing that there is a measurement program usually works.

3) Appreciate leadership and mentoring. Unsurprisingly, technicians tend to be content with the technical aspects of their work. After promotion, an aversion to technical activities and a focus on management activities such as planning, leadership and coaching is no longer such a pleasure. Thus, technology companies must be particularly attentive to strengthening and promoting managerial and mentoring behavior, just as they demonstrate technical talents and achievements.

As we know from extensive studies of rewards, they should be adjusted individually. Mary enjoys a standing ovation at a staff meeting, while John squeaks his teeth in front of the public and prefers heartfelt praise from his boss. Regardless of the approach used, the obligation to recognize and reward management and mentoring begins at the top and should extend to all levels of the organization.

4) Compliance with technical training methods: this does not mean that you should conduct online training only for the Technical Authority. This means that it must be fast, diverse and accurate, including the best practices of experienced managers. Competition and real-life challenges keep students in learning.

5) Selection for management. The article makes no mention of the role that the initial selection of talent plays in the development of management. One of my most successful technology clients has been promoting technical managers from the start; In addition to meeting the technical criteria of the vacancy, everyone in the company is selected for his interpersonal skills. If a candidate can only speak technically, he will not continue the interview process. It sounds simple, but most tech companies don’t make it an important criterion when hiring.

Look for a description of your posts. Restore your skills with excellent interpersonal skills.
If your current managers are technically strong and their communication skills are weak, they can hire the same people, which will further limit your organization’s staffing pool. In this case, ask a human resources officer or external partner to make a preliminary choice of technical positions so that your company receives the best candidates for future leadership positions.
Provide the existing management team with interpersonal skills training. Not only will they be more effective in engaging your team and your clients (external and internal), but will also develop modeling skills for their immediate subordinates. Also consider the possibility of training communication skills for current technical staff to strengthen the bank.
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