…. are different
Do you feel different? You should .. here’s why.
In technical companies, decisions are made differently, risks are taken differently.
It has to do with culture, a/k/a “the way we do things around here.” Culture generally grows on its own, but it can be designed into a company, to more appropriately define how you want it to be.
If you do not manage your culture, it will manage you.
If you are a new leader in a technical industry, see the article
from techie to manager for tips on adapting to your new position. The propeller-heads are probably in a position of needing to marketing, so your leadership may mean guiding them through networking tips.
To build an effective team, you better know how they work, what they prefer, and which buttons to push to test their potential.
What you need to know as a leader
A technical culture appreciates the following characteristics:
Decisions based on data
– Professionalism in business relationships
– Controlled emotion and composure
– Enough time to ensure accuracy
– Independence and occasional isolation
– Acknowledgement of expertise
– Minimization of politics
These factors all have benefits, but they can also stagnate the organization.
They may manifest as stubbornness and resistance to change rather than flexibility. A department with strengths is good, as long as there is also balance.
So here is what you need to develop for your newly flexible dynamic department.
Stretching a Technical Organization
Some leadership tips for keeping the team versatile:
– Set deadlines with firmness
– Announce timelines and progress
– Entice conflict more openly by getting people to negotiate rather than gloss over or avoid conflict
– Expect relationships to take a long time to develop, but try to build them anyway
– Moderate your usage of emotion, especially when trying to influence others
– Ask people for opinions, not feelings
– Teach employees flexibility and expect to give constant feedback on it
– Address the fact that workplaces are about people
– Do not expect undeveloped ideas to take hold until they are farther along
– When you see behaviors that may be a prevent whatever you define as “forward movement”, know that they are natural, but expect to push on them
Getting the Technical Organization to Network More
- Ease them into networks where they have something in common with others.
- Urge them to volunteer for a public speaking event.
(yikes. Sounds scary, but if it is something they know well, then you have somewhere to start)
- Urge them to take on a leadership role with some visibility. (Community activities are a good start)
- Plan out a leadership skill development plan. This will lead to higher comfort and confidence with outsiders and networks.
- Get them some coaching, either through you, an internal resource, or a professional.
- Have them draw (yes, actually draw) their network using a simple hub & spokes visual. They are in the middle. Define who is a strong tie through a spoke, and then who should be stronger.