The Wall Street Journal recently featured an excellent article, “Do Techies Make Good Leaders?”by Robert M. Fulmer and Byron Hanson both of Duke Corporate Education, an affiliate of Duke University’s Fugua School of Business. According to the article, some inherent reasons tech companies fail to develop effective leaders include the speed of the industry’s growth along with the talent it draws, e.g. young techies with backgrounds in science and engineering. Despite the obstacles, the savvy tech company can build effective management teams. Following is a summary of the authors’ tips augmented by mine:
1. Formalize Management Development Processes: If a tech company is in startup mode, it may be premature to establish a structured training process to develop managers. And yet, a tough to recognize moment inevitably comes when formalized leadership development needs to be installed. The article authors urge companies to keep a close eye on the impending need for structure in this area. The risk of missing the magic moment, according to Fulmer and Hanson, is that employee retention takes a hit in the absence of skilled management. I would add that productivity and project alignment with company goals are also at risk with unskilled .