<ul><li>Why Do Technical Organizations Need to Change the Way They Manage Themselves? </li></ul><ul><li>Resolving Misconce...
<ul><li>During the 1980’s and 1990’s, old-economy industries in the U.S. scratched and clawed for survival against highly ...
THIS IS THE STANDARD DEFINITION OF EFFICIENCY USED IN FINANCE & ECONOMICS.  FURTHER, IN MARKETING, THIS IS THE CONCEPTUAL ...
<ul><li>Technical professionals are at a distinct disadvantage as organizational leaders.  </li></ul><ul><li>Despite being...
<ul><li>After all, technical professionals got where they are by working hard through a specialty curriculum and career pa...
<ul><li>Super-teckies  are the most experienced professionals in technical (e.g., science, engineering, information & medi...
<ul><li>What little formal organizational management knowledge super-teckies possess has been frequently gained through at...
<ul><li>An even more expensive and pointless super-teckie behavior is the willingness to buy brand-name management solutio...
<ul><li>WHY DO SUPER-TECKIES BEHAVE THIS WAY?  </li></ul><ul><li>Because they want to appear to be progressive leaders to ...
<ul><li>Like the  Peter Principle , the  Dunning-Krueger Effect  is a  tongue-in-cheek  explanation of organizational beha...
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A Common State of Management in Technical Organizations

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Technical professionals often struggle in their roles as organizational leaders. This presentation sheds light on why this is.

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A Common State of Management in Technical Organizations

  1. 1. <ul><li>Why Do Technical Organizations Need to Change the Way They Manage Themselves? </li></ul><ul><li>Resolving Misconceptions Around the Term “Efficiency” </li></ul><ul><li>The Root Cause of Management Difficulties in Technology-Based Industries </li></ul><ul><li>The Curses on Super-Teckies: The Peter Principle and the Dunning-Krueger Effect </li></ul>© William Borges, 2008 PART 1 THE COMMON STATE OF MANAGEMENT IN TECHNICAL ORGANIZATIONS
  2. 2. <ul><li>During the 1980’s and 1990’s, old-economy industries in the U.S. scratched and clawed for survival against highly efficient overseas competition. </li></ul><ul><li>Those that survived did so because of fundamental changes in the way they managed themselves. (Remember all the talk about Rust Belts, down-sizing, right-sizing and dumb-sizing?) </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks to these fundamental and widespread changes in organizational management, the U.S. economy re-established itself as the most efficient and adaptive in the world by the late 1990’s. </li></ul>© William Borges, 2008 WHY DO TECHNICAL ORGANIZATIONS NEED TO CHANGE THE WAY THEY MANAGE THEMSELVES?
  3. 3. THIS IS THE STANDARD DEFINITION OF EFFICIENCY USED IN FINANCE & ECONOMICS. FURTHER, IN MARKETING, THIS IS THE CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATION OF A VALUE PROPOSITION. THE COMMON MISCONCEPTION OF EFFICIENCY IS A LOGIC FALLACY AND IT’S JUST WRONG! © William Borges, 2008 Efficiency is not the false dilemma of reducing quality to achieve better financial performance or visa versa . WHAT “ EFFICIENCY” ISN’T First and foremost, efficiency is the achievement of an organization’s objectives – no matter how high they may be set – with least cost, effort and risk . WHAT “ EFFICIENCY” IS RESOLVING MISCONCEPTIONS AROUND THE TERM “EFFICIENCY” BEFORE WE GO ON, LET’S CLEAR-UP SOMETHING
  4. 4. <ul><li>Technical professionals are at a distinct disadvantage as organizational leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>Despite being superb scientists, engineers, clinicians and technologists -- and wonderful human beings – who work miracles every day in their professional lives, they often do not know how to be functionally successful as organizational leaders. </li></ul><ul><li>This is because they do not always have the solid educational, experiential, or environmental bases needed to lead a contemporary, progressive organization as defined by commonplace examples in the broader economy. </li></ul>© William Borges, 2008 THE ROOT CAUSE OF MANAGEMENT DIFFICULTIES IN TECHNOLOGY-BASED INDUSTRIES
  5. 5. <ul><li>After all, technical professionals got where they are by working hard through a specialty curriculum and career path. They typically did not focus on the management sciences and arts. </li></ul><ul><li>With everything they do day-in and day-out, when were they supposed to get one of the many degrees in organizational management? </li></ul><ul><li>Despite this, though, they have the title of supervisor, manager, director, vice president or even C-level officer (e.g., CEO, COO, CFO, CIO, CQO). So, everyone – including her- or himself – actually believe that they should and can lead an organization. </li></ul><ul><li>While this situation may be something of an industry-wide Catch 22 for those technical professionals holding leadership positions, it is certainly a recipe for widespread management mediocrity and a significant risk for failure. </li></ul>THE ROOT CAUSE OF MANAGEMENT DIFFICULTIES IN TECHNOLOGY-BASED INDUSTRIES , CONTINUED © William Borges, 2008
  6. 6. <ul><li>Super-teckies are the most experienced professionals in technical (e.g., science, engineering, information & medical) organizations who hold the highest degrees and the greatest number of professional registrations, licenses, certifications, awards and honors. </li></ul><ul><li>For some, there is also a debilitating misconception that professional time-in-service is a functional equivalent to formal organizational management education and Fortune 500 -quality experience. </li></ul><ul><li>On the bases of exemplary technical credentials and hard work, they are promoted to supervisory, managerial or executive positions to run their part of the organization. </li></ul><ul><li>Regretfully, such promotions – from dedicated technical expert to organizational leader – often result in yet another dazzling example of the Peter Principle, which when expressed politely is this: </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals in organizations are at risk of rising to their level of incompetence . </li></ul>© William Borges, 2008 THE CURSES ON SUPER-TECKIES – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND THE DUNNING-KRUEGER EFFECT
  7. 7. <ul><li>What little formal organizational management knowledge super-teckies possess has been frequently gained through attendance at conferences and short courses staged by their own employers and professional societies, as well as carpet-bagging flavor-of-the-month management gurus and evangelists. </li></ul><ul><li>Of course there are also those who never leave the building, but instead just read the gurus’ and evangelists’ latest management self-help books rehashing the 5-, 7- or 12-steps to organizational nirvana. </li></ul><ul><li>Ignorant of the structure/behavior/performance-quality/culture relation-ships, super-teckies are often too willing to seek out organizational behavior gurus and evangelists who promise: </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you will only believe in my one magic secret-to-success, all your problems will disappear.” </li></ul>William Borges, 2008 THE CURSES ON SUPER-TECKIES – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND THE DUNNING-KRUEGER EFFECT CONTINUED
  8. 8. <ul><li>An even more expensive and pointless super-teckie behavior is the willingness to buy brand-name management solutions, such as: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rigorous statistical-process-control (SPC) methods (e.g., Six-Sigma ) to be misapplied to conceptually flawed and irreparably dysfunctional work processes with the delusional expectation these processes are actually salvageable; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly advanced continuous-process production models developed and refined over decades to meet the specific needs of dissimilar industries and organizations (e.g., Toyota’s Lean methods). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>They force-fit these solutions – foreign-language buzzwords and all – to their tyro-level organizations that haven’t yet operationalized the most elementary concepts of contemporary management. </li></ul>YOU WOULDN’T GIVE A KID A PORCHE WHO STILL STRUGGLES WITH A TRICYCLE, WOULD YOU? © William Borges, 2008 THE CURSES ON SUPER-TECKIES – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND THE DUNNING-KRUEGER EFFECT CONTINUED
  9. 9. <ul><li>WHY DO SUPER-TECKIES BEHAVE THIS WAY? </li></ul><ul><li>Because they want to appear to be progressive leaders to themselves and the uninitiated. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet, they do not have the time or interest in fundamental management education, so they look for a shortcut. </li></ul><ul><li>Further, they are relatively safe in their adventures because their colleagues and subordinates do not know any better. </li></ul><ul><li>Who can find fault if they buy a brand name and it does not work? </li></ul><ul><li>It can’t be the decision maker; after all, they made the right decision and bought “the best there is.” </li></ul>BEWARE! WHEN THINGS GO WRONG, MANY SUPER-TECKIES RESORT TO SCAPEGOATING THOSE WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION WHO HAVE BEEN SET-UP TO FAIL BY THE SUPER-TECKIE’S ILL-CONCEIVED INITIATIVES. © William Borges, 2008 THE CURSES ON SUPER-TECKIES – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND THE DUNNING-KRUEGER EFFECT CONTINUED
  10. 10. <ul><li>Like the Peter Principle , the Dunning-Krueger Effect is a tongue-in-cheek explanation of organizational behavior that is rooted in sociological research. </li></ul><ul><li>The simple explanation of the D-K Effect is that when a leader does not know the solution to a problem or when they experience other forms of organizational insecurity, they will consciously or unconsciously: </li></ul><ul><li>Use copious amounts of arrogance to conceal their ignorance . </li></ul>© William Borges, 2008 THE CURSES ON SUPER-TECKIES – THE PETER PRINCIPLE AND THE DUNNING-KRUEGER EFFECT CONTINUED

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