Engaging Technical Talent

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Technical professionals possess specialized skills and expertise. They include programmers, engineers, analysts, scientists, creatives, technicians and accountants. Organizations of all sizes across all industries depend on them.

Three out of four of the leaders we recently surveyed agreed that the technical professionals they manage do not share the same needs and concerns as the workforce at large. That finding didn’t surprise us. We have studied managing technical professionals and organizations for more than two decades.

Technical professionals value a blend of autonomy, achievement, collegial support and sharing, participation in mission and goals, professional identification and keeping current. It takes a highly skilled leader to accommodate those needs and focus individual talents on what the organization needs.

As if that wasn’t enough, our research indicates that people face additional challenges when managing technical professionals and organizations:

  • Delivering more with fewer resources – most likely while they’re see-sawing between completion of their own projects and coaching their team through theirs
  • Transitioning from a technical expert to a leader who can guide and engage a team of experts
  • Finding, recruiting and retaining talent on their team
  • Managing the development of their people while delivering on their own assignments as a player-coach
  • Communicating with the rest of the organization (and other outside stakeholders) the value of what the team is delivering