Introducing: Leading Technical People+
By Marissa Garfield, Product Manager for Leading Technical People+
Leaders of technical people face a double-pronged challenge: First off the technical people they lead have very specific workplace needs which, if unmet, result in low engagement, little innovation, and high turnover. Second, technical leaders have not typically focused on the “people side” of management. They may be experts in their own technical field and well versed in project management, but the human aspects of leadership are often new to them and not something with which they are entirely comfortable.
Add to this the fact that most leadership development programs do not cater to people operating in a technical mindset, and we can understand why leading technical people is a challenge in many organizations. Still, driving innovation and technical expertise is always key to achieving any business strategy. For thirty years BlessingWhite has been working with companies around the world to address this specific challenge. Based on our experience, up-to-date research, and input from industry leaders, we are pleased to share with you the details of the newly released Leading Technical People + [See video overview]
BlessingWhite just released its latest research on Leaders of Technical People which takes a deeper look into the unique needs and challenges of this employee population. New in this year’s research is a focus on learning and technology — highlighting, for example, the importance of being able to access the learning information you need when you need it. To do this, employees are looking up their questions on the web, watching videos, and asking each other. Brains are being reprogrammed — dates, statistics, and other knowledge is not being stored long-term because we know that we can quickly look it up which leaves room for more and more short-term information.
The long and the short of it…
Learning is trending towards “learning bursts,” or 90-120 minutes on very specific topics. This is where companies are moving and what employees have come to want and expect. BlessingWhite research shows that technical people and leaders of technical people prefer to learn in multiple short sessions rather than fewer but longer sessions.
Building on the foundations of earlier versions of Leading Technical Professionals, this new program takes a flexible and modular approach to learning to maximize skill-building and provide access to information. Leaders of technical people have different needs, and the core of their leadership challenges lies in having essential communication skills and then practicing those skills with specific strategies that can be applied to real-world issues they are facing on the job.
Leading Technical People+ has many benefits for your technical leaders. Here are a few of the key business outcomes of attending the program:
- Retention of high-value technical talent
- Smoother, faster transitions for people promoted to leadership roles
- Reduced friction and increased productivity
- Accelerated time-to-market for new product concepts
- More rapid adoption and implementation of new technology, techniques, and processes
- Leaders who can handle increased span of control
- A culture where technical experts thrive and a reputation that attracts the best in the business
A new continuous learning approach
Continuous learning is the foundation of Leading Technical People+. It uses highly effective instructor-led (classroom and virtual) training, as well as a variety of media (including mobile technology, video, and even social media) to increase the number of learning touch-points and extend them over time, place, and situation.
Leading Technical People+ is also a new approach to creating custom programs, with standard offerings that can be combined in a variety of ways. You build the program by choosing the topics and skills, and deliver it in half days or full days with virtual components and more to create just the right experience. You can deliver standard sets of modules across your company, or let employees choose what they want to attend based on schedules and interest.
The program begins with the Foundations of Leadership. Here participants will learn about the specific needs of technical people, experience the model of engagement, and focus on essential skills like building trust, active listening, and asking questions. They will then learn the communication strategy that can be applied to many other modules, covering topics including:
- Setting Goals
- Delegating Responsibility
- Giving Feedback
- Inspiring Innovation
- Managing Change
- Influencing Others
- Handling Resistance
- Leading Teams
- Working Virtually
- Your own custom module(s)!
Leading Technical People+ is a highly flexible and customizable program with off-the-shelf pricing, providing organizations with more options to address specific learning outcomes, challenges, and budget. BlessingWhite will work with you to determine the best options and tailor this program according to your needs. We invite you to explore the research and watch the video to find out more about it. Join us at one of our upcoming live or virtual events (see the column on the right for details).
What a wonderful course this was for me — the design, content, and flow were really remarkable. Without a doubt the finest workshop I’ve ever observed or participated in.
What I liked the most about it is that it was practical, with many case studies to help us apply what we learn. The interactive nature of the training was also great because it enabled us to leverage other people’s experiences and add new perspectives to everyday encounters. I would definitely recommend it to any leader.