Comment on Fixing the Tech Industry’s Management Problem

After reading the post ‘Fixing the Tech Industry’s Management Problem’ by Steve Toback, my fingers started to tingle. I had to reflect on this.

Let me try to summarize his words.

Steve claims that most management teams in the technology industry are dysfunctional. There’s no other industry where so many companies have come and gone. And we shouldn’t blame it on the fast pace of technology and competition anymore. Lots of rising stars have faded because they weren’t able to cope with change, boards were not challenging enough or they didn’t understand marketing.

Well, that’s just common sense, right?

Sure, but reality proves different. Many organizations I’ve seen are not set up to use change for their benefit. They are focusing on control and predictability.

Here are some changes I believe can help to increase a company’s adaptability:

  • Plan adaptive, in short cycles
  • If you need to forecast, use a rolling forecast model
  • Invest in people
  • Use as much bottom up as top down decision-making
  • Grow leadership
  • Work closely with your customers
  • Give your people time to be creative and promote initiative

A company which is built on trust,
that supports people to use their full potential and creativity through leadership,
that uses market information is to make decisions,
that can change its planning fast,
will be hard to beat.

About Nick Oostvogels

Hi, I'm an independent management consultant. My biggest strengths are located in the fields of teamwork, motivation, leadership and continuous improvement. In the IT industry you find a lot of these values in the agile movement, in which I often act as a project leader, product owner or coach. My interests go a lot further, into other industries where we find these values in lean production. Besides that, I try to broaden my horizon as much as possible, always looking for better ways of doing business.

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