Legacy technology is not going away but no one wants to work on it. The number of good techies you don’t even get to employ because of it is challenging and retaining staff you already have at times feels impossible.
The only things you can be sure of in life are death, taxes and CHANGE. So many products have seemingly carved out a new market for themselves only to have it stolen from them by something more innovative and better that built on their concept. The tech sector is ruthless and you can’t rest on your laurels.
Tech teams are often seen as detached or uninterested in the rest of the business which can create deep divides and deviations from business strategies.
Poor communication is, in my view, the number one issue in all teams. It is particularly exacerbated in tech teams where there are higher numbers of analytical and amiable personality styles and where complex issues and technical solutions need to be explained and understood by all members of the team to some extent, including the non-technical ones.
Start-up tech businesses are fast paced environments to work in. Often at the forefront of new technologies and in a race to get a product to market, never was there an environment more in desperate need to short-circuit the traditional Tuckman team development model.
One of the big issues you see in all teams but is prevalent in tech teams because of the systemic communication issues we see within them, is the rock star voice being the only one that is heard.
Retention is a huge issue in tech teams. When a valuable member of a tech team walks out of the door so too does a wealth of legacy knowledge and experience not to mention and truck load of IP.
Despite being an industry at the forefront of new and innovative product, traditional tech teams in most areas of the tech landscape are (and I know I am generalising but stick with me) still dangerously antiquated in two ways:
1 – women are massively under represented
2 – scarily focussed on product rather than people
Values are the fundamental underpinning to you and your life and knowing what they are and how to meet them is key to your success.
If you have kept up on all my posts on Linked in this month you will know that we have now worked out what all of the social styles in the David Merill model look like and how to spot them…..so now I am going to throw a spanner in the works.
You generally don’t come across many drivers. As a driver myself I have worked with several drivers over the years and in my experience, it can sometimes be like two rhinos locking horns.
I come across expressive personalities a little less than I do amiable and analytical in the tech world. I meet a lot in the marketing industries I have always worked in and almost made a career out of brokering communication and collaboration between our analytical friends and expressives.
As a driver personality, the amiable style is diametrically opposite to me and therefore one that, as a leader, I found the most challenging to work with.
Working in tech you are never too far away from an Analytical personality type. In my 17 years in the tech industry I would say around 60% of my teams at any one time have been analytical. And at the risk of favouritism, I would say they are my favourite type to work with.
I am sure if you are really honest with yourself, you will have at some point in your career been guilty of dreading or even pulled out of a team development/management training last minute. As busy leaders it’s so easy to get task and project focussed and see the ‘fluffy stuff’ such as team engagement, personnel and talent development as the ‘nice to have’ element of your role.
I put to you though that this is a bit of a ‘busy fool’ syndrome and challenge you to redirect your efforts to managing ‘people not projects’
Continuing with my focus on the Bruce Tuckman model, this week I recount my experience of working with adjourning teams.
Having spent most of my leadership career unaware of this stage, when I experienced it due to a large account loss it became the most profoundly affecting leadership experience of my life.
Continuing with my focus on the Bruce Tuckman model, this week I recount my experience of working with performing teams.
Continuing with my focus on the Bruce Tuckman model, this week I recount my experience of working with norming teams.
I have always found the norming phase the most challenging
Continuing with my focus on the Bruce Tuckman model, this week I recount my experience of working with storming teams.
I am very grateful for the storming stages I have been lucky enough to have been a part of. They are the times where I have been gifted the most learning and personal development...
Continuing with my focus on the Bruce Tuckman model, this week I recount my experience of working with forming teams.
I love the forming stage of teams. Its always full of promise and excitement and as a leader I always felt most needed at this time.