But You’re Management!

The desire of managers to be involved with technology is natural. They want to seem able to learn quickly and adapt. After all, failing to use new technologies puts a company at a disadvantage against its competitors. Effective use of technology can develop a small upstart into a best-of-breed market dominator. Management sees the potential power that technology has on the future of a business, and they are driven to master it before they are ousted through company politics by someone who is more able.

People, who are good at management, tend to ask more questions than suppositions when technical issues are not well understood. They are also able to provide complete, consistent, and detailed descriptions on what is technically desired. Although some entrepreneurs may have relied on gut instinct and got lucky, good managers develop instruments of analysis and employ measurements from these tools to form consistently good business decisions.

There are others in management who make assumptions. They raise vague technical issues, and they create an illusion of importance for these issues by keeping them vague and aligning them with general technical concerns. They worry about technology’s accessibility purely on intuition and arrogance. “We are like our target audience, and we cannot wield this technology, therefore this technology is inaccessible to our target audience,” is a logical deduction that is made commonly by weak managers.

Rather than make changes without measurements of performance, persuading people with weak management skills to gather information that supports their proposals is advisable. This helps weak managers to become more data-dependent. Analyzing performance data or deploying tools for such measurements is better than investing effort on changes based on personal intuition. Evaluating the outcome of any changes is difficult without proper tools in place.

Lead through suggestion, especially when not in a position to lead.

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