RK: Ultimately, to carry out the requisite technical work, professionals have to assume many different roles and work together in different kinds of groups and teams. How do managers create the kind of environment and innovative culture that is highly motivating and stimulating for the professional? What are the managerial options for encouraging creative individual contributors to work together and how can managers maintain the vitality of their technical workforce over time?Q: Have you found significant differences between managing technical professionals in different industries? How are these differences addressed in the program
?RK: There are differences that should be recognized in managing across industries. For example, there are certainly differences between pharmaceuticals and software development. However, what is more important than the differences are the similarities and commonalities. One of the principal benefits from attending this course is the recognition of these similarities. Everyone enters believing that their industry is unique. It is a significant eye-opener to discover that everyone has the same basic problems and they have developed a wide number of possible strategies for dealing with these problems. This is where both the sharing of experience among attendees and the systematic knowledge provided by the lecturer can combine to provide real added value. The program also attracts a substantial attendance from a variety of types of government agencies, and it is interesting to examine the similarities and differences between the public and private sectors. In this course, we try to recognize both the differences and the similarities; these become important points of discussion between lecturer and participants. Size of organization makes a big difference and we take this into account in addressing a variety of issues. TA: An area in which large organizations encounter major difficulties is in integrating new technical professionals into the organization. The course will bring out some simple strategies that will help to solve this problem. Conformity is the enemy of innovative thinking. People seldom believe that conformity could be a problem in managing technical professionals. However it is a problem, and this course will show how it operates and how to deal with it. Groups and project teams age just as individuals do—usually faster. In the course we will deal with this issue, its causes, and remedies. The bottom line is that we are dealing with people. That is really where the action lies.
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