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January 31, 2009

Mtg: Manager in the Middle, plus Guided Networking

by @ 3:22 pm. Filed under ALL, Engineering Mgmt

THURSDAY February 5, 2009
SCV Technology Management Chapter
Speaker: ArLyne Diamond, Ph.D., Professional and Organizational Development
Time: Guided Networking at 6:30 PM; Dinner at 7:15 PM; Presentation at 7:45 PM
Cost: Cost: $25 (IEEE member), $30 (non member); Cash or check at the door; +$5 without reservation
Place: Ramada Inn, 1217 Wildwood Ave, Sunnyvale
RSVP: through Website

Decisions and demands come from above, and the manager is the one responsible for seeing to it that staff deliver the products in a quality and timely manner.? On the other hand, we are living in an age when â??knowledge workers??? do not like taking orders from others, and want to spend some of their work time on creative projects that have nothing to do with the deliverables.? The manager is in the middle, trying to maintain some balance between the tensions of differing needs.
When I interviewed 50 C-level executives about managing for creativity, I was told that it was middle management that stifled creativity.? CEOs hoped that new ideas would â??bubble up.???? But, the bubbles were smashed down.? During a speech I gave about Managing for Creativity, a member of my audience, a retired Director, reminded me that the manager in the middle couldnâ??t afford to allow her staff to use some of their time on projects that had not been authorized from above.? Managers at all levels in an organization are answerable to those above them and they need to learn how to manage their boss effectively as well as be sensitive to the needs of those for whom they are responsible.
To complicate the task, managers are managing distant teams, those from other cultures or other generations with different values, expectations, and behaviors.? They need to be aware of and sensitive to this diversity, while motivating and holding others accountable.
Too, managers are being asked to be leaders â?? as though charisma and great personality would be the inspiration for motivating others.? Very little training is actually given these dedicated men and women, most of whom were promoted from technical positions as rewards for intelligence and hard work â?? technically.? Who taught them to be managers?? How are they to become inspirational leaders?
I will share with you some of the problems and solutions Iâ??ve learned from my work with managers, directors and C-level executives.? Together we can develop more effective strategies for getting the best out of ourselves and others.

Networking â?? Managing in the Middle
Attendees are encouraged to think about the nightâ??s theme â??? a continuation of last monthâ??s topic of management quandries â?? our before-dinner discussion will explore what is needed in current management practice.? Facilitation will be by one of the TMC officers.? In the process get to know fellow meeting attendees.

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