Thursday, February 25, 2016

The learning challenge in (some) organizations

I read this piece with some amusement. That Infosys is de-layering itself. The interesting part for me in that article was this:

As India's largest software firms have added tens of thousands of employees over the past decade, many layers of middle management have in the process also been under-utilised since they are not billable employees anymore as they are not directly involved in day-to-day software coding. 

"We've seen that people who are not getting billed, they also tend to get a ittle bit away from technology and so on. The best way to address that is o make them more active in project execution - that's  .. 

In a way this is the hands-on crisis in the Indian IT industry. Few years on, people lose their ability to work hands on - and that usually translates into lesser billing for the company. Unless of course, they have taken their abilities and become consultants - which can then be billed by the company. 

The fact is that unless you keep at it, once you become a manager, there is a very high chance that skills get rusted. And that is the learning challenge in some organizations. Regardless of which team you lead, how do you ensure that your skills  are upto date with the current realities? Why technology, in everything the world is moving ahead. 

I have heard similar stories in teaching, biotech and even other industries. Managers often tend to lose touch with the emerging trends in a field.

As  long as you are hands on - and in tune with the latest, as long as your are learning something new (almost every day), you are learning. Otherwise, you are rusting!

What can the organization do? Hire people who are hands on. Promote individual contributors. Have fewer and fewer administrator and 'people' managers. Celebrate knowledge. Celebrate sharing of knowledge...etc etc etc

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