IEEE Silicon Valley Technology Management Council – February Notes

At the February IEEE Silicon Valley Technology Management Council meeting the group did an exercise to generated practical suggestions for implementing four management ideals. The group broke up into 4 teams; each considered one management ideal, and then reported their suggestions for implementing the ideal back to the whole group. The whole exercise took 30 minutes and included networking as well as idea generation.

Here are my notes on the ideas that each team generated. Clarifications and additions are welcome!

Clear Communication
This team decided to focus the topic more tightly to: ‘clear communication with a remote team.’ Here are some of their suggestions.

Prefer written communication to verbal.
Write in a simple, understandable style.
Take the time to verify that that each side of a communication really understands the meaning.
Acknowledge each communication.
Take the time to learn about the cultural differences.
Have a master schedule.
Anything that increases visibility is good.
Make use of structured system for communication.
Make use of chaotic informal communication channels.
Establish shared vision and goals, and get the buy-in of all team members.
Use visual elements to enhance communication.

Appreciates the Service of Others
Be generous with rewards.
Verbally praise people when they do good work.
Take the person to lunch or dinner.
Provide ongoing feedback, both positive and negative.
Don’t forget to appreciate the work of junior people.
In high-pressure situations, take the time to listen to people, and appreciate their input.

Know each team members strengths and weaknesses
Read the resume and personnel file of each person on your team.
Communicate regularly and take notes.
Focus on personal goals and aligning those with the team and company goals.
Ask them what their strengths and weaknesses are!
Assign them a variety of tasks, requiring different skills, and note the results.
Study how volunteer organizations work, as many are excellent at making the best use of the strengths of their volunteers.
Do a group exercise to discuss the strengths and weakness of the team.
Do a review after each milestone.
Decide if it is better to strengthen weaknesses or play to strengths.
Don’t forget to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the team as a whole.

Be a team builder
Be sure to acknowledge the work of people on the team.
Give people clear objectives.
Listen first.
Choose projects that will be successful.
Provide realistic and well-defined goals.
Talk things through calmly when there are conflicts.
Promote open communication.
Be the best leader that you can be!
Allow all to explore their ideas.
Support each other; keep your commitments to each other.
Verify assumptions.
Allow for creativity.

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