It's essential that the technical experts in an organisation are encouraged to step into leadership roles, otherwise we risk restricting diversity in the leadership pool, warns Chris Atkinson.
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You are most likely familiar with the concept of the dual career ladders offered in many organisations, where employees decide whether to pursue a technical or managerial career ladder. The model has been a huge success over the last 15 years.
A 2009 survey by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, of 2,799 professionals over 35 years-old, found 60% were on technical career paths and 40% in management positions. One of the surprising conclusions of the survey was that “respondents working in both technical and managerial positions indicate that technical success can be extremely satisfying and enjoyable, as well as often more stable and less stressful than dealing with the administration of people and organisational bureaucracy.” Could it be that by offering the dual ladder, some people with great potential are tempted towards the ‘easier option’ of staying on the technical side of the ladder?
Don’t write off your technical experts so quickly!
Author: Chris Atkinson, Elysian Training.
This article was published on Training Zone in September 2014.