Management from A TO Z: 2057: A Futurist Envisions Industrial Research and Technology Management 50 Years Hence
Coates, Joseph F., Research-Technology Management
Abby: It's good to see you, Zack. These 3D life-sized screens are marvelous. I could swear you are only ten feet away. Maybe later we can flip to the holographic mode and shake hands. I did want to get in touch with you to discuss a number of managerial issues and changes to see whether they are affecting your company and how you are responding.
Abby: We are trying a new rotation system which I know you have had some experience with. What we are doing started in think tanks, as you know, and moved quickly into corporate marketing and into planning, but my focus is on R&D. The issue is the rotation of managers. I am responsible for about 140 people. The managers I supervise are now being stressed by the rotation program. At any one time, we need only about 12-15 folks in managerial functions. We've been rotating them. Rotation can be either for an individual project, running anywhere from one month to 15 or 16 months, or they can be strictly ad hoc activities in which the time could be as short as a week or as long as a year. The rotation is done not just to broaden the managers' experience, but to be a continuous test of their managerial skills.
Zack: We've done that and it has worked out extremely well. It was not just a matter of taking the group of managers as they existed and shuffling them around. We went to considerable trouble to test and evaluate the managerial potential of all of our then current and now present managers. As you know, for the past 50 years we have known on the basis of rather primitive testing something back then called the Myers-Briggs--that managers tend to move up in managerial responsibility because they have a great personal drive and capability to make decisions quickly. However, these same characteristics tend to isolate the manager from …
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Publication information: Article title: Management from A TO Z: 2057: A Futurist Envisions Industrial Research and Technology Management 50 Years Hence. Contributors: Coates, Joseph F. - Author. Journal title: Research-Technology Management. Volume: 50. Issue: 1 Publication date: January-February 2007. Page number: 32+. © 2009 Industrial Research Institute Inc. COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale Group.
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