Leader or Expert?

CX-Ray, Leadership Supply, Leader, Expert

Proven managers can be promoted.

They sometimes change companies.

Seniors retire; new teams and divisions open.

Catastrophes, constant growth, and even normal work can open new managerial positions that must be filled as soon as possible.

Finding a mid-level manager is one of the most expensive recruitment projects.

A candidate with business experience, people skills, and professional expertise must be found. On top of these things, the candidate must be available.

Recruitment projects of this nature are also known to be risky. Outside candidates have not had the opportunity to grow into the company culture. Should the hire not work out, their attrition would cause another time-consuming recruitment process with new expenses.

Promotion as motivator

Promotion as motivator isn’t just good for the employees, but  also for the company. Employees prove their talent with time. Those with outstanding results are promoted to ever higher positions, raising both their engagement and the efficiency of the company. If the promotion strategy works, why not do it again? But then, something bad happens. Oops…

Everyone is incompetent on their peak

The promotex expert, rising star of the company, unexpectedly breaks down. (S)he isn’t performing well and (s)he suffers from the increased stress.

The new leader will eventually either get sick or may leave the company.

No amount of money or other benefit can entice him or her to stay.

The company just lost one of its leaders, a leader who left behind problems due to bad performance in the previous few months. The company also lost an expert with perfect results before their promotion.

We believe our previous methods to be time-proven, and don’t see the problem until the ‘wake-up call’ of a failed promotion. This behaviour is defined by the Peter-principle, after its author, Laurence J. Peter.

Company-awareness

Organizational psychology and sociology use different frameworks to model this problem. For instance, the informal roles that emerge around us, such as our relationships to others within the team, or the company as a whole, tell us about our competencies as they relate to others. These informal roles can be mapped.

During an ideal organizational network analysis project we reach every employee to ask them about: their connections, their jobs, the communication, and the problem-solving methods. It is like the company becomes our body, and the employee our receptors, that serves to bring insights to the brain.

This is what CX-Ray does.

With this kind of awareness we can find the roles of the leader, the expert and the unofficial leaders – those employees who are highly engaged in the company, who proactively give feedback to others, and who already have unofficial followers. These people might be good leaders even if they are not the top experts.

Leader and expert

Of course, reality is far from simple. Employees are neither merely experts nor merely leaders, and they should not be. Large companies experiment feverishly with different skill sets and competencies to find the best leaders.

Even the skeptics at Google questioned the need for management. Their completely flat design, however, was brushed off the table in a matter of months. Since then, they have been working to redefine their leaders on a scientific ground, with modern multivariate statistical models. The so-called project Oxygen “to bring fresh air into management”, found several different behaviours, that might actually be more important than professional skills, but some expertise is still required.

GE takes the opposite approach, demanding its leaders to be both highly trained engineers and professionals. Both companies are excellent benchmarks given their success and size. Neither of which is better or worse than the other. Organizational decision-makers must determine the needs of their company. Moreover, they must determine the exact position they want to fill and decide what balance of leader and expert is required.

Fortunately with the help of organizational network analysis both roles can be scored at the same time. The scores can then be compared for each candidate, to help us make a more informed decision.

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Gergely graduated as a work and organizational psychologist at BUTE, with training experience in data mining, research methodology and applied statistics. He is responsible for coding the analysis, mentoring new employees, and providing content.

https://hu.linkedin.com/in/gergelygyurics

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