The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature

Finding and nurturing 'T-shaped people'

L Gopalakrishnan
Monday, September 3, 2007
L Gopalakrishnan

Traditionally, ‘high performance teams’ has been synonymous with ‘teams with good HR practices’ in management parlance. Organizations talk about team bonding, alignment, and the need for a healthy manager-employee relationship as some of the building blocks for creating high performance teams. While all the traditional HR-centric theories still hold good, there is a new dimension that is evolving. That is the concept of ‘technology foundations’ for high performance teams. This theory is fast evolving and organizations need to take note of it to continue to succeed in today’s competitive world.

The need for Technology Foundations

Let me first mention a few global phenomena that are making ‘technology’ a necessity in high performance teams. Till recently, India was known for low cost IT labor. Quality and reliability were not words people, in those days, associated with Indian IT talent. That, however, has changed rapidly and now India is renowned for quality and predictable deliveries. India is the crucible for world’s software and that does not surprise us any more. But given this background, there is an inherent desire among Indian companies to move up the value chain. This is true with product as well as service companies. There has been an increasing demand from customers to value add to the solutions that are provided. Not only should the solutions be fundamentally enriching, they should also be applicable directly to the customer scenario. So, irrespective of the type of the company, the need exists for a higher level of contribution. ‘Innovation and global leadership’ are two necessities in the game to contribute at a higher level.

Whether it is the need for more innovation or a need to lead global programs, the essential ingredient is ‘technology’. To innovate, teams obviously need a good technology footing, which is understandable. But interestingly, even global leadership in programs needs more technology foundations. It is ‘knowing and leading’ that works well today, as opposed to blindly leading.

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