Managing geeks? or any of us?

February 25, 2009

The How to Manage Geeks article has been getting a lot of linkbacks lately. I’ve seen the link posted on DC Web Women, Twitter, and several techie news sites. Although some have poked fun at the humourous aspects, it seems to me there is quite a bit of useful information in the article that the corporate world could effectively use.

It seems quite obvious, happy workers (not just geeks) are effective workers. I’ve seen this stated time and time again from various sources including the 60 Minutes segment on SAS in North Carolina. True, many of the dot coms overdid this piece, but the companies who find a good balance a la Google really seem to have an edge. Personally, I know I’m a much more effective worker when I like my job. Liking my job is, for me, tied closely with liking the people with whom I work. When I care about and respect my co-workers I want them to succeed. It makes me work harder and the entire team benefits. That may sound a little rah rah go team, but this has been true whether working in retail or in a more corporate environment.

It seems much of the advice in this article boils down to treating workers with respect and listening to them when they attempt to do the job you hired them to do. If you hire a graphic designer, don’t turn around and dictate every aspect of the design. If you hire an IT person and you aren’t a techie, ask them questions, listen to their answers, and discuss solutions. Sounds like pretty decent advice for dealing with people in general to me.

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