‘Paradijsvogels’: a book on successfully leading tech talent by Eurofiber COO Eric Kuisch
In a world that is changing rapidly in terms of technology, every ICT manager is looking for tools to successfully manage their team. This week Eric Kuisch launched his book ‘Paradijsvogels’ (Birds of Paradise). This book provides the answers on how to nurture brilliant ICT employees and ensure they flourish within the organization.
Of all the books on management and leadership, those specifically about leading exceptional talented developers, engineers and ICT-professionals are still hard to find. According to Eric Kuisch this was a gap that needed to be addressed: ‘We are in the midst of the transition towards a digital economy and society. Practically every company is a technology company and ICT professionals are already crucial to the success of virtually every organization. However, it is also evident that the culture and style of leadership in organizations often do not meet the needs of ICT professionals. This especially applies to the select group of top ICT engineers, whom I refer to as 'birds of paradise' in my book.’ From his 30 years of experience in the ICT industry, Kuisch describes in his book what distincts these ‘birds of paradise’ from ‘average’ ICT professionals or ICT engineers, how they think and relate, and how to get them to reach their full potential. Kuisch: ‘There are many misconceptions about ICT engineers, for example that they have fewer social skills and have less of a need for recognition. But, nothing could be further from the truth. They simply express themselves in a slightly different way. If you don't recognize that as a manager, you easily go wrong.’
The book contains seven chapters. Each chapter describes an essential element in leading top ICT professionals and covers a wide range of topics:
- Your top ICT professionals have an impeccable sense of which technological developments are important for the organization. How do you make sure their voices are heard at the right time?
- Your top ICT professionals need context, even more than others, to be able to focus on what is really important. Therefore, as a manager, it's of the essence to explain as clearly as possibleyou can’t emphasize enough how their contribution relates to the wider organizational goals.
- Your expertise will always be inferior to theirs. Accept that and embrace it, it’s that your top ICT engineers have a better understanding of the contents of the job than you. Your task is to create the ideal circumstances for your high performersbest possible working conditions.
- Identify which ideas should be put into motion: How do you recognize that a brilliant idea from your top engineers is ready for (product) launch and how do you ensure a successful launch?
- Your top ICT engineers won’t step into the limelight that easily. How do you make sure they know you will always appreciate and support them?
- Your top ICT engineers find it difficult to ask what they need. That’s where you come in. Ask how you can assist them.
- Building relationships is essential for your top ICT engineers’ happiness at work. As a manager, you take the lead in this.
‘Paradijsvogels’ is currently only available in Dutch.
Eric Kuisch is a mathematician. His passion for technology led him to KPN, where his responsibilities included mobile networks, and later to Vodafone, as CTO of Germany. He now works as COO at Eurofiber, where (technological) innovation and transformation are once again important themes in his daily work. Eric is also frequently invited to speak as an expert in the field of management and ICT.