Every manager needs all three namely Technical skill, Human skill, Conceptual skill. Technical skill is the ability to use the procedures, techniques and knowledge of a specialized field. Surgeons, engineers, musicians and accountants all have technical skills in their respective field. Human skill is the ability to work with, understand and motivate other people as individuals or in groups. Conceptual skill is the ability to coordinate and integrate all of an organization’s interests and activities. It involves seeing the organization as a whole, understanding how its parts depend on one another, and anticipating how a change in any of its parts will affect the whole.
Although all three of these skills are essential to a manager, their relative importance depends mainly on the manager’s rank in the organization. Technical skill is most important in the lower levels. Human skill, although important for managers at every level, is the primary skill needed by middle mangers; their ability to tap the technical skills of their subordinates is more important that their own technical proficiency. Finally, the importance of conceptual skill increases as one rises through the ranks of a management system. At higher organizational levels, the full range of relationships, and the organization’s place in time are important to understand. This is where a manager must have a clear grasp of the big picture.
The Challenge of Management:
You are studying management in a time and place where many people are rethinking what management is all about. The impetus for this reevaluation comes from the increasing pace of change both in organizations and in the larger world. Think about the momentous events that have occurred in this country and around the world since you entered first grade – or even since you entered high school or college or the workforce. In this complex and dynamic environment, managers must continually adjust to changing conditions. It should come as no surprise, then, that today’s managers look at change as a constant in their lives. We conclude this overview of management practice with three concurrent challenges that confront managers as they deal with a changing world on the doorstep of the twenty first century.
The need for vision:
The world is shrinking. New telecommunication technologies continue to expand our reach and speed up our communications. In addition, the world is being reshaped both by technologies such as genetic engineering automated manufacturing, lasers and computer chips and by changing political boundaries and alliances. These new technologies and new global political alignments mean that managers face new possibilities for forging relationships that will carry their organizations into the future. For example, Andrew Dressel a founder of MapInfo, an INC 500 company in Troy, New York, that manufactures software, wanted a new challenge and developed a new vision with an international focus. He has put his entrepreneurial expertise to work in a business incubator in Kiev, Ukraine, to help aspiring Ukrainian entrepreneurs develop their own businesses. The goal is to share his company building skills and to explain how capitalism works.
A vision for living through and benefiting from these changing circumstances is important to any manager. For most of this century, for example, it was heresy to talk about joint ventures between American and Japanese auto manufacturers. Today there are many alliances. Managers with vision created these new relationships. In the publishing industry, the very idea of publication is changing. Natalie Anderson and her associates find themselves envisioning what various mew technologies such as CDs can bring to the distribution of information. They can no longer simply equate publication with a book.