Managing the Virus Hunters
1. Keeping professionals excited about work that can be routine and standardized and chaotic is a major challenge for Vincent Weafer. How could he use technical, human, and conceptual skills to maintain an environment that encourages innovation and professionalism among the virus hunters?
Technical skills are job-specific knowledge and techniques needed to proficiently perform specific tasks. Finding employees who have the diverse and highly refined technical skills needed by Symantec challenges Weafer to recruit individuals from around the globe. As he says, “If you find them in any part of the world, you just go after them.” Using human skills, including strong communication skills and understanding of different cultures, Weafer creates a work environment where employees respect and trust management and one another. This trust facilitates the teamwork needed to solve problems and produce innovative products. The conceptual skills needed by every manager can be used by Weafer to envision the “big picture” for Symantec and influence and empower his employees to follow the organization’s mission. As he leads by example, Weafer fosters both innovation and professionalism among the virus hunters at Symantec.
2. What management roles would Vincent be playing as he (a) had weekly security briefing conference calls with coworkers around the globe, (b) assessed the feasibility of adding a new network security consulting service, (c) kept employees focused on the company’s commitments to customers?
Mintzberg’s ten managerial roles are broadly grouped into three categories: interpersonal, informational, and decisional. As he conducts weekly conference calls with employees around the globe, Vincent Weafer plays the information role of disseminator, which is essential in coordinating work activities among employees who work in international locations. When Vincent...