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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

High tech Council, SNHU to present Tech Leaders training program

Being good at technology doesn’t mean you’re good at handling people, which can be a problem for companies that want managers who understand tech.

That, in a nutshell, is the problem that led to “Tech Leaders,” a new business training program from the New Hampshire High Technology Council.

“The idea is to get them out of the cube, get them some direction experience in business operations, human resources, managing other employees,” said Matt Cookson, executive director of the council. “There’s a serious gap there – we’ve heard that from many of our members.”

“If you’re getting an engineering degree, they don’t teach a lot of the soft skills,” he noted.

The High tech Council will partner with Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Business to present the program, which will “regularly bring in educators from other institutions and companies.”

Tech Leaders will provide basic training in “essential business disciplines” for engineers and technical personnel who are taking on more management; being asked to collaborate more with their peers in other departments; or moving into management and general business positions.

The NHHTC Tech Leaders Program will run from December through June, with one all-day session each month at SNHU in Manchester. The cost is $1,200 for individuals employed by NHHTC member companies and $1,500 for nonmembers.

Cookson said a couple of other programs helped shape Tech Leaders.

One is Leadership New Hampshire, which has trained hundreds of professionals during yearlong sessions of monthly seminars.

“This is like a mini-Leadership New Hampshire, targeted at IT professionals,” said Cookson.

The other model is the Gordon Institute offered at Tufts School of Engineering.

“That is much more intensive, for moving to the CFO level. We felt there was a niche for going a level below that,” Cookson said.

Tech Leaders is not a degree program but will give an “informal certification.”

“The program focuses on cross-discipline skill development, enabling collaboration across all company departments and functions,” said council Chair Tom Daly. “This type of skill development broadens the scope of knowledge of company operations, enabling greater big-picture thinking, and hopefully, better decision making at all layers, driving company growth.”

For more information, contact the High T ech Council (nhhtc.org).

David Brooks can be reached at 594-5831 or dbrooks@nashuatelegraph.com.