"Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand." -Putt's Law.
I believe that people managers and those closest to the techs performing the work need to have some sort of 'hands-on' experience in order to facilitate the work load across all team members and to distill the information they get from the techs to give to the higher-ups. Without this understanding managers are at the mercy of the technicians and cannot properly access the situation on their own.
Understanding the bottom-line and IT's role in an overall business strategy is important but for those first few lower level and middle managers, having more than a grasp of terminology is critical.
I believe it's management's responsibility to relay the importance of business concepts and business goals to IT. A mentoring program with spheres outside a person's own group would foster a greater understanding for all employees and a company can then select individuals for management and supervisory positions.
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