Hartford Business Journal

January 14, 2019

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www.HartfordBusiness.com • January 14, 2019 • Hartford Business Journal 21 OTHER VOICES Hartford's tech sector is growing By Sarah Man T he city of Hartford could be on the edge of a tech-sector boom as a recent analysis by commercial real estate advisor CBRE showed it was the seventh-fastest growing tech market in the country in 2018. Although the city still is far down the list of tech-friendly destinations overall, it has significant momentum, and could be just the place for expanding compa- nies that will be creating new tech jobs. The emergence of Hartford as a high-tech destination can easily mean it could become home to a host of companies and organizations that are reliant on high-tech ca- pabilities, which could mean an increase in op- portunities for workers and investors alike. According to a 2017 survey, Connecti- cut is home to more than 4,000 manu- facturing firms ranging from aerospace to chemicals, computer and electronic products to machinery and plastics. These firms generate approximately $13.5 billion in products produced an- nually. In terms of economic activity, these manufacturing firms generate an additional $1.35 of economic activity for every $1 spent in manufacturing Much has been written about the downturn in Connecticut's manufac- turing sector, but this upswelling of technology firms and jobs could be just the boost that is needed to reverse decades of financial setbacks. With a booming economy, workers with a background in STEM — sci- ence, technology, engineering and mathematics — are in high demand, and there are not necessarily enough workers to fill available jobs. It was estimated that during 2018, the state had 116,000 such openings. And even though Hartford places only 37th out of 50 total markets nationally in terms of its tech-sector concentration, its "momentum gain" is seen as a strong indication that the booming national economy may be helping an economic resurgence throughout Connecticut. Hartford also has a proverbial ace up its sleeve: a double-digit office vacancy rate, which may provide "move-in" read- iness for firms that are relocating, yet won't generate a sudden spike in rents. That is a major plus and it can also serve as a catalyst for spin-off sectors such as housing and entertainment. And if you're skeptical about data say- ing Hartford is a growing tech sector, just take a look at the empirical evidence. There is significant factual information that supports an optimistic outlook. For example, Infosys recently unveiled its regional tech and innovation hub in Hartford and a new advanced manu- facturing center is opening downtown. There are also two new business accel- erators in the city focused on incubating insurance and advanced manufacturing technology companies. Individually, they may not make a trend, but taken together there certainly is movement in Hartford and the Nutmeg State. And viewed from any angle, that is a good thing. Sarah Man is a financial advisor with the Wealth Management Division of Morgan Stanley in CT. HARTFORDBUSINESS.COM POLL LAST WEEK'S POLL RESULT: Should Connecticut adopt a paid family medical leave program? NEXT WEEK'S POLL: Should Connecticut legalize the recreational use of marijuana? To vote, go online to hartfordbusiness.com BIZ BOOKS Tips for managing multi-generational teams By Jim Pawlak "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee — The Imperative of Teams" by Simon Mac Rory (LID Publishing Limited, $19.95). Workplace de- mographics are changing: Mil- lennials account for about 40 percent of today's workforce; by 2025, that percentage will grow to 75 percent. When it comes to teams, their views of work are far different than those of preceding generations. Like Star Trek's Borgs, Millennials believe in the collective, "hive" mind — not the traditional, top-down mana- gerial structure. They value coaching over supervision because it's focused on building from individual strengths, learning style and goals. They thrive on collaborative "creating" because it broadens their knowledge base and makes them promotable/marketable. Organizations that don't adapt to a new team management style will find it difficult to keep/attract talent. That style involves understanding that all teams have different characteristics. Mac Rory identifies four team types — traditional, project, virtual and team working group. Here's a snapshot of each: Traditional (Functionally oriented, leader determined by org chart) — Teammates share common technical skills, which leads to ongoing inter- action. Team development should emphasize rotating assignments regularly, so teammates don't become bored and complacent. Project (Cross-functional, short-term problem-solving or product/service development) — Because teammates come from dif- ferent areas and usually aren't assigned full time to the project, it may be difficult to: a. focus on the project, and b. as- sess their across- the-board perfor- mance. Managers of teammates must constantly request feedback from the project manager. Virtual (Geographically-dispersed and usually project-oriented) — Their lack of face-to-face contact creates trust- building and supervision issues. Manag- ers must cede some decision-making and communication protocols to the team to build trust among teammates. Team Working Group (Traditional/ functional but with changing composi- tion and membership because they of- ten work in shifts) — Teammates vary in age, skills, experience and attitudes, which can lead to communications issues and work errors within the shift and on other shifts. Capturing shift members' experiences as they come off shift will help managers identify and address potential problems. 31% No 69% Yes Sarah Man Jim Pawlak Book Review

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