20 ISE Magazine | www.iise.org/ISEmagazine
Find a profile of Cynthia J. Young in this
month’s “What’s Your Story?” feature
on Page 64.
Meet the columnist
Do inside hires make the best managers?
By Cynthia J. Young
Becoming a new manager through an
internal promotion in an organization
can be comfortable for the person be-
ing promoted. They understand the
organization and may even know their
team. The person doing the hiring is
choosing a somewhat known quantity
but still needs to determine if the new-
est manager in the organiza-
tion has got the mettle and the
knowledge to manage the team
efficiently. The new manager
could find that he or she is not
wanted by the team as man-
ager or that it is a great team
that wants to work together to
achieve goals.
On the other hand, hiring a
virtual unknown who would
be a brand-new addition to the
organization could be a breath
of fresh air for the team and shake
things up a bit for the positive. The
new manager can bring innovative
concepts to the organization while
inspiring the team to excellence. He
or she could also bring a competitive
advantage if their prior organization
is in the same industry. The person
who hired the new manager would be
taking a chance based on one or more
interviews, a resume and gut feeling.
There are pros and cons of each op-
tion, and its up to the organizational
leadership to ultimately decide who
to hire. In the U.S. Navy, when petty
ofcers (midlevel managers) are ad-
vanced to chief petty officers (senior
enlisted leaders), they are given orders
to new commands quickly based on
operational support needs. The time
from notification that petty officers
have been selected for advancement
to chief petty officer and go through
what is called “the season,” where
they essentially receive capstone train-
ing and preparation for the new rank,
is only a few months. This training
includes leadership and management
scenarios and will continue as they
move up in the ranks and continue to
receive more training and mentoring.
Consider what it could be like if
an organization promoted managers
across an organization where a promo-
tion meant other departments benefit-
ed from it. If the new manager could
start fresh and walk into a situation,
essentially new to the department, and
inspire the team while getting the job
done, wouldnt that benefit the orga-
nization building its corporate knowl-
edge as well as their own tacit knowl-
Undertaking this type of promotion
style or format may be difficult if the
organization is small in physical size or
in mission areas. It could be a future
possibility. Every hire is a chance, no
matter the source of the hire. Support-
ing a positive organizational culture,
sharing knowledge and providing
mentorship are just some of the ex-
pectations of a new manager to
the team. There may not be the
comfort of knowing how the
new manager would jell with
the team; however, if the job of
the manager is to get the team
to complete its mission and get
the task done, then an organiza-
tion has many options.
So how do you select a new
manager? Promote from within
or take a chance from outside of
the organization?
Cynthia J. Young, Ph.D., is founder and
CEO of CJ Young Consulting LLC, as
well as a curriculum developer and instructor
with Leidos after retiring as a Surface
Warfare Ofcer with 23 years in the U.S.
Navy. She holds professional certications
as a PMP, LSSMBB and CMQ/OE.
She is an IISE member. Contact her at
Hiring a virtual unknown
who would be a brand-new
addition to the organization
could be a breath of fresh air for
the team and shake things up a
bit for the positive.
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