From good engineer to efficient manager: Challenge Driven Development™

managerial developement — Challenge Driven Development

The challenge

Preparing a good engineer with poor managerial experience for the role of an independent departmental manager making a valuable contribution to the management of the company as a whole.


A company in the construction sector promoted an outstanding engineer to manager of a 52-person department, split into 4 regional offices. However, it turned out that the engineer lacked the managerial competencies and sound understanding of how the organization as a whole functioned. Problems appeared in the execution of managerial tasks, and during board meetings his participation was insufficient and inadequate for the requirements of the board.

Diagnosis of the problem

  • The psychological examination revealed a very significant deficit in managerial planning skills (operational and strategic), and in knowing how to apply the appropriate tactics for influencing subordinates.
  • An in-depth interview with the manager also brought to light major difficulties in properly understanding his new role and the principles on which the organization functioned.
  • A lack of basic skills was identified in regard to understanding the company’s financial documents.


  • A consultant worked with the manager in his work environment over the space of eight months; this was split into 10 sessions, each lasting up to 3 hours, and an additional two shorter sessions were held with the company’s CEO.
  • The manager received a variety of tasks to complete at home between the sessions, aimed at finding a different way of resolving problems.
  • Support was provided for the manager in the form of brief consultations by phone and email, enabling the discussion of various solutions right away.
“Thanks to the support of consultants of the Gauss Institute, I switched from AutoCAD to Excel”

Manager in the Challenge Driven Development program

Case studies
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