A note on augmented management
This concept is developed in more details in our Booster : Augmented Management – Coping with complexity
Analogous to what augmented reality is to reality, the augmented leader will soon be with us. It is not a super human hero with chips installed in his brain. It is you and me, if we are able to augment ourselves.
The augmented leader lives in a world of incredible tools (some of them 2.0 but also many others like mobile platforms, neurosciences, geolocalization, data management) and sees his capabilities enhanced to a point where it has currently become unmanageable. We will have to learn again how to manage. But to manage what and to manage how? A few examples will help make the point.
Today infobesity makes us look like those bodybuilding champions, over equipped with muscle all over their body, unable to really use them. We handle too much information; we are unable to master the flow of them because they are indeed all relevant (irrelevant information is easy to handle: dustbin). We don’t look for needles in haystacks anymore, we strive to make sense out of those packs of needles (i.e. interesting and relevant information) we get every day. We need to loose muscle in order to be human again. We need to accept not even seeing some information. A hard issue in a world were information ownership was synonymous with power for centuries. But without “deleveraging” ourselves, we become less and less available for our real tasks in developing people and competitive advantages.
Today’s time management stresses us, making us also stress others, 24*7*365, thanks to Smartphones and an often largely exaggerated (by us) sense of urgency. We need to control time, our time, back.
Today we are so skewed toward enhancing shareholder’s value that we sometimes forget where we stand on deep ethical values and societal responsibilities. We absolutely need to reinvent trust, ethics and respect. We also need to reinvent capitalism, at all levels including in (our) daily work.
Many of us believe that the leader of today can still be a Renaissance man, mastering most of the required knowledge and leading others towards a bright future. But obviously, we master less and less. It is also apparent that few of us have a clear understanding of what a bright future could be. We don’t have to master everything; we need to accept that our teams, networks and many tools can actually augment us without us controlling them. The use of Apps on our mobile tools follows the same logic: we don’t know how they work but we are glad to use them. Accepting this means having to give up our earlier vision of omniscience and superior skills; we are not superheroes.
The Augmented Leader will therefore hold characteristic features. He will use his skills, the tools he has access to, his lean muscles, his reinvented wisdom and his rediscovered modesty to:
- Manage and develop individuals and teams in a world of scarce talents (along high unemployment and explosive social settings!), of swarm work, dispersed teams, individuals equipped with their own personal brand to an extent unknown until today outside of the “People” sphere.
- Manage himself as well as his own stress in a world requiring time and trust to be managed
- Manage not only the environment footprint of his/her unit or corporation but also the social footprint, the ethical footprint and the business footprint in a world where transparency and consumer’s power are threatening to have Jasmine flowers blooming all over.
- Manage the overabundance of information by selecting what he is really interested in leaving aside what is irrelevant while accepting serendipity and remaining curious and open to the world at the same time.
- Live in a permanent ß culture where projects and changes are all tentative by nature, inevitably changing sooner than expected.
The Augmented Leader needs cultivate a deep and benevolent understanding of the world and of others.
The new tools, including digital and neuroscientific ones, will help him because they allow him to be connected and technically enhanced, yet he will succeed in being augmented only if he uses them and not be their victim.