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Augmented Management

104 pages

Augmented reality broadens our vision of everyday life, so couldn’t the same be achieved for senior managers as they face growing complexity both within and beyond their company? Just as a Smartphone can be made smarter by downloading apps, shouldn’it be possible for managers to work smarter by being equipped with a few smart tools ? This short essay by an expert in corporate organization suggests ways in which 21st-century managers can «augment» their vision of management – and encourage the growth of those they manage.

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Augmented Management (Excerpt)
Coping With Complexity
Dominique TURCQ
Augmented Management (Excerpt)
I – Introduction
What is Augmented Management? “Augmented reality”, which has enormously enriched our vision of the world since it was introduced into our lives, inspired me to coin this neologism to designate a new paradigm, which could profoundly transform and open up the vision of management in corporations.
Augmented reality enables us to obtain and analyze information about our immediate environment, helps us to be more conscious and better informed, and makes us more capable of making better decisions.
In the same way, Augmented Management should help us to have a deeper understanding of our teams and our colleagues, to be better informed, to analyze data and situations in a more pertinent way, to add supplementary dimensions to our competences, and to help us to take decisions in full knowledge of the facts. And it should give birth to Augmented Leaders who can better appreciate the reality of managerial situations.
We live in a world of tools with increased power: some are 2.0, though others are not, such as mobile platforms, neuroscience tools, GPS systems, database algorithms. Everyone is seeing their technical capacity increased to such a point that it is becoming unmanageable. We may be technically “augmented”, but we feel humanly diminished, because we are drowning, unable to concentrate or even reflect, abilities that are none the less more essential than ever.
This surfeit of information – or “infobesity” – is making us look like those bodybuilding champions who are muscle-bound and unable to use their impressive musculature to its full extent. We are handling too much information; we are incapable of mastering this flow, precisely because it is too pertinent (poor-quality information is easy to treat, we simply bin it). We’re no longer looking for needles in a haystack: we’re now attempting to put order into handfuls of needles – that is, the valuable information that we receive every day.
© Oleksandr Lishinskiy/Fotolia.com
We need to lose some muscle in order to become human again. But how? This book will enable readers to explore five main tracks:
- we need to accept not to see certain pieces of information. This amounts to a real managerial challenge, in a world where for centuries the possession of information has been synonymous with power.
- we therefore need to regain control of our time. Managing it has become stressful, for managers as well as for those they lead, notably because of a 24*7*365 rhythm, imposed by the “blackberrization” of our work tools and by an often exaggerated sense of urgency.
- we have to learn to sort through data. We know that the arrival of BigData in our professional lives, that is, the need to work through and interpret significant quantities of data, is a revolution that is under way, but we have no clear idea what we should do about it.
- we need to reinvent ethics, trust, and respect. “Shareholder return” has become such an obsession that it often seems to have become the only “value” held by companies and their managers, who could – because of it – forget their social and societal responsibility.
- we don’t need to control or master everything. We must accept that our teams, our tools, our networks can absolve us from controlling everything. Many of us believe that today’s leader can still be Renaissance Man, mastering most techniques and helping others to throw themselves toward the most brilliant of futures. But we master fewer and fewer things and don’t have the slightest idea what a “brilliant future” should look like.
The Augmented Manager, whom I shall attempt to sketch in the following pages, is therefore not a super hero. He or she is, above all, human and will know how to use the skills, tools, and technologies at their disposal; they will discover how to reinvent their wisdom and to rediscover their modesty. They are capable of:
- managing and developing individuals and teams in the context of a shortage of talent, of high rates of unemployment and explosive social situations, of virtual and often anonymous work, of dispersed teams, of collective intelligence and collaborative cultures, of individuals obsessed with developing their personal “brands”.
- managing their own stress levels in a world in which trust and time must be handled with new attention.
- including in their way of working the environmental, social, ethical, and commercial impact of their company or their unit, in a world in which transparency and consumer power are threatening the former equilibrium and bringing crowds out on to the streets.
- managing the overabundance of information by selecting what really “interests” them and setting aside what is merely “interesting”, while at the same time accepting a dose of serendipity and remaining curious and open to what’s going on in the world.
- living permanently in a “beta” culture, that is, in a culture where everything is by its very nature an experiment that can be changed far sooner than expected.
The Augmented Leader, profound and benevolent, listening to the world and to others, reminds us of someone? Or, on the contrary, we say that he doesn’t exist... This work aims to show that in every manager there lies dormant an Augmented Leader, while at the same time emphasizing that collaborative practices and collective intelligence can change the world of management, and thus the quality of life within organizations.
We shall first examine in what ways the world of work is going to be drastically altered by a world that is rocked by violent spasms. We shall then see how these spasms will unleash a kind of seismic shock on companies and their managements. And finally, we shall show how the Augmented Manager can stride on to the stage and change the order in the company.

©Boostzone Editions, 2013