Is the 3.0 digital manager bionic?

A good IT culture, a clear vision, a capacity to always see further into the distance. Could we say that the modern manager is superhuman?

Remember Steve Austin, the 300 million dollar man … Hero of the 1970s TV series, he was an astronaut who’d walked the moon. Another planet, another universe … He became a test pilot, when his plane crashed, he was seriously injured and then became a bionic man.

With his next-generation equipment, he could go faster, could see further and had superhuman strength.

A ‘superhuman’! Speed, vision, strength… Qualities so sought after in our modern digital universe, where all companies want to offer you the moon; Where you have to be both proficient, influential and versatile … If recruiters had to look for the perfect digital manager 3.0, it’s likely that Steve Austin’s qualities would propel his CV into a top position … A new generation bionic manager!

Break the rules and be involved on all fronts Some time ago, I participated in a roundtable on the digitization of administrative and financial director roles. The highlight of this meeting was that, to be a manager in the 21st century, it’s necessary to be a specialist, to have the ability to lead projects, a capacity to synthesize, to have change management experience, marketing knowledge, leadership, and be able to impact internal and external communications…

So, the modern administrative and financial director, breaks the rules and is involved on all fronts…

Could it be said that a bionic person also needs to be equipped with multiple abilities? From one conference to another, when describing a 3.0 manager the same types of skill requirements were mentioned again and again. The only thing that differed was the basic specialization of each person, but fundamentally, all the other criteria were similar and number of skills is duplicated.

A digital ‘pro’ ready to delegate Faced with the massive arrival of the digital world and the enormous amount of data to be analyzed, a manager has to know how to manage IT projects. They need to present a clear structure of their management with macro indicators, handle a sufficient amount of technology and processes to manage possible mistakes that could throw a few spanners in this well-oiled machine. Above all, they need to know how to maintain a 360º perspective, always knowing how to delegate.

Theodore Roosevelt said that, “The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it ”.

Even with technological developments, the system has not changed much since then.

If the manager is responsible for the information extracted from his digital production chain, he has to support all those who make up this chain and reassure them about the quality of information.

In case of an incident or mistake, a manager must know how to interact with the circuit and implement necessary control points in the right places, because there is no digital chain without quality or traceability.

An ambassador on various levels

Sadly, in this new world, the ability to analyze and specialize is no longer enough because, as Ivan Lendl said, “Managing for personal gain is the same as playing tennis by looking at the results table instead of at the ball.”

So, the latest generation of manager has to be able to understand the situation and, above all, be able to explain it. The manager role is increasingly one of communicator, internally leading teams and of course externally, assuming the role of company ambassador.

During this round table on administrative and financial management, I became interested in those who could illustrate their role as brand ambassador by looking at their presence on professional social networks. A quick analysis of the Twitter biographies of financial managers, chief executives and other CFOs showed that few are geographically present in Paris or even in France. The results show quite clearly the absence, in many sectors, of professional digital ambassadors.

Some profiles stand out from the rest by the quality of their tweets, the specialization they share and the ‘engagement’ they generate. Interacting on social networks, managers reinforce the image of the 3.0. digital manager Could we say that’s why they’re bionic? I couldn’t be sure, but what I do know is that they could inspire many managers who want to be.

Alban Jarry

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Translation with Sophie Perrin