Curation, the new art/tool for managers?
Rémi Zunino
Rémi Zunino

Curation, the new art/tool for managers?

If I say “Twitter” what do you think of? If you are not a fan of the application and how it works, there is a good chance that you will answer me something similar to “too fast”, “too much information” and finally the famous swear word on the web, the supreme insult of our era: “infobesity”.

We're not going to lie to each other. You would be (half) right. How much are we complaining about the number of events we should attend to stay “informed”, better: “in advance”. How many articles to read, podcasts to listen to, MOOCs to try to stay up to date?

The Internet is a great thing: web tools have made it possible to increase sources and resources exponentially. Everything is sought, everything is found. As long as you know exactly what and have the time to do it.

So often, we trust curators, sources of information that are more or less legitimate, more or less influential. Social networks have allowed the emergence of a new job/a new skill. Curators select, digest and return information to their audience. We are all potential curators, but many don't know it. However, curation is a tool of influence, power, even manipulation.

What are the challenges for the company and for the manager of curation?

Dominique Turcq very rightly dedicated the last mini-lab of Boostzone Institute on the subject, Tuesday, February 2, 2016.

Curation: the art of being a funnel

The mini lab started with a question asked at all tables: What is your definition of curation? Some have very easily made the connection with “the cure”, the fact of taking care, from the Latin curare “to take care”, others the fact of “curing”, cleaning, scraping. For those who were already familiar with the term, the definition is that of content curation: the act of selecting articles and providing content to an audience. Dominique reminds us:

Curation is human, done by men for men. Some are professionals, some are not. But everyone is in fact a double curator. We need several sources (upstream funnel) from where we get our information (those we “follow”, our “influencers”). And we have several outlets (downstream funnel) which are those who follow us and receive our content (our “followers”, our “subscribers”, our “recipients”).

Do managers necessarily curators?

Curation is therefore never neutral. It saves time and giving perspective and meaning, to bring out content that was ignored, drowned out in the mass of good information we receive every day.

In this sense, the manager has a key role in sorting out the information he sends to his teams and peers. What need does it meet? What meaning does it give? Is he participating in the overflow of information under which his employees are drowning? Did he check his sources carefully before sharing? Curation is now a management tool. It makes it possible to support people, to offer them content that develops and enriches them. Provided, of course, that quality is prioritized over quantity.

Curation is a skill in its own right. Employees who are good guardians also bring a lot of added value to the company. Just look at the number of jobs in communication and/or marketing that have evolved: Content marketer, knowledge manager...

The necessary transformation of management/leadership

Traditionally, the knowing person is a person of power. She exercises her authority/influence because she knows things that others don't. But, and you're probably not learning anything, the access to information created by the Internet and new technologies has overturned this paradigm. Power is now sharede because management/hierarchy are no longer the only holders of information.

Information governance has now evolved. Information can be shared, liked, told, transmitted. The employee also becomes responsible: what he shares on social networks, because he is Exhibit and “influencer” of its community, can no longer be considered neutral. What everyone decides to share and comment on says a lot about the person, about their values. The same goes for the organization.

Curation questions the culture of an organization, its openness, its trust in its employees and in each other. It also questions what is expected of all company stakeholders in terms of information transmission. Curation is a real management tool because it is fundamentally committed to the concept of trust. But it is still necessary to clarify the individual role of everyone when it comes to sharing information.

What to do tomorrow?

We concluded this mini-lab with one certainty: we are all responsible for what we “love”. A few questions to start the reflection with which we left:

  • Who am I a curator for?
  • How do I add value by sorting and synthesizing?
  • Who are my most important and reliable sources?
  • (What simple tools should I use?)

Thanks to the Boostzone Institute for this event. At the time of the 40 breakfasts per week that are offered to us, it is pleasant to experience a moment like this whose content is as qualitative as the opinions of the people present.

On 15 March, we will have the pleasure of co-hosting a lab with Dominique on the theme of new power games in business. For more information and to register, follow the link below!

The new games of for in business

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